tv Democracy Now LINKTV July 15, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
07/15/13 07/15/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! in the circuit court of the 18th judicial circuit in seminole county, florida, the state of florida versus georgia zimmerman, the verdict, we jury find george zimmerman not guilty. >> the verdict is in britain george zimmerman is acquitted for the shooting death of trayvon martin, an unarmed african-american teenager in florida. the verdict sparked protests around the country.
>> we still today want justice. >> we still today want justice. >> and we will not be satisfied until justice is obtained. >> and we will not be satisfied until justice is obtained. ofwe will speak with some those in the streets and to the reverend jesse jackson as well as philip agnew, head of the dream defenders, a coalition of young people of color in florida, formed after trayvon martin's death. 2013 and beyond, it is in europe propelled by black and brown youth in our formative years criminalized, marginalized , cast aside and forgotten. we found strength in our struggles, determination. we are good kids growing up in bad states. >> all of that and more coming up.
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across the country following the acquittal of george zimmerman. a six-member jury found zimmerman not guilty on all charges in a second-degree murder trial for the killing of trayvon martin. on sunday, rallies were held nationwide including new york city, los angeles, boston, atlanta, chicago, washington d c, open and austin. the l.a. protesters shut down a major freeway for 20 minutes. in new york, thousands marched to times square and then harlem. the justice department has reopened its investigation of zimmerman for potential hate crimes charges in trayvon martin's killing. the federal inquiry was suspended while zimmerman's trial took place. in addition to the federal probe, zimmerman could also face a civil suit from trayvon
martin's family. on sunday, two of his cousin spoke out from the families florida church. couldt remember, trayvon have been your son, could have been my baby, could have been anyone in america's baby, just walking to the store and coming candy and ice-t. things happen in life, but sometimes it is not fair. >> we don't want this to happen to anyone again. there is no reason for this to happen to any other families. no one should have to go through this. >> more on the verdict after the headlines. the nsa whistleblower edwards made an announcement in a meeting with representatives of human rights groups and moscow. >> i did not see to enrich myself. i did not see to sell you secrets. i did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. i ask for your assistance and
requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to latin america as well as requesting asylum in russia until such time my legal travel is permitted. >> edward snowden met with members of human rights watch on amnesty international. he cannot leave russia because the u.s. has revoked his passport. three countries have floated asylum offers free at russia has stop harming u.s. interests if he wants to stay. one of the activist said snowden believes he meets those conditions because his leaks are not damaging the united states. find through his remarks [indiscernible] as he said, he did not do any harm to the united states, and
he was not planning to do any damage. yes, he wants to stay here officially, [indiscernible] snowden's public statement seeking asylum, the russian government says it has yet to receive a formal application. the obama administration continues to demand that russia remand snowden's u.s. custody. in its first and contact with a foreign leader over snowden's plight, president obama had a phone discussion with russian president vladimir putin over the weekend. in washington, white house press secretary jay carney criticized russia for allowing snowden to meet with human rights groups at the airport. >> i would say providing a propaganda platform for mr. snowden runs counter to the russian government's a declarations of russia's neutrality and that they have no control over his presence in the
airport. a >> at the state department, spokesperson warned that granting snowden asylum a rush or any other country could jeopardize u.s. ties. that as is no question we stated broadly with any country that would have a role in assisting him either in transit or final place for him to live, that that would raise concerns in our relationship. however, we are not at that point yet. >> would raise concerns or damage the relationship? >> they still have the opportunity to do the right thing and return mr. snowden to the united states. >> at least 50 people were killed sunday in a wave of bombings across iraq. at least 28 died in 98 were wounded when the three car bombings hit the city of bonds are up. iraq is seeing its worst sectarian violence since 2008 with more than 2800 killed since the start of april.
