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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Million Hoodie March for Trayvon

Aired March 21, 2012 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from Los Angeles. But on the other coast, breaking news. You are looking at two live pictures of a massive demonstration, as outrage grows coast to coast over the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Florida teen, by a Florida Neighborhood Watch captain.

And right now, this is Union Square. And I`ll tell you, as a New Yorker, this is the site of very, very famous protests over the centuries. Candiotti -- Susan Candiotti from CNN is right in the middle of it all.

Susan, we`re going to go to you right now. Tell us what`s going on. I understand that the slain young man`s parents just finished speaking.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They did just finish speaking, Jane, and it`s really got the crowd here fired up. Because the parents told the crowd here, and there are hundreds and hundreds of people filling Union Square here. The parents said how grateful they are that so many people showed up. That their heart is breaking. And that they are appreciating all the support that people here are showing.

What they`re trying to get here, Jane, is to get a total of one million signatures, and they say they`re halfway there, to sign a petition to send to the city of Sanford, Florida, asking the city commission, urging them to arrest the alleged shooter in this case, George Zimmerman. They`re saying that they want justice.

One of the people here this day is this woman, who lives in Harlem. You wish to go by your first initial, "A."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s right.

CANDIOTTI: What brought you here? What impassioned you, to bring you here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, first of all, when one of our sisters loses her son and her child in this kind of way, which is just totally senseless, it touches me.

CANDIOTTI: What do you think about what the Martins said?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About whom?

CANDIOTTI: What do you think about what Trayvon`s parents said?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think his parents, first of all, are tremendously strong. I agreed with everything that they had to say. I am just happy that they took the time to come and see how NYC, our hood, Brooklyn, Harlem, uptown, you name it, came out in support of what`s right, what`s good, and what`s responsible as opposed to what they can see and hear about -- the time otherwise.

CANDIOTTI: We hear from authorities that a grand jury is going to be considering information about this. What confidence do you have in that grand jury?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we`ll see. I mean, I admit I am a bit skeptical. I can be cynical. But I do believe in karma. You know, karma is balance, and it always comes around. The grand jury is the first step. Let`s see what happens.

CANDIOTTI: And the FBI?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that the feds, first of all, have taken notice and has said something relatively quickly, for the feds, is something that`s very important. So I have some hope in that.

But again, we really, really have to wait and see. Because when it comes to justice, particularly for people of color in this country, it tends to be slow, slow, slow. So we`ll see.

CANDIOTTI: Thank you very much for joining us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re just giving us an incredible portrait of what is going on there. We understand that the parents of the slain teen have just finished speaking. They are somewhere in that crowd. In a couple of moments we`re also going to speak to the head of the NAACP about this.

And again, all those people, or a good percentage of them anyway, are wearing hoodies like this, because this is what the young man was wearing that night. He had an ear bud in one ear. He was talking to his girlfriend. That has been determined by cell-phone records. He was holding an Arizona iced tea and a pack of Skittles. And for all that, he was deemed by this Neighborhood Watchman to be suspicious. Why?

We, with an expert panel, are going to dive into that question right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, a national outcry with the demand justice for Trayvon Martin. It`s been 25 days since the unarmed teen was gunned down by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer. Yet no charges have been filed.

Tonight, new secrets emerge about the shooter, George Zimmerman. But is there also a new story line in his defense? And should Florida`s controversial "stand your ground" law be repealed? Is it a license to kill? And what`s so threatening anyway about a hoodie-wearing unarmed teen?

Tonight we`ve assembled an extraordinary expert panel, from celebrities to neighbors to investigators. And we`re taking your calls for the hour.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calls for an arrest in the death of unarmed 17- year-old Trayvon Martin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s yelling "help"?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was not self-defense. I heard the crying. It was a little boy. As soon as the gun went off, the crying stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stand up for Trayvon Martin. Stand up for justice. Stand up for our children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole world sees that this is a tragedy. It`s sad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who`s that crying?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trayvon`s crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trayvon`s crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trayvon`s crying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who`s that crying?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trayvon`s crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trayvon`s crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trayvon`s crying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s hard, as a father, to have to bury your child.

(CHANTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight new secrets revealed about the volunteer Neighborhood Watch captain near Orlando, Florida, who shot and killed 17- year-old Trayvon Martin.

Tonight, cops say the shooter, George Zimmerman, was also injured in the fight with Trayvon. Will that help Zimmerman`s self-defense explanation, or will it just add to the outrage being expressed across the nation?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHANTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As you`ve just been seeing and hearing hundreds gathering in New York`s famous Union Square for the Million Hoodie March, people wearing hoodies to protest the shooting of Trayvon, who was wearing a hoodie when he was killed by George Zimmerman, the volunteer Neighborhood Watch captain.

Now, listen to more of these protesters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... look...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... look...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... look...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... look...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... suspicious...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... suspicious...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... suspicious...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... suspicious...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... because I`m black!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... because I`m black

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... because I`m black

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... because I`m black

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I`m Latino!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I`m Latino!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I`m Latino!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I`m Latino!

SABRINA FULTON, TRAYVON`S MOTHER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) This is the support that we need. We need this kind of support.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amen. Amen!

FULTON: Our son was not committing any crime. Our son is your son. We`ve got to stand up for justice and stand up for what`s right. This is not about a black and white thing. This is about a right and wrong thing. Justice for Trayvon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That sound from just moments ago. We just turned around the tape. That is the mother of this young man, saying that she wants justice, that her son was a quiet, well-behaved, charming, peaceful young man who was shot to death for, in her opinion, absolutely no reason four weeks ago in his father`s gated community. He simply was walking home from a 7-Eleven after getting Skittles and iced tea.

The volunteer watch captain who gunned him down called it self- defense. Tonight new claims emerging about that night. Listen to what CNN`s John Zarrella says George Zimmerman, the watch captain, is claiming now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While he was going back to his car, that is when he says that Trayvon attacked him. So that he was not the aggressor, he claims. He claims it was Trayvon Martin who was the aggressor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s the police report. It says when cops arrived on the scene, George Zimmerman`s back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass as if he had been laying on his back. And it also says that Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and the back of the head. So that might seem to bolster his claim of self-defense.

But does this explanation really hold water? We`re going to investigate. We`re going to play for you what George Zimmerman himself told cops on the 911 call, about Trayvon not attacking, but running away. So how can he be running away and attacking at the same time?

Few stories I`ve ever covered in my 30 years as a journalist have generated this much outrage. This has to be a wakeup call to our entire nation about the dangers of stereotyping people, based on their race, based on their age, based on their gender, based on their clothing.

Call me; I want to hear from you: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Joining me tonight, a very special guest, activist and actress Janet Hubert. You know her as Aunt Viv from the hit show "The French -- Fresh Prince of Bel Air" from NBC.

Janet, you have been outspoken, as we see you here in the "Fresh Prince," and we`re going to play a little clip of you there for a second to get it -- everybody, remind you of your acting skills. But you`re also an activist. You`ve also been tweeting about this.

Why have you made it your business to come here tonight and speak out? Why is this issue so important to you?

JANET HUBERT, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: Well, Jane, first of all, I have to say that, when I realized that I was pregnant with a black male child, 19 years ago, as I am raising my own young African-American man, a feeling of dread -- excitement came through my body, but also a feeling of dread, because at that very moment when I realized I was having a black male child, I realized that his value in America was devalued from the moment he would come out of my womb.

My heart bleeds for the parents of this young man, as any parent, no parent -- it is -- it is a black mother`s greatest fear in America to know that this could happen to their child. We all worry about it. We all think about it daily.

The safest place that my child was ever, and will ever be, was in my womb and in my home. And now that he`s in college, this could have been my son; this could have been any of our sons. And it is something that is so prevalent in this country. That is why I`m here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And obviously, it struck a chord coast to coast, because you see 850,000 signatures to the Change.org petition demanding prosecution of George Zimmerman. You see what looks like tens of thousands of people gathered in Union Square in New York City.

Now we`re going to go to Orlando for more live coverage. CNN`s David Mattingly is down there, where others have gathered. Dave, tell us what`s going on where you are.

DAVE MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we saw earlier today was the NAACP again continuing to press its case against the police department here in Sanford, Florida.

