Curtis Sliwa of the Guardian Angels explains to CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien what George Zimmerman did wrong in his Neighborhood Watch role.
Sliwa says, "[Zimmerman] did nothing right except wake up early that day and begin to stalk people that, through his paranoia, he thought were looking to commit crime on his compound, a self-appointed watchman. Now, for 33 years, I've developed Guardian Angels, an unarmed safety patrol, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, now in 17 countries, 140 cities. And to have to suddenly be referred to as Zimmerman - and not just me, Block Watch, Crime Watch, we have hundreds of thousands of Americans, every day and night, risking their lives, going out for no pay as volunteers, protecting Americans like all of you and not asking anything in return. And the other day I'm speaking in a high school in New Jersey and the youngsters go, oh, you're just like Zimmerman. I wanted to impale myself right there. I said wait a second, you know, I've buried six Guardian Angels who have been shot and killed in the line of duty. I was stalked myself, had a gunman go pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, five hollow point bullets, God save me. What do you think this is? This isn't Zimmerman. But unfortunately, he's become the face of Block Watch, Crime Watch."
Beyond Trayvon: Race & Justice In America airs Friday, March 30th at 8p ET on CNN.
Benjamin Crump, attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, sits down with CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien to discuss details of the case.
Crump says, "The phone records and at 7:12 was [Trayvon's girlfriend DeeDee's) last call to him. The phone calls lasts for four minutes. At 7:17, according to the police records, they got to the scene and Trayvon was shot and killed on the ground. And that tells us a lot. It tells us that she heard some part of the conversation that happened between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. And what she heard was not him coming to identify himself as in a neighborhood association captain or anything like that. He said, "What are you doing around here?" As to suggest that he didn’t have a right to be here."
Beyond Trayvon: Race & Justice In America airs March 30th at 8p ET on CNN.
Thursday night Piers Morgan sat down exclusively with George Zimmerman's brother Robert Zimmerman. Robert shared with Piers how he is handling the current situation facing his family. Credible death threats are a concern for the Zimmerman family.
"I can tell you that I myself have been contacted by law enforcement because there was credible intelligence that could threaten me," he says. Robert noted that he looks a lot like his brother and people easily confuse them.
The Zimmerman family has not been very outspoken since Trayvon Martin died because of the ongoing investigation. "The people who love and support George, his family namely, also respect the system, the judicial system and the legal system that we have in America."
But who is the real George Zimmerman? "He's the neighbor that everybody would want to have," Robert explains. "He goes out of his way to help people he always has."
CNN’s Drew Griffin and Randi Kaye host a three-story magazine program this weekend that includes a report by Kaye on “The Scary Guy,” a former tattoo-artist turned anti-bullying speaker whose credentials have come under question – and two Minnesota schools who hired him are taking two different approaches to their bullying challenges. Also, an investigation by Griffin into how far some colleges will go in their pursuit of the NCAA’s March Madness tournament – and the strikingly low graduation rate of basketball players, and correspondent Chris Lawrence profiles Aquille Carr, a 5’7’’ high school basketball player and YouTube sensation who his dreams of NBA stardom while avoiding the drug and crime problems that befall others in his hometown of east Baltimore, MD.
This edition of CNN PRESENTS will replay Saturday, April 07 at 8:00pm and 11:00pm ET & PT.
Retired officer Lou Palumbo joins the Starting Point panel of CNN contributor Will Cain, National Urban League President Marc Morial and political comedian John Fugelsang, to discuss the possible influence George Zimmerman's dad, a judge, had on charges in the Trayvon Martin case.
Palumbo says, "I don't want to taint this for you any further. But Zimmerman's father is also a judge. If you look at the Van Der Sloot case in Aruba where we had some influence with the father. You may have the same thing going on here."
After Cain disagrees with the comparison, Palumbo adds, “What would be so surprising? I can tell you this right now. I’m a little reluctant but I’ll just tell you that. Every time we run into people in our own community, the law enforcement community, we show them difference. Lawyers do it. Doctors do it. What would make you think the judicial system would not do it for a judge? I’m confused.”
Cain responds, “Logic.”
Palumbo answers, “Logic? This whole case is devoid of logic.”
Cain states, “You have two individual circumstances and drawing a parallel. Two anecdotal individual circumstances and drawing a parallel, it just simply doesn’t give you evidence to add them together.”
Fugelsang adds, “So, Trayvon may have had weed in his bag once and that's relevant. But the fact that a shooter's father is a judge, that's not relevant?”
Cain responds, “Let’s make one thing clear to you, have I ever sat this table with you and suggest that Trayvon’s marijuana residue is relevant here?”
Fugelsang says, “We're talking about logic, Will. We’re talking about logic. It is a debate worthy of discussion.”
Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.
On Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, former Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) shares some stories from his new book "Life Among The Cannibals," including memories of Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
Specter says, "I like to use a little humor. I think if you can get people to laugh, you can get people to listen."
Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.
Dave Kopel, NRA member and author of “Firearms Law & the Second Amendment,” states Florida “Stand Your Ground” law does not protect George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin shooting.
Kopel says, “Florida law is very clear. On self-defense the Florida law, the basic standard is the same as it is in all 50 states, that you can only use when you're in a public place deadly force and self-defense if you are the victim of an eminent attack that could kill you or cause brave bodily injury or if violent forcible felony. Those are the only circumstances in which a person in a public place in Florida can use deadly force in self-defense.”
He adds, “I think if you actually read what the law says, it doesn't apply in this situation. The stand-your-ground law is about when a person who is a victim of a violent attack, under what circumstances do they have a duty to retreat rather than take action to defend themselves? If Zimmerman is the aggressor in this case then he wasn't the victim. And since he wasn't the victim, he had no right to self-defense at all, and the issue of whether he should retreat or not wouldn't - has nothing to do with it.”
Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET.
A new eyewitness – who has never told their story and actually saw the shooting take place – spoke to Anderson about what happened the night Trayvon Martin was shot. The eyewitness – who has asked to remain anonymous – says George Zimmerman didn't seem hurt when he got up after struggle.
Former chair-person of the NAACP, Dr. Julian Bond says it's "scary" the National Organization for Marriage thinks they can move African Americans around like chess pieces. He is referring to a disturbing internal memo from the National Organization for Marriage which plans to recruit African Americans as spokespeople to oppose gay marriage – and provoke the gay marriage base to call those people bigots and thus “drive a wedge between gays and blacks”.
The attorney representing Robert Bales, the American soldier accused of shooting and killing 17 civilians in Afghanistan says his client has memory problems that have kept him from explaining what may have happened the night of the shooting spree. Bales, his lawyer says, also can't remember what–if any–medications he was taking.
As for defending Bales, attorney John Henry Browne says PTSD will certainly play a role, but for prosecutors, it will be a "tough case to prove."