thousands of people on both sides of egypt's political divide are rallying today amidst a visit from a top u.s. official. the secretary of state william burns is in cairo for the first time -- high-level egyptian talk since the ouster of president morsi. on sunday, a muslim brotherhood spokesperson mocked the u.s. for refusing to grant morsi's ouster a coup, which would in turn jeopardize $1.3 billion in u.s. military aid. not about president morsi being released or even about his personal safety, but protecting the democratic choices of the egyptian people and the ballot box choice where they stood for hours in the sun. this is about protecting the will of the people and not allowing the military were sanctioning a military coup while the u.s. is afraid to use that word still. >> on sunday, the head of egypt's armed forces defended morsi's ouster saying the
military was enforcing popular will. the interim egyptian government continues to form a new cabinet. on sunday, the veteran diplomat albert dave was sworn in as egypt's -- elbaradei was sworn in as egypt's interim. the texas senate has given final approval to the anti-choice measure initially blocked by senator wendy davis and a people's filibuster late last on friday, texas senators voted 19 to 11 to approve a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks, hinder access to the pill form of abortion, and shut down nearly all of the state's abortion clinics. more than 2000 protesters filled the texas capitol building in austin to denounce the measure late into the night area did texas governor rick perry has bowed to sign the bill into law, but opponents say they will challenge it in court. is claiming the hunger strike at guantánamo bay is on the decline. the military's counter prisoners on hunger strike is slowly
dropped over the past several days from a high of 106 to as low as 81. a prisoner must fast for several consecutive days to be designated a hunger striker, and military officials say 99 of the estimated 100 to hunger striking prisoners have recently eaten meals. an estimated 45 prisoners are still being force fed through nasal tubes. the guardian reports the pentagon's estimate be taking advantage of a brief pause in the hunger strike with the holy month of ramadan. a defense attorney says prisoners are likely taking in token amounts of food to honor the tradition of breaking the daily ramadan fast. at the hunger strike began in february in protest of the prisoners indefinite captivity and president obama's failure to deliver his promise to close guantánamo. i u.s. john strike in pakistan has reportedly killed two people. the victims were described as suspected militants, but their identities have not been
confirmed area did -- confirmed. delivering her first speech since undergoing surgery to celebrate a global day in her was leftlala yousafzai sears the wooded when militants shot her in the head for campaigning for the rights of girls. birthday, her 16th she said she's undeterred to be silenced. on the ninth of october 2012, the taliban and shot me on the left side of my four head. they shot my friends, to. bullet wouldthe silence us, but they failed. silence camee thousands of voices.
the terrorists thought it would stop my ambitions, but nothing changed my life except this. weakness, fear, and hopelessness died. strength, fervor, encourage was born. >> malala yousafzai says she intends to focus are campaigning on seeking compulsory free education for all children. the justice department has unveiled new rules on how prosecutors accord the communications of journalists following widespread criticism of its practices earlier this year. on friday, attorney general eric holder said journalists must be under criminal investigation before their e-mails and phone records can be subpoenaed. media outlets would also have to be notified of investigations targeting the reporters unless the attorney general deems such disclosures would harm the criminal probe involved. the issue broke open earlier this year after it was revealed
federal officials seized the phone records of the associated press while investigating a government leak on a failed al qaeda plot. fox news reporter james rosen also had his record surged after being named to potential co- conspirator in a leak on north korea's nuclear program. homeland security secretary janet napolitano has announced she is stepping down. she will leave her post to become the new head of the university of california system. a group of 12 u.s. war veterans and their allies have had their convictions dismissed for an antiwar protest in new york city last fall. the veterans for peace members refused to leave the vietnam memorial in lower manhattan at the 10:00 kim curfew so they could continue reading the names of thousands of dead u.s. soldiers dating back to vietnam. the group was convicted on friday. but in a rear decision, the presiding judge immediately ruled that throwing away their convictions was in the best interest of justice.
