tv The Last Word MSNBC March 29, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
rachel will be back tomorrow. i'll see you on "up." it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell". have a great day. breaking news tonight in the case of the killing of trayvon martin. the shooter's brother has just given an interview with what is now the family version of what happened to george zimmerman before he decided to pull the trigger. >> george was out of breath, he was barely conscious. his last thing he remembers doing was moving his head from the concrete to the grass so that if he was banged one more time he wouldn't be, you know, wearing diapers for the rest of his life and being spoon fed by his brother and there would be have george dead. >> but also tonight a new witness gave this description of george zimmerman immediately after the fatal shot was fired. >> that he was walking towards where i was watching and i could
see him a little bit clearer and see that it was a hispanic man and he was -- he didn't appear hurt or anything else. >> and we now have another angle of that sanford police department video showing george zimmerman's condition when he was brought to the police department just 4 minute -- 34 after the fatal shooting. joining me is darryl parkson, joy anne reed and msnbc contributor and editorial writer for "the new york times" and jonathan kaypart and msnbc political analyst. charles blow, in the developments that we've heard with witnesses tonight, we're hearing from george zimmerman's brother, something very similar to what we heard his father say in a fox -- local fox interview last night. i want everyone to listen to what his father said about what happened to his son and the
beating -- his version of that last night. >> after nearly a minute of being beaten, george was trying to get his head off the concrete, trying to move with trayvon on him into the grass. in doing so, his firearm was shown. trayvon martin said something to the effect of "you're going to die now or you're going to die tonight," something to that effect. >> charles, i was struck in tonight's interview with the brother that the more you watch it, the longer it went on, the more practiced and rehearsed it seemed to be. >> see, what we have to remember, we have a real danger of getting lost in -- >> it doesn't mean it's not true but it was a very ready performance. >> right, but these are not witnesses. these are proxies for george
zimmerman. and -- >> but importantly from an evidentiary standpoint they are claiming george zimmerman told me this. his brother says, my brother told me this. his father says, my son told me this. >> right. >> so this is high quality in terms of george zimmerman testimonial evidence. >> well, right, but what we have -- what you have to do in parsing what they're saying is you see a shift away from trayvon martin was pummeling so much that that was going to lead to my death, now that we see that the marks on his face and his back do not look at least from what we can see from grainy video to be life-threatening, that he is walking of his own volition, that there is now a witness who says he pops up, springs up right after the shooting and what he's on the top or on the bottom, we don't know but it doesn't look like he was within an inch of his life so now both last night and
tonight you hear this new emphasis on he went for my gun, which is a kind of a legal tactical change which says even if he was not going to kill me with force, he may have been trying to kill me with a weapon and that is why i used my weapon to defend myself and, but, see, what we have to remember is we need to move this thing out of the court of public opinion and into a courtroom where people are under oath, are being cross-examined because what we have right now did a bunch of people coming out and giving george's version of the story. >> and jonathan, when you get to that for rum, you get to make some credibility assessments of people and get to notice things about testimony in detail. it is interesting that they've had a month and george zimmerman's father actually released a public statement fairly early in this process asking for understanding and
extending his sad feelings for the family of trayvon martin but not saying as he presumably could have at that time if he's telling the truth now, trayvon martin tried to take my son's gun away. he had an opportunity to say that in his written statement. he had an opportunity to say, trayvon martin said this to my son before my son decided i'm going to have to kill him. >> uh-huh. and notice we're now hearing this after last week which was -- after charles' terrific op-ed in "the times" on that saturday, the firestorm that erupted over what happened to trayvon martin, go ahead, you got the statement from george zimmerman's father and then you got the push-back this week from, you know, some source within inside the sanford police department leaking george zimmerman's side of what happened. you have other people coming forward, joe oliver, coming
forward and saying, you know, my close friend would never do this and that we should trust his gut and things like that. yes, george zimmerman's father had the opportunity to say all of those things when he put that statement out. he did not and i think charles, you raise a very good point in terms of the shift in -- the shift in their story. >> the problem for them as they kept listening to this story is, hey, this doesn't sound too good. it's someone with a gun against a kid with skittles and iced tea. is there a way to get a gun to the kid with the skittles and the iced tea? well, there's this way. i want to bring in a ballistics expert, charles hass would worked for the nypd for 20 years, covered -- was in the ballistics department there, covered thousands of crime scenes, charles hass, we had some testimony as it were, television testimony from this witness who said it was very, very dark, he could not make out specifics very much of what he