And people lined up to give testimonials today for the African- American community of Sanford, talking about the problems that they have had with this department over the years, predating by years before what happened to Trayvon Martin. Listen to one of the residents who came forward today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BELLE COTTON, COMMUNITY MEMBER: When it comes to black, it`s just whatever. It is no concern, don`t care. And I feel it`s time something be done. This just don`t start with Trayvon. My heart goes out -- I cry about this kid, just as if it`s my own kid. Because it could have been my own.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: And the mayor of Sanford was sitting right there, getting an earful from all of these residents. He told everyone that he was listening. He got praise from the NAACP for this. But at the same time, he says it`s going to take time to correct the problems that are in this city -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you for that excellent report.

I want to go to Janet Johnson. You`re a criminal defense attorney out of Jacksonville, Florida. And you know, frankly, Jane, I`ve got to tell you, Janet, it`s been hard to find people willing to defend George Zimmerman. But I`ve been told that you are defending him. Why?

JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`m a defense attorney, so sometimes we don`t get to pick our clients. Our clients pick us.

But I have to say, I think our anger is in part really towards this law. I think the "stand your ground" law is just too broad. One of the things we`re not even talking about is he doesn`t have to be in fear for his own life. He can be in fear that there`s going to be a felony committed, a forcible felony, which could be a burglary or a robbery. You`re still entitled to shoot someone dead if you think he`s committing a burglary. That`s broad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re essentially saying he was a victim -- George Zimmerman [SIC] was a victim of a bad law. Unfortunately, I don`t know if he was thinking about the "stand your ground" law, and thinking about the wording of that law at the time of this confrontation.

JOHNSON: Well, Jane, he...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think we have to look at George Zimmerman`s past. And I think we have to look at -- frankly, there are some who would say, and I certainly don`t want to convict him, and he`s invited on our show anytime. And I want to show you, as I`m speaking, they are marching live in New York City right now.

You`re looking at live pictures of a march going on. A lot of the folks wearing hoodies in solidarity of the slain teen, who was shot while he was wearing a hoodie.

But I think that we have to look at George Zimmerman and analyze his personality. Because I think we know people like George Zimmerman. And sometimes they have what I call the Al Haig syndrome. And they think they`re in charge when they`re not, and they assert power that doesn`t belong to them. And they have no knowledge of boundaries. They don`t know when their business ends and somebody else`s business begins.

So we`re just getting started on this extraordinary story that is really mushrooming into a national reflection on how we judge people in public spaces and public places. And who has a right to judge another American citizen walking down the street.

All right. Stay right there. On the other side of the break, calls lining up. We are covering this case from every angle. We`ve got stars, neighbors, protesters, Florida senators, so much more. We`ll be right back in a couple seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Trayvon had been alive, he would be right here on these steps with you guys, rallying for justice. Trayvon Martin was you. Trayvon Martin did matter. And I just want New York to know that we`re not going to stop until we get justice for Trayvon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the father of the slain teen. The father of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, gunned down while unarmed, and simply going to get Skittles and iced tea while visiting his dad in a community right outside Orlando.

I want to go straight out to Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. We`re delighted to have you on. What exactly do you want? Lay it out. What are the demands that you believe would achieve justice for this slain teenager?

(in background) What are the demands that you believe would achieve justice for this slain teenager?

Oh! Guess what, guys? It`s live television. You saw me wondering where he is. We`re having a little audio problem. But that`s OK. Hang in there. We`re going to get Ben Jealous back.

We`ve also got an incredible panel of so many people who want to weigh in on this, as well as calls that are stacking up. So my apologies for tapping my ear that way. We`ll be back in just a second. That`s a live picture you`re looking at.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on this amazing story, but first, I think we all need a "Viral Video of the Day."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(LITTLE GIRL SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecute Zimmerman! Prosecute Zimmerman! Prosecute Zimmerman!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecute Zimmerman! Prosecute Zimmerman! Prosecute Zimmerman!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecute Zimmerman! Prosecute Zimmerman! Prosecute Zimmerman!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got some breaking news. As you take a look at live pictures of demonstrations going on, this one certainly looks like it`s in New York`s Union Square, but there`s been protests all over the country.