and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in one of the most closely watched murder cases in years, a florida jury has found george zimmerman not guilty on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter for fatally shooting unarmed black teenager trayvon martin. zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman, shot martin and of february 26 2012 in a gated community in sanford, florida, as the teenager walked back to his father's girlfriends house after buying candy at a nearby store. a police report filed that number -- that night noted that there was -- about sixs trial took weeks. all six of the jurors who decided his fate were women. five were white, one latino. they deliberated for more than 16 hours before they return to the courtroom. as judgethe scene
debra nelson received their verdict. >> members of the jury, have you reached a verdict? would you please hand it to the deputy? ok, [indiscernible] in the circuit court of the 18th judicial circuit in seminole county, florida, the state of florida versus george zimmerman, the verdict, we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty. >> does either side want to pull the jury? >> we would, your honor. >> ladies and gentlemen --i'm sorry, 80s. when your number is called, which you please answer if this is your verdict.
[polls the jury] ladies, i wish to thank you for your time and consideration on this case. we have record last for hundreds of years a jury still liberation, discussion. , the judgment confirms the jury's verdict, your bond will be released. your gps monitor will be cut off when you exit the courtroom over here. >> that was the scene in the verdict wasen the read in george zimmerman's murder trial saturday night. afterward, zimmerman hugged his family members. trayvon martin's parents were not present. later on twitter, his father, tracy martin, tweeted --
the teen's mother tweeted -- civil rights groups are calling on the justice department to file civil rights charges against zimmerman. the petition launched by the naacp gathered more than 225,000 signatures in the first few hours after zimmerman was acquitted, temporarily causing the groups website to crash. the justice department responded sunday that it is continuing to evaluate evidence from an ongoing federal probe, as well as evidence from the state trial, and that -- experience federal
prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation o." president obama said meanwhile, former presidential advisor, van jones, tweeted an image of after martin luther king wearing a hoodie like the one worn by trayvon martin. heard fromnses were the streets, as protests were held across the country. in los angeles, protester shut down the 10 freeway for 20 minutes. in new york, thousands gathered sunday in union square and in march for hours through times square in up in the harlem. these are some of their voices. america, enough is enough. leave our youth alone.
[chanting] >> as a young black man, me walking the streets, me walking the streets i could be seen as a criminal with a deadly weapon because as they said, the concrete was a weapon to this young man. the concrete was considered a deadly weapon. to feeles me for me that walking the streets for me is not safe. [chanting] a son.ve it is difficult because he already has dreams about it in dreams about the man following trayvon. he told me, mom, i saw him following trayvon. he has nightmares already. that is just a part of what we have to go through every single day. i don't think this country realizes what we go through as black people and how we feel every day and having our kids go out for you and we don't know if
they're going to come home. i heart is broken. >> this could happen to anyone son whether you are asian, black, latino. sayingbout someone else their lives mean more than yours. >> i had a sickness in my gut. it felt like it was my son. i cried. my name is india and i'm here with my daughter kennedy. don't want her to think that all people are bad. there are some people out there who see black people, brown people, people who are different from them as less than they are, and it is not right. is a perfect example. we watched the trial every day. it was like homework. we would talk about it and discuss it. i'm here for all the young black man and everybody, for all of the people.