was looking at in this altercation. he said one person was on top of the other very clearly. it was his sense, but he couldn't be absolutely sure of it that it was the person on top who did the shooting. and when asked if he saw, which is a relevant ballistics question, if he saw any sort of flame, any sort of spark or anything that might have emerged from the end of a barrel of a gun he said he couldn't see that. with this 9 mm weapon that we know was used in this incident, would you see any sort of flame, any sort of spark emerging from the barrel of that gun? >> in the darkness, yes, you -- under normal conditions you would see muzzle flash, but what we have to take into consideration here is the position of the witness in relationship to the two people on the ground. if the firearm were between the two people and the witness could
not actually see the firearm t but -- then the muzzle flash could have been hidden between -- by the person that's on top, also, if the firearm were in contact or close contact to trayvon martin as it was fired, that would also reduce or eliminate the muzzle flash. >> and charles, if you were the ballistics officer responding to this scene, what would you want to gather in terms of evidence and what would you be looking for? what would you suspect would be involved in something like this and how would you interact with other investigative teammates there? >> well, one of the things i would definitely want to see would be the clothing, trayvon martin's clothing to see at this particular distance there is going to be some type of gunshot residue on the clothing and/or
the actual torso of trayvon martin. so i would want to be examining that and then be able to duplicate the gunshot residue pattern to be able to determine how far away the firearm was from trayvon when it was fired and then working hand in hand with other investigators would be the ballistics crime scene detective would then relay that information to people at the scene who would be interviewing witnesses so -- and so then be able to see if witnesses were telling the truth, if some witness was saying they were ten feet away but there was gunshot residue on the shirt, then we know that that's not a good witness so ballistics and crime scene detectives at the scene work very closely to responding detectives. >> when you combine a ballistics report with an autopsy report,
in some of these cases you get 80% of the story right there. >> oh, absolutely. the medical examiner obviously they do an in-depth examination under perfect conditions in the medical examiner's office under great lighting, which is a whole lot better than doing it in outside at night in the rain. >> charles haase, thank you very much for joining us. we're joined by darryl parks. he is a forensic expert in such cases. going to take a look at the video on this, i'm sorry, darryl parks is a lawyer representing the martin family. i'm sorry, we got our introductions confused. what do you make of what you've heard from this new witness that emerged tonight, not a lot of specifics in terms of sharp
images that were -- the witness was able to convey. >> well, first of all, it shows that there's a very skilled strategy on the part of the zimmerman family to defend him and to put together a very calculated defense for him. as you listen to this witness, he is very nonspecific, sometimes refers to his brother. i think that at the end of the day, the facts in this case are what we're going to have to follow, the 911 tape, i think the ballistics aspects of it are going to be very important and we think that the eyewitnesses are extremely important because even the eyewitnesses who have come out today clearly show that they were on the grass and in the tape that we saw from yesterday, we don't see any great injuries that they're claiming. they're claiming that he was beaten almost to unconsciousness and as you look at him get out of that police cruiser, he does not look like a person who had been beaten to almost
unconsciousness. >> that beating would have been 35 minutes before you see him with perfect balance, step out of the backseat of a police cruiser handcuffed alone with no help. and the witness that emerged tonight said immediately after the shooting he just got up and he, quote, he didn't appear hurt or anything else. and, in fact, that witness remarked at how quickly, how quickly george zimmerman got up seconds -- within seconds after that shot was fired and that was part of what indicated to this witness that zimmerman was probably on top, the ease and the speed with which he stood right up. >> i have to agree with that. you know, when you listen to that witness, who had a pretty good view and seems very certain, especially as he talks about how as the shooter walked toward him and he got a better view it was clear to him it was mr. zimmerman. mr. zimmerman has done a crime
and should be arrested. >> i want to bring in joann reed covering this for "the griq." there's something in the father's statement in the interview he gave last week where he kept talking about george saw trayvon walking behind the town houses. why he used that phrase repeatedly, walking behind the town houses and he said there was something very, very suspicious about him walking behind the town houses. you've been to that location and in all the layouts that i've seen of that location, there are paved walkways behind the townhouses -- and we see right now the image of the shooting scene. tell us what it's like right down there on that spot. >> right, well, lawrence, the only place behind the town houses that really is significant to this case is where the actual shooting took place. it it took place twiendz two