And of course, on Change.org there`s a petition demanding the prosecution of George Zimmerman. Almost 900,000 signatures at this point.

We`ve got some breaking news. The town of Sanford, where this entire incident went down, WFTV is reporting that the commissioners just voted seconds ago, a vote of no confidence in the police chief, Bill Lee. And that vote was 3-2.

And the big question, of course, is why did they not make an arrest? This is the police chief, Bill Lee.

And again, this is breaking news, a report according to WFTV. The commissioners in the town of Sanford where this went down, giving him a vote of no confidence.

And, you know, I think, and I want to go to my guests here on set. Tonya Young Williams, you`re a motivational speaker and attorney, I have to say, I think the police didn`t handle this very well. Instead of saying, "Hey, we`re going to leave no stone unturned. We`re going to find out what happened," that`s not indicting anybody. That`s not grabbing anybody without due process.

But instead of saying, "We`re going to leave no stone unturned until we find out what really happened," they essentially said, "Well, we can`t really do anything, because we have no evidence to contradict George Zimmerman`s claim of self-defense." In other words, nothing to see here. Move along. No reason. And then I think the police chief is quoted as saying this is all mass hysteria after that.

Tonya, how did the police handle this?

TONYA YOUNG WILLIAMS, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER/ATTORNEY: In my opinion, I think they handled it very poorly.

One of my biggest issues is, how do you close a preliminary investigation when you have not spoken to all the witnesses? How do you have investigators who are not calling back witnesses, who are trying to give you information?

Now, I can`t -- I don`t agree with there might have been a purposeful cover-up, but I think it was a lazy investigation of this. Because of the "stand your ground" law that`s in Florida, I think a lot of the police officers pretty much lay back on their laurels and say, "We can`t do anything. We have no probable cause. We`re not going to win this anyway."

But now they have a situation where they did not do what they should have done. They`re going to tamper and hurt the case, should it come up down the road. There`s no -- there wasn`t the proper evidence taken. It`s going to snowball into a bigger mess.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Moore, you`re a former FBI agent. With their - - what some have called lackadaisical response to this, and not really acknowledging that a young man lost his life, simply saying, "Hey, we have no evidence that this wasn`t self-defense, the `stand your ground` law says you can use force if you feel threatened." Did they essentially, like, set a match to this entire controversy?

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: They absolutely did. This is not just a lackadaisical response. This is absolutely unbelievable.

What they`ve done is they failed to realize that what they`ve got here is a national case, not a Sanford case. And when you have something that`s this polarizing, you can`t just say, "We`ll handle it and get back to you." No, what you do is you communicate what you`re doing. You communicate every step you take.

And if you have a community out there that wants this much justice taken care of, then you have to communicate with them and tell them why you are and why you aren`t doing something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yeah. And again, this scandal, this controversy has been mushrooming. And it`s because of the response is not what people want.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just heard gunshots?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: 22 days passed without an arrest in the shooting death of a Florida teenager.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police, I just heard a shot right behind my house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just said he shot him. Yes, the person is dead, laying on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Zimmerman said to the police, it`s completely contradicted by this phone log.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard the crying. It was a little boy. As soon as the gun went off, the crying stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She completely blows Zimmerman`s absurd self- defense claim out of the water.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What were cops so afraid we would hear? And why was this neighborhood volunteer carrying a loaded gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dots have all been connected. Arrest George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin in cold blood today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But tonight, we`re hearing amid protests all over the country, that George Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watchman, is claiming the unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was the aggressor. You`re looking at live pictures from New York City -- people marching in the streets, wearing hoodies.

But I want you to listen to Zimmerman`s own call to 911. Because as I listen to it, to me it contradicts the notion that this young man, Trayvon, was coming at him. Listen to what George Zimmerman said. He said the young man is running away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH CAPTAIN: He`s running.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s running? Which way is he running?

ZIMMERMAN: Down towards the entrance of the neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. Which entrance is that that he`s heading towards?

ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance.

(EXPLETIVE DELETED)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. We don`t need you to do that.

ZIMMERMAN: Ok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Sir, what is your name?