it is not just about being black. >> we still today one justice. and we will not be satisfied until justice is obtained. ng]anti >> some of the voices from the streets of new york city sunday. thanks to our new video fellows for producing that piece. when we come back, we will speak with the reverend jesse jackson and philip agnew, executive director of dream defenders, a group of youth of color formed after trayvon martin was killed. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> a song by curtis mayfield, sung by lester chambers, along with his son spent dylan chambers and the midnight transit. the older soul singer was reportedly attacked by an audience member saturday when he dedicated the song to trayvon martin. his son dylan shared a photo of chambers after the assault come
a showing at eight inch bruise on his back. he was taken to the hospital and released. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. for more on the george zimmerman acquittal, we're joined by philip agnew from tallahassee, executive director of dream defenders, coalition of young people of color formed after trayvon martin step. they have called for a takeover tuesday protest implored as capital of tallahassee tomorrow. thehicago, we're joined by reverend jesse jackson, president and founder of the rainbow/push coalition. we welcome you both to democracy now! let's begin in florida where the killing took place. philip agnew, talk about your response to the verdict on saturday night, where you work, and what your plans are now. verdict with ae few of my fellow dream defenders
. to be frank, the moment crumbled my heart. it crushed me because as many people around the country believe there was enormous amount of evidence that proved that this was murder, it was cold-blooded murder, and it verdict,me to hear the to see the joy on the faces of the murderer of trayvon martin. i think that was felt around the country. it was our nine/11. it is a moment we will never, ever forget. so what we're planning in in florida, what we saw in tallahassee, 250 of our students marched to the capital in miami and tampa and orlando and gainesville, students rose up and young people rose up in response to the verdict. what we're planning on tuesday is a takeover of the capital. if they believed, as many people in the media have stated, that
our people were going to destroy their neighborhoods, destroy their businesses, destroyed or commodities in response to this verdict, they have got another thing coming. because young people are smarter. young people are more organized. young people are more prepared than anybody has ever given us credit for. unfortunately, it took this verdict to show that. so tomorrow, tuesday, we're going to take over tallahassee. we are going to call on our lawmakers to answer for their crimes because though george zimmerman was found not guilty, the state of florida is very much guilty. they have a history of disregard for young people. it right now the state of florida is raising a generation of second-class citizens. over criminalized young people who have no safety, no security on undereducated and overpopulated in their jails. so this was a stark realization. it crumbled me but strengthened my resolve for young people around the country.
>> reverend jesse jackson, where were you when you heard the verdict and what is your response? the nbc studios. we saw the jury had gone home for the night. we were doing a summation of the first to days and then the news broke the verdict came in as zimmerman was set free. we were all stunned. stunned because we spent all the time arguing about alter the -- the altercation, but no time about an armed man from another neighborhood saw an unarmed boy policeome and violated appeals to him and murdered him by his own admission free at -- admission. very dear here was a case of murder based upon suspicion. . felt the pain of it all
trayvon speaks to these times. a jury without a male on the jury, without a black question are the prosecutors avoided the issue of race. race is a big issue in the case. it is a sign of our time to attempt to dismiss reality. >> i want to go to trayvon martin's family, attorney and human crump. the family has not spoken or been publicly seen since the verdict. they were not in the courtroom, but this is their attorney benjamin crump. or spotting to the not guilty verdict in the case. -- responding to the not guilty verdict in the case. >> this morning, martin luther king's daughter tweeted me a message.
that red, today is a defining moment for the status of my father'seam. -- dream. whatever the verdict is, in the words of my father, we must conduct ourselves on the higher .lane of dignity and discipline trayvon martin will forever remain in history next to mr. evers and him it till -- emmett till as symbols for the fight for equal justice for all. now to theo turn comments made by george zimmerman's attorney, mark omar, after the verdict was announced. he claimed zimmerman would not have been charged had he been black. >> i think things would
have been different if george zimmerman was black read he never would've been charged with the crime. it seems as though what happened , an event that was being looked into by the sanford police department and as we know now looked into quite well, i have taken advantage of police departments who have not done a good investigation of crimes because that is what i do for a living. when i look at the sanford police department, they have done quite a good job. you can compared across the country. what happened was, this became a focus for civil rights advantage, which is a wonderful event to have, but they decided that george zimmerman would be the person who they would blame and sort of use as the creation of the civil rights violation, none of which was borne out by
the facts. -- fact that night will, were not racist. all of the talk about children living in his home when he were young. if only those who decided to condemn esther zimmerman as quickly and as viciously as they did would have taken just a little bit of time to find out who it was they were condemning, it would never have happened. it certainly would not have happened if he were black because those people who decided they were going to make him the scapegoat would not have. jackson, yoursse response to the defense attorney and benjamin crump, the attorney for trayvon martin's parents. >> you don't have to be a racist to have a racial stereotype. assumptions about a young black and white neighborhood, even in
a mixed neighborhood, he was going home to visit his father. if zimmerman have been black and trayvon had been quite, there would have been a different response. he would not have walked away from the scene without being faced with a law that night. zimmerman walked away without a blood test, alcohol or drugs, walked away until that was protested. what we do know is he was stereotyped and he was pursued over objections and killed. the problem with trying this case again, i think the symbolism of trayvon -- there is a trayvon in every town. it is also her grandson in oakland. "fruitvale."ovie , severalchicago
shootings by police, 93% black or brown. there is a trayvon in every town. the prosecutor by not demanding a black or male juror missed the chance. >> let me ask you about marco marra saying he appealed to mr. crump to not talk about this as a civil rights case. reverend jackson? >> of course it is a civil rights case. ofhink the department justice will intervene. i think the avoidance of the essence of this case will not do us any service. we are asking people around the country to protest with dignity and discipline.