homes with backyards facing one another. the problem for what george zimmerman's father is saying is that the point of the pursuit on the other side is all front yards so if george zimmerman were coming from his home at the back of the complex and driving toward the front of the complex, all he'd see are front yards and connected town homes so it would be difficult to see anyone behind them. >> joy-ann, we have the tape showing how this happened. it's less than a minute. i want to show the audience that to get this orientation and see this place that the zimmerman father tries to make sound like a very mysterious dark alley that people should not be walking at. let's take a look at your tape on this. >> trayvon martin would have come down this lane attempting to flee from george zimmerman. zimmerman had pursued him in his suv from the clubhouse just down there up to this point where both zimmerman and trayvon would have been on foot. trayvon would have come around this lane attempting to get all the way down to the end which is
where he was going. if you come down this lane you can see just how close trayvon was to home. he was headed just down to the end where his father's girlfriend lived. the actual contact between zimmerman and trayvon martin would have taken place right here behind this home. according to the 911 calls people were saying i hear screaming outside my home. i hear a fight going on. and then people reported, of course, hearing gunshots. that fight would have taken place right here. trayvon's body was found face down in the grass with george zimmerman standing nearby. so this is the area where trayvon actually died. >> joy-ann, do you dr. an understanding of how far from that paved walkway was trayvon's body found? >> well, that's another interesting thing because you do see as you guys were talking about earlier as charles blow mentioned earlier you see the narrative being shaped to try to fit the facts because the facts are that trayvon martin's body was found face down with his face in the grass. so his feet would have been
toward the concrete. so then you'd have to explain how george zimmerman was having his head bashed in on the concrete but trayvon ended up 180-degree turn with that with his feet 20rds the concrete and he ended up face down so the concrete is down the middle between the grassy backyards which are all common and by the way, lawrence, you know, people who live there have said to local reporters that's where the kids go and walk their dogs. that's where the children who live in the community play football together. it's not a sinister behind the -- >> there are trash receptacles for people walking there. it's very clearly not some sort of sinister area and as you point out -- >> and there's a sidewalk. >> it is the direct route to where trayvon martin would walk to go home. it also shows in the diagram just how far george zimmerman had to run from his car to the -- the car had to be parked out on that street. he had to run around the corner of the building, take two turns
to get up that pathway that far away from a car in order to have this altercation and contact in the first place. we're going to have to take a break right here. daryl park, before we go, i want to ask you when you hear all of this talk about the pavement and how the zimmerman family accounts all require -- they require, they demand that the pavement of that walkway be under george zimmerman's head, that is a mandatory element of their story in order to have the kind of head injury that gave george zimmerman the feeling that his life was at risk, a head injury for which as far as we can tell there is absolutely no evidence on the police video at the police station, does it sound to you like since the zimmerman family hired a lawyer for george, the evidence, the story that is coming from them is much more elaborate, much
more containing much more helpful detail to the theory of the case presented by george zimmerman, all of which, by the way, if true would have been helpful to present in that very first public statement that george zimmerman's father made. >> well, it's rather clear that this particular family as time has gone gotten far more sophisticated in the story they're trying to present. there are many problems, though. the story they're trying to present doesn't match what the witnesses are seeing, doesn't match what we know from the 911 tapes, it is totally inconsistent, some of the evidence you just presented here today, the long distance that he had to walk all the way down into the paths, the alleyway behind the town homes clearly indicates and corrects what zimmerman said himself when he says that he had to -- the guy was following him back to the truck, well, his truck was a distance away and trayvon was almost home, so that's a total contradiction, but even more
importantly, though, it doesn't make sense. i mean, for folks have to use their common sense. this is not adding up, folks and also why -- i mean he tries to say that trayvon went for his gun, trayvon had iced tea and skittles. that's all he had. this guy was walking around with a 9 mm weighs almost 100 pounds more than trayvon. this guy was a vigilante. i mean, he took this situation to what it is now and he killed trayvon. >> daryl park, thank you very much for joining me tonight, the rest of the crew is going to stay with me. another point i want to make just before we go to this break is that george zimmerman's father keeps using the word walk. he never says run. he never allows for the possibility that george zimmerman ran after trayvon. now, trayvon's running away. how do you follow someone who is running away? you do that by running and we hear him on the 911 call, we
hear the breath of a person running but the zimmerman family cannot allow for the possibility that he was running. there's a tailoring of every little verb, every little fact to be it seems to me at this stage of the story a little too neat. that's my little summation of this particular segment. we're going to be back with much more on the killing of trayvon martin and many more people you haven't heard from yet that you'll need to hear from to understand where this stands tonight. ♪ when your chain of supply goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ clearing customs like that hurry up no time flat that's logistics. ♪ ♪ all new technology ups brings to me, that's logistics. ♪ and who ordered the yummy cereal? yummy. [ woman ] lower cholesterol.