any act of violence will discredit trayvon's legacy. shift from violence [indiscernible] here are two young men, one is dead in the grave, one is a walking dead read he is limiting his life's options --there is something a certain concern about life options of zimmerman. >> pending a decision about his concealed weapons permit, george zimmerman is expected to have his gun returned to him, the gun with which he shot trayvon martin. speaking to abc news, defense attorney mark o'mara said george zimmerman has even more reason to carry a gun now >> does he get the gun back? >> yes, he does.
>> what you think he feels about guns now? >> i think he feels truly in his heart that if he did not have that weapon that night, he might not be here. >> do you think you would carry a gun again? >> even more reason now. people actually hate him. >> so you're saying he needs to protect himself. >> yes. >> it was not only mark o'mara, the defense attorney who talked about george zimmerman now needing his gun, his brother robert zimmerman in an interview on cnn said the same, that he would need it now more than ever. what are your thoughts about that, philip agnew, george zimmerman walking around afraid with a gun? >> oh, the irony that george zimmerman would be afraid of a vigilante accosting him in the dead of night and taking his life. oh, the cycle of violence that is perpetuated by hate.
i would like to quickly speak because as i watched cnn and hln, i never saw young person of color on are able to speak for he is i would like to take this opportunity to speak directly to mark o'mara and don west to over spoke, who have decided to speak to whether we should be angry, whether we should be hurt at the verdict, and tell them they don't have any right to speak for us. they don't have any right to speak to us. what they have done is effectively convinced folks that this is not about race, this is not about hate. and it is our avoidance of that subject in florida, our refusal as a country to acknowledge we still have a race problem in america that creates environments for manlike george zimmerman to walk around as he does now with a gun looking to take down black people, looking to take down young people of color.
it scares me. quite frankly, it scares me that this vigilante is able to do that. but what we're doing now, what drink defenders are doing now is looking to advance the conversation with george zimmerman in mind and most definitely trayvon martin in our hearts. movie conversation to a place where young people are at the front front, where young people are speaking. it is a new day. i think we saw that around the country. you saudi year ago after the death of of trayvon martin and you see it now at the equitable -- you saw it a year ago after the death of trayvon martin and you see it now after the acquittal of zimmerman. for us.ara cannot speak he cannot stick to the civil rights nature of this case or to what it feels like to be a young black or brown person in this country are young poor white person in this country. he cannot speak to whether we should be heard because we are. it was a stark realization of
that on saturday. the fact george zimmerman now has to carry a gun because he feels people are afraid of him and i believe is warranted but i don't believe anybody in my community is going to do anything stupid as the media wants to portray. i believe he is more fear from himself, from his guilt. >> george zimmerman did not testify during his trial, but prosecutors to present him to jurors by playing part of an interview he did last year with sean hannity of fox news. this is a clip of what the jurors did hear from george zimmerman. >> is there anything you regret? do you regret getting out of the car to follow trayvon that night? >> no, sir. do you regret you had a gun that night? >> no, sir. >> do you feel you would not be here for this interview if you did not have that done? >> no, sir. is all god's plan for
me to second-guess it or judge it -- mightthere anything you do differently in retrospect now that time has passed a little bit? sir., >> reverend jesse jackson? >> he murdered him in the name of god. he would not have been doing that interview if he had not followed him. he would not killed him if he had not had the gun. and he would not have been [indiscernible] this -- that is why the dreamers are marching and why we support them. around the nation, dreamers most march in their towns. the impact of young blacks are the most expelled, the most jailed, the most unemployed, the most killed, the most unemployed
done -- there was a study by the u.n.. >> following the announcement of the verdict, and the prosecution said there was no question trayvon martin had been profiled. this is the state attorney angela corey. >> this case has never been about race, nor has it ever been about the right to bear arms. not in the sense of proving this a a criminal case area did trayvon martin was profiled. there is no doubt he was profiled to be a criminal. and if race was one of the aspects in george zimmerman's mind, then we believe we put out the proof necessary to show that zimmerman did profile trayvon martin. but the right to bear arms is a right in which we all believe. use we want is responsible when someone feels they have to
use a gun to take a life. they have to be responsible in their use, and we believe that this case all along was about down breeze and that george zimmerman exceeded those boundaries. >> reverend jackson, what is your response to those who say angela corey ashe now remember, for our audience who is listening around the world, trayvon martin was killed february 26, 2012 and was not actually charged until april 11, like six weeks later. because the local police did not charge him where the local police did not arrest him. he was not charged. the florida governor appointed a special prosecutor, angela corey, a conservative republican prosecutor. and she was the one who did the investigation and she is the one who charged george zimmerman with second-degree murder, manslaughter was only added in the trial when it looked like, i
think, the prosecutors were concerned they were not in a get a second-degree murder. in the end, he was acquitted of both. it was racially profiled but it was not about race. you cannot have it both ways. he was profiled. perhaps he was up to no good. he showed in that discussion no remorse. he did it and would do it again in the name of god for you and the killing of trayvon martin was a notch on his gun. that is unacceptable. >> what is interesting and some people are referring to this of the last few years were agela corey's office charged
31-year-old african-american woman with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after alexander fired a shot which she said was a warning shot at her estranged husband who had a history of domestic abuse. alexander was found guilty on three counts. she was tried by angela corey in the courtroom and sentenced to 20 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence the judge said he had little control over. case, philip agnew, that you're familiar with? >> yes. listen, angela corey when she got her hands on the case, i think most people who had any knowledge of her history knew we were in for a doozy. angela corey, trayvon martin looks just like the kind of people that angela corey likes to convict and send away to life sentences. with are very familiar marissa alexander. i encourage anyone around the country to look her up. what we see is a system not built for people of color, or
the poor, or young people. i don't understand why people continue to avoid this, why she even minced words and double spoke there about the case. we cannot mince words about this. we're talking in a real way about power. young people have no power in this state. power is the ability to act, to transform your future. power is the ability to influence somebody to move. and for years in florida, young people have not had that power. people of color have not had that power rated so what we have seen, judges feeling like they can prosecute inordinate amount of people to long sentences, prosecutors said. do their jobs, communities that don't feel safe. i think we need to look at the environment that created the situation that group george
zimmerman and snuffed out trayvon martin. you have to look at criminalization, the fact our students are pumped out of our schools at record rates for small offenses. you have to look at florida which charges more young people with misdemeanors than anybody else. i think if you look at ranking florida only leads in one way, and that is the poor to prison pipeline -- school to prison pipeline. it, but the avoid fact is, our society programs people to be afraid of young people of color, specifically. you have got to look at the thatnuing open season stand your ground allows, for anybody, because i feel some amount of fear about you. i look at you and i feel that you look like a gang member i saw on television. i can arm myself and take action against you and take your life. we're seeing in environment right now where young people are being snuffed out.