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you're looking at the full video of george zimmerman arriving at a police station. we now see more than one angle. we have two different angles of george zimmerman being escorted out of that police car. later in the tape zimmerman is led inside the station and then into a room at the end of a long hallway where he was presumably interrogated by police investigators. we have two former police officers with us now. eugene o'donnell returning to the show, former nypd police officer and prosecutor, also, joining us by phone grant fredericks who is a forensic crime scene analyst, expert in analyzing video. grant fredericks, this is our first chance to ask you about this video. what do you think of the relevant points to gather from what you've seen on this video? >> well, i think from the video itself it's pretty clear that mr. zimmerman is able to exit the police vehicle without any
assistance. he stands at ease and freely one point of i think important note is that one of the police officers appears to examine the back of his head, which indicates there's something there and he did state that he was injured in the back of his head although the video doesn't show any injury it doesn't mean that there wasn't any. the video is highly compressed. kind of an odd way to release images to the public, the way that the police department did it. the video has been produced in an odd way that makes the objects look a little bit different, in other words, the video has been squished in this case and so mr. zimmerman appears to be skinny, you know, thinner than he actually is. if the video is analyzed and examined properly it's actually -- >> i think we have -- i think we have a version of it that you've restored to the way it would actually give us the realistic image. i think we're going to see that
now. >> you know, so what you're -- if you're looking at the image, what you're seeing is that on one side you see an image of mr. zimmerman who appears to be quite thin. the other image shows that he is actually thicker in stature and weight and so, you know -- >> can we bring that up full screen. don't put it on those little boxes. push that up full screen. it looks like we can't do that. i hope everyone at home has big tvs so you can see this image. >> i don't think this was done for any nefarious purpose but simply someone who produced it didn't know how to -- >> do you think there's any manipulation of this video, not illegitimate but proper manipulation that could answer the question about whether there's any injury on the back of the head of george zimmerman? >> well, look, you know, let me be clear, what was given to the public and to the media through youtube, the way that they released it is not the best evidence. so it's not something that they would actually have.