i don't understand how in america we can be happy with an environment, with the generation of young people who are supposed to be our future, where we are monetizing them and we are killing them. we spoke about chicago where i am from, and we see every week it is the headline about young people that are being snuffed out there. this is a new day in america. young people aren't going to take this for much longer. as dream defenders, we believe in nonviolence and peace, and we are going to continue that and continue to support that area did you have millions of young people out here that have the civil rights movement as a blueprint. they have history as our compass and we will use that with the technology we have today to move some of these people out. should feel safe pandering to young people anymore because it isn't going to happen that way. you are either on our side or against us. >> what is your plan for tomorrow, for tuesday? >> we're going to take over the capital.
we are calling all young people from around florida join us in that. we are going to call on congress , who was on a break right now, to come and address the rampant issue that creating george zimmerman and exonerated george zimmerman. reale talking about in a way is criminalization. we are talking about school to prison pipeline, zero-tolerance policies which are the reason is that of being in a restorative justice program in high school that trayvon martin was in the dead of night going to a store in orlando instead of being at his high school in miami. we are going to ask our commerce people to address stand your ground, which may not have had as much influence on this but creates an open season for young people of color. we're going to address the law enforcement who uses racial profiling to create a dragnet over our communities and strike fear in our communities. we're going to call on our congress people to come back to work because though george
zimmerman was found guilty, florida is very guilty. >> we're going to take a break and then come back and also going to be joined by lisa graves of the center for media and democracy, who for the last year has been investigating alec . we're going to talk about the stand your ground law in florida and around the country, not that it was used in the actual trial, it was in the initial rationale for not arresting george zimmerman. we're going to talk about gun violence, especially as you say, chicago, the record number of shootings and killings just in that one city alone. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back with our guest in a moment. ♪ [music break]
the killing of trayvon martin is not just about race, it is also about the regulation of guns in this country. we turn now to look at florida's stand your ground law. under the law, which was approved in 2005 and has been copied in some form by about 30 other states, people fearing for their lives can use deadly force without having to retreat from a confrontation even went it's possible. torch zimmerman's attorneys did not use the strand your ground defense. up sunday at one of the verdicts. this is a demonstrator named jonathan addressing the crowd. >> alec is a political lobbying group. they write laws and give them to republicans. bynd your ground was written
alec. alec is funded by the coke druthers. -- koch brother. ouris funding us question all this money in society, who is funding justice? i am jonathan. i have two sons. i want my sons to live. >> for more on the stand your ground laws and now the secretive right-wing american legislative exchange council, or alec, has used its network of money and influence to push for the law, we are joined in addition to fill up and reverend jesse jackson, by lisa graves, video stream. she's executive director for the center for media and democracy and publisher of pr watchdog.org .
she has written extensively about the history of the nra alec done agenda. welcome back to democracy now! stand yourk about ground? most people probably think that was the defense of george zimmerman in the trial, though in fact, it wasn't written why is it significant? >> even though the defense in the zimmerman case did not ask for the legal grant of immunity that that law would have intentionally given him, the fact is the nra through changing that law in florida, through getting stand your ground and acted in florida in 2005, the jury instructions changed. popular to sayis it was not an issue in the case, in fact, it was. the jury instructions were that zimmerman had no duty to retreat and a right to stand his ground including using deadly force.