what the police have is something with much more detail. but even given that, they would obviously have taken their own photographs, they wouldn't be relying on surveillance videos set up to protect property in -- >> let me quickly ask you and go to eugene odow'donnell on this . we see that moment where one of the officers rubs the garment of george zimmerman then he wipes something off of his hand. just police procedure that you're watching there. what's your satisfaction level with the police procedure you're seeing? >> sorry, are you asking me. >> yes, grant, go ahead. >> yeah, well, you know normally at a crime scene if we arrest somebody in a homicide scene we're going to be bagging their hands and bagging their feet or seizing their shoe, not allowing them to walk around and i do note as he walks away from the carport area and into the building, he actually rubs his feet and wipes his feet off on a
mat at the police department. now, those shoes contain evidence. they may contain he had of blood spatter that might be on his shoes if there's an allegation that he was kicked or kicking. if he was injured 24r8d be his blood perhaps or maybe mr. martin's blood if he was bleeding so the fact that they've allowed him to wipe off evidence, you know is questionable but i think your other guest might speak more to police procedure. >> what you've seen in this video a lot, we got additional images of it tonight, we're now learning those officers, they should have bagged his feet. they should have got complete control of his clothing. >> the idea they made a summary judgment and not perceived this case and how you're seeing -- >> do you get the feeling when you watch that behavior in the station with them getting out of the car, these are officers who already understand nothing is going to happen here. we don't even have to be careful of how this guy walks, we can walk in front of him. we don't have to worry if he
might kick us. no sense that something urgent or tense is going on. >> i think there is a view of that video that suggests he doesn't -- he doesn't appear to be -- he feels like he's not -- it doesn't seem like a strange place to him. it seems like -- it doesn't look like the typical homicide suspect being taken into custody. >> he certainly looks like -- look, it's hard to judge a guy in that state of trauma possibly but could also be given a sense there's nothing terribly much at risk here. we'll be back with much more and much more of the new material that's been developed today in the killing of trayvon martin. open up. we have come for the foul, unholy beast. the one with the red markings. the miracle whip? stand aside that we may burn it. [ indistinct shouting ] have you ever tried it? it's actually quite sweet... and tangy. ♪ i like sweet things.
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we have breaking news developments tonight in the case of the killing of trayvon martin. a new witness has emerged. you'll hear more about that and another member of the zimmerman family, this time, george zimmerman's brother, spoke tonight giving new elms of the what is now become the family story of what happened that night before george zimmerman decided to pull the trigger to shoot and kill trayvon martin. the mayor of sanford, florida, the current mayor of sanford, florida, was elected over a year ago when the last police chief, before bill lee, when they had other police problems there, that last police chief was removed from office, this new mayor who has been there a relatively short time has been through more police trouble than you could imagine most mayors having to deal with.
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the mayor of sanford, florida, jeff triplett cast one of the votes of no confidence against sanford police chief bill lee removing him from office. mayor jeff triplett joins us now. mayor triplett, with the emergence of the police video showing george zimmerman just a little more than a half hour after he fired the fatal shots in this case, the shots that changed life in your town, what is your reaction to the release of this video and what you're seeing in the video? >> you know, it's interesting to me, it causes more questions than it actually does answers as far as i'm concerned. you know, and this is the exact reason why we've gone out to the, you know, to the department of justice and the fdle to
review our practices and policies and to take a look at how we've handled this investigation since day one. i'm not an attorney or a law enforcement officer. i'm the mayor, so i'd hate to form an opinion as to exactly my thoughts and opinions about that. >> george zimmerman's father said something in an interview last night, a local interview down there which i'm sure you've seen which actually moved his comment into the political arena which is your arena. i want to play this for you. i want you to listen to this. >> i don't feel good but i guess he would have preferred my son being beaten to death. i never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, congress at black caucus, the naacp, every organization imaginable is trying to get notoriety or profit from this in some way, but there's so much hate that i've never been
involved in hate and george hasn't and it's really unbelievable. >> what is your reaction to him saying i never saw so much hate coming from the president? >> did he say the president? same sorry. i had a hard time hearing it. >> i never foresaw so much hate coming from the president. he then went on to say never saw so much hate coming from the president, the congressional black caucus, the naacp, every organizational -- organization imaginable is trying to gain notoriety or profit from this. i've never foresaw so much hate coming from the president. did you think that it would come to this? >> no, i never thought that it would come to this and, in fact, you know, that's obviously everyone has a right to their own opinion, but i got to be
honest with you, you know, going through this since i've gotten involved, i've had some great conversations with the lot of those leaders that he's talking about. >> jeff, mayor, triplett, you made a trip up to washington to speak to the justice department. you sought the interaction and help of the federal government in this. everyone's entitled to an opinion. some things simply are not true and live beyond the realm of opinion. for a person to say no matter how they are related to this case i never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, is that an opinion you think someone is entitled to in this case. >> no matter whether you like him or not he's still our president and deserves the ultimate level of respect as far as i'm concerned. >> mayor triplett, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i know how hard it is for you to get to our position to deal with these things for us. thank you very much.
>> thanks for having me, sir. >> coming up, george zimmerman's father says he spoke to a television reporter against the advice of the police. the police are giving him advice on how to handle himself. that's going to be next. ore surg is that brushing alone isn't enough to keep it clean. fortunately, you've got listerine. unlike brushing which misses 75% of your mouth, listerine cleans virtually your entire mouth. so what are you waiting for? it's time to take your mouth to a whole new level of health. listerine... power to your mouth. also try listerine zero, for the clean feel of listerine with a less intense taste.
we have breaking news developments tonight in the killing of trayvon martin. a new witness has emerged who saw much of what took place. now valuable witness. we also have what seems to be developing as the family story of why george zimmerman pulled the trigger in his decision to shoot and kill trayvon martin. that's coming up. and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. and it's steroid-free.
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the all-new 2013 lexus gs. there's no going back. see your lexus dealer. we know that if we weren't sitting here talking about george shooting trayvon, we'd be talking about trayvon shooting george. >> george was trying to get his head off the concrete, trying to move with trayvon on him into the grass. in doing so his firearm was shown. trayvon martin said something to the effect of, you're going to die now or you're going to die tonight. >> george was out of breath. he was barely conscious. his last thing he remembers doing was moving his head from the concrete to the grass so that if he was banged one more
time he wouldn't be, you know, wearing diapers for the rest of his life and being spoon fed by his brother and there would have been george dead. >> we're joined now on the phone by a paramedic, a new york paramedic, brandon smith. branden smith, you've listened to this evidence in this discussion about banging george zimmerman's head against the pavement. what would you expect to find as a paramedic arriving on a scene with that kind of injury? >> with any sort of head trauma like that, i mean, you're going to see an altered level of consciousness. you're going to see possibly some vomiting, might have orientation with his surroundings. >> if he was very blooded at the scene, when you see this video, if he was very bloodied with a broken nose, bloody nose if he had fired a shot where there could have been blood spattered
on him, would you have as a paramedic have been able to clean him up so that he would look absolutely flawless on this videotape? >> the first thing that we do is we control any sort of major bleeding, and then if somebody has a suspected head injury, what we would do is you would perform a spinal mobilization typically and bring the person to the hospital because it could be a closed head injury or it could be a concussion, it could possibly result in intracranial pressure which leads to possibly death and i mean just watch the video is kind of amazed that this individual didn't go to the hospital for an evaluation. >> brandon smith, thank you very much for joining us tonight. charles blow, matt lauer conducted a great interview today with george zimmerman's lawyer, the guy would failed to show up here and matt asked all the questions i wanted to ask and got some of the answers but
mostly no answers. for example, matt said to him, mr. zimmerman said he was treated for a broken nose. wouldn't he have x-rays that showed the nose is broken. wouldn't he have his own records of what -- how he was treated and the lawyer says, i'm not going to litigate this case in the media. in other words, the lawyer is asked do you possess medical records of this trip you people seem to be suggesting occurred the day after to a hospital or a doctor. can you show us anything. the lawyer had nothing to show. >> right. right. but see, here's the thing. everybody is tired. get this guy charged. get this guy into a courtroom so that we can subpoena all the records. if you have a broken nose, that broken nose will show up two years from now. all that sort of thing, you'll find out. if they took pictures, if he has lacerations, we would know that. if there is grass stains on -- which we don't see, unless they have a giant tide stain stick in the back of that cruiser, to get
rid of all that grass stain, we should see it. we need to see this in a courtroom and i am still trying to figure out what is the burden at which they will say, we have enough. we don't have to have conclusive evidence that none of it corrects our case. we just have to have enough that supports our case to bring this before a jury. and i do not understand how we don't have enough at this point. are we waiting for some sort of lazarus moment where we could go to the graveyard and ask this boy to spring up out of the grave and testify in his own behalf because that's not going to happen but we have enough evidence just based on what we've seen so far, we don't even need to know whether or not he's the only person screaming. it is completely possible that more than one person screamed. somebody can scream to say, help me keep this kid down. somebody can scream when the guy pulls out a gun and says, you
know, please don't shoot me and both people could be hearing their loved one. we don't have to have that completely resolved. we just have to say, there's enough ambiguity here, there's enough contradiction here that we need to let a jury of his peers examine the evidence on the cross-examination. that's it. >> we're going to take a quick break here. eugene, before we go, what charles is pointing out is there's a difference between what is probable cause and what is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. you as a cop worked with trying to find probable cause. that was your job. as a prosecutor you were trying to find probable cause and evaluate whether you have proof beyond a reasonable doubt and seems to me proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard that was being used so far in this case to even get any process going. we got to leave it there and come right back with more on the killing of trayvon martin. nd pe? fight both fast with new tums freshers! concentrated relief that goes to work in seconds and freshens breath. new tums freshers.