those jury instructions incorporate the stand your ground law. i think that is significant. it is also significant that law, which affects the definition of us to follow homicide, has been enacted in state after state in more than two dozen states that the urging of the nra and the american legislative exchange council. we've have also seen an increase during this time in the number of claims of justifiable homicide. that law which was secretly voted on in a closed-door meeting in texas in 2005 after passing in florida, ratified by alec committee headed by walmart come of the largest seller of ammunition in the country -- retail ammunition in the world -- that law actually makes it difficult for families to get justice in civil court. what it does is says the family of a shooting victim must pay
the shooters legal fees and lost wages if the judge in a civil the georgelly grants zimmerman had immunity because he had a right to stand his ground and that he was in in the justified killing. basically the nra and alec put their thumb on justice in favor of the shooter. that the family would be required to pay the killer of their child if they don't prevail in the civil suit, if the court rules on stand your ground and favor of george zimmerman, is astonishing to me. clearly, the jury was instructed that george zimmerman a duty to not retreat and had no duty to retreat and a right to stand his ground, the express words, even though law-enforcement agency urged him to stay in his car and not pursue trayvon martin. that night in florida, one man, in my view, was looking for
trouble and one kid was just looking for home. that kid was trying to find his way home to his dad's house. but another man armed with a deadly weapon ignored police dispatcher that he stay in this car. florida law and the law in dozens of states in the country have changed to say people like zimmerman have no duty to retreat and a right to stand their ground. and that puts many, many people in this country in danger. >> just let me read a little bit more, the instructions to the jury. they were told that is what the jury was instructed. this is significant what you're
saying, lisa, because we understand the two legal areurces can now be had possibly the justice department, the shareholders said it would take a high bar to bring civil rights charges, and the family of trayvon martin suing george zimmerman. you are actually saying under this law that if they do not win that suit, they could be forced to pay the legal bills of george zimmerman. >> that is correct. i think it is fundamentally immoral. even though the defense attorneys did not ask for immunity in the criminal trial, there is nothing that precludes them from making that request in the civil trial and nothing necessarily that would preclude the judge to grant the request. the stateat nra got of florida just change in law. even though alec --
those laws remain in effect and i think they put everyone in danger. >> in the heat of all of the trayvon martin case, i want to turn to a clip from the nra's annual meeting in april. chris cox vowing to defend stand your ground laws. [inaudible] we stand in strong defense of any effort to allow law-abiding people to defend themselves against criminal acts. efforts,efend our defend those laws. chief lobbyist for the nra, chris cox.
i want to ask reverend jesse jackson, you live in a city of great gun violence. june 17, gun violence was rampant. one headline over the weekend, with the shootings of at least 36 people, seven were killed. the violence following the six- month anniversary of the newtown massacre. mean, george zimmerman, if he had not had a gun that night, who knows if he would have even stepped out of his car? maybe he would not have had the kurds without a gun to do that. certainly, would not have been able to kill trayvon martin. more ignorance, more fear, more gun, more violence. 1000 people have been shot or killed in the first six months of this year. in chicago, there are more gun ranges and any fractures. guns are made in the suburbs. guns are coming in. we know where the guns are sold for he and we know the gun route.
guns and drugs from across the border, homes for closed violence becomes like a mosquito but the swamp of unemployment and poverty, expulsion from school and the like lend itself to a kind of -- there is no plan for reconstruction. there is evidence of the deeper problem. agnew,l word to philip what does your t-shirt, your hat says "power," your t-shirt says -- >> can we dream together? >> we are moving into the 50th anniversary of the "i have a dream" speech. august 28 on the mall, 19 63. there will be a large gathering. and you're saying trayvon's parents will be there and people are going to coalesce -- many people are saying trayvon's
parents will be there and people are going to coalesce around back killing as well as the historic address. i think we have history as it ismpass three at proving upon us to build upon that history and really build something new upon what has been built. and we see with what alec the nra and the republicans have done and what the democrats have allowed to be done is a rollback of our civil rights and a dehumanizing of young people. take charge do is of our future. take the torch if it is not being handed, take it and get that to move in a way allows us to inherit america that looks like the america that we want. >> philip agnew, thank you for being with us. we have to wrap up the show. reverend jesse jackson in chicago and lisa graves. to a, a fond farewell