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we have breaking news developments tonight in the killing of trayvon martin. we have full police video showing the various angles george zimmerman getting out of the police car arriving at the police station last night, george zimmerman's brother gave an interview tonight in which he made statements very similar to the interview his father gave last night and we also have a new witness emerging tonight with some eyewitness details and ear witness details of what happened. joined by an author, journalist and fellow at harvard university's institute of politics. we need fresh eyes and ears on this case here. the effect of this case and the way it's being both covered and perceived throughout the country is something that's hard to track especially here where we're delivering this news to
the country. what is your sense of the way this is being followed and what people are focusing on? >> well, one of the things i do is track social media and politics and one of the first things i did after this case started to gather some team is to -- if you go to farai.com, my personal website you'll see a twitter map of basically where trayvon is trending and it's very notable that it's really trending coastally, not so much in the middle of the country, i think that has to do with patterns of news coverage and also with political leanings and i'm really afraid that this case, you've talked about a lot of different testimony and a lot of it with, you know -- there's a lot of uncertainty to just to put it mildly and a lot of conflict. i'm afraid that our country will get very divided. the politics have come up. george zimmerman's father referenced the president. the president is someone who
when he was elected, people made a run on assault weapons assuming that he would change gun laws. so i think that the last person who could make a really strong statement in some ways is the president. so i'm looking at it from political angles, social media angles and also this is -- this should be in the end not just about justice for trayvon and a question of prosecution of zimmerman, it should be about the gun laws that exist in 20 states that are putting people's lives in danger. >> jonathan capehart, i hate making judgments about george zimmerman's father, but, you know, or his brother in a situation like this but there are things that happen in these cases and you watch people come forward and you give their statements and you have to make a judgment about it. this line he spoke, i never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, it won't surprise you that he's a registered republican? there was an ease in the way he
made that statement and the way it flowed. i'm not suggesting that registered republicans think that. but what happens? what happens in our politics when someone in that situation throws that bomb at the president? >> well, one, i don't know and if you know, please tell me, whether he just threw that out there voluntarily or if that was in response -- >> absolutely. he was asked how he feels. >> well, then -- >> how do you feel? how's it going in the family? i don't feel good. i guess people would rather my son be beaten to death. i never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the congressional black caucus, the naacp, every organization imaginable is trying to gain notoriety and profit from this. >> well, this -- well, that then -- >> how do you feel? that's -- >> that fits in with what seems to be this strategy on the part of the zimmermans, let's just put them all in there, the brother, the father, george
zimmerman through the police of deflecting. it's not about george, it's about trayvon. it's not about george, it's the atmosphere of hate, it's the president. it's look away from us, focus on these other things. i have to say and it's quite frightening that the level of sophistication coming from the zimmermans and how they're pursuing their own pr strategy is really -- it's really quite frightening. in the face of now video evidence, in the face of interviews done on this show and other shows that has people looking at the television, reading the stories and thinking, this doesn't make sense, how can these people still say this and i think maybe charles, you made this point at the beginning of the show, these folks are laying the groundwork for whatever prosecution comes -- if it comes down the road. they're making these very
systematic statements, programmed statements, a script even that down the road they think could help them. >> could i just say -- law enforcement to stay out of the issue of partisan politics, it's important that nobody picks sides. there's no side to pick here. what needs to happen here is justice. everybody is served by justice. it's not a zero sum game. getting justice for the martin family doesn't come at the expense of any other family. law enforcement has to stay focused and understand it's about justice. >> no professional in this case tried to drag the president into this case. a father who's in all sorts of trouble and emotional trouble did that. farai chidea, i'm sorry we didn't have more time. thank you all very much for joining me tonight. we'll continue this conversation of the case after this