ZIMMERMAN: George. He ran.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Investigative reporter Jon Leiberman. The guy who shoots Trayvon said he ran. Now he`s suggesting that Trayvon came after him. How could it be both ways?

JON LEIBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Right. Well, apparently his statement to police was that you`re hearing the beginning part, and then eventually he did retreat and Trayvon came after him. But I`ll tell you what, Jane, the real travesty here is, and the reason for that no confidence vote in the police chief, is because there`s this perception that police simply passed the buck. And that`s why despite all of this outcry, I don`t see an arrest coming prior to April 10th when the grand jury takes up this case, because clearly police have passed the buck, and they`re saying, look, let the grand jury handle this. And there`s that old saying that a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich. So you can probably expect an indictment but clearly the police wanted to pass the buck on this one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I always say, of course, a veggie ham sandwich being a vegan myself. There`s a controversial Florida law. We`re going to talk to Florida Senator Steven Geller who has been patient with us. It`s called "Stand Your Ground" law, basically says you are allowed to be force with force if you believe somebody else is in danger of being seriously harmed by an assailant or you are being seriously harmed by an assailant.

Now, the year before this law was enacted, there were eight justifiable homicides. Ok. After the "Stand Your Ground" law was passed, justifiable homicide skyrocketed, in one year, to 42. Then three years ago it hit 45.

I want to go out to Steven Geller, Florida senator. You`re leading the effort to get rid of this "Stand Your Ground" law. I say bravo to you. My personal opinion, it sounds like something out of the "Wild, Wild West". What the heck is "Stand Your Ground" law, it`s like "Bonanza".

STEVEN GELLER, FORMER FLORIDA SENATOR: Actually, Jane, I`m a former senator. I argued against this in 2005 --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just promoted you.

GELLER: Well, thank you; we`ll return me. There`s at least two different tragedies here. First is the senseless killing of this young man, who had apparently such a bright future in front of him. The second tragedy is the law itself. And that is the "Stand Your Ground" law. This law was added, or the seven lines which I tried to take out, were added in 2005 to an innocuous bill that says if you`re a police officer, you don`t need to retreat. If you`re being car jacked you don`t need to retreat. If you`re in your home you don`t need to retreat. But these seven lines that said now the entire public square is now the castle and you don`t need to retreat.

As a result of this here in Florida when you have gangs fighting gangs, they`re not being arrested any longer, because the police can simply -- you know, they can`t tell who was the aggressor. You talked about the Wild West. I used that exact argument in 2005. I said people would be killed as a result of this. Unfortunately they have been.

Under this law, literally people could strap on guns and get into an argument in a bar, go outside strap on guns and whoever survives the killing can say, well, the other guy was threatening me. You saw that.

I agree with what I`ve heard, it appears to me that Mr. Zimmerman should be arrested. Because you have to plead the defense, let them prove the defense. And also, it doesn`t say any belief that says "a reasonable belief" that you were in fear of bodily injury. Let him prove that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. I think we need to get rid of this law. That`s my personal opinion.

GELLER: I agree with you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, again, you`re looking at live pictures going through New York City, of people walking through the streets, many of them wearing hoodies.

GELLER: Jane, one other thing --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on one second. I`ve got to go to Boston. I`ve got to go to a woman I know very well. Her name is Boston Dawna. And she was alleged as a neighborhood watch person here in Los Angeles. She patrolled the neighborhood where I lived for 18 years. Boston, are you there?

BOSTON DAWNA, FORMER NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PERSON IN L.A.: Yes. Actually it was 40 Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. I know it was 40 years that you patrolled it but I was there for 18 of them. You were a very, very vigilant neighborhood watch person. I`ll tell you one thing --

(CROSSTALK)

DAWNA: But I wasn`t a vigilante. And you know, this -- listening to the guy who sticks up for him, he said it was a perfect storm. The sad thing is if it wasn`t this young boy, it would have been somebody else.

You carry a gun -- you have the intent to use it. I never carried a weapon. I went out from 11:00 to 5:00 in the morning, I chased dirt bag after dirt bag. I did what he did. And I did it with a cell phone. I was knocking on doors at 4:00 in the morning asking neighbors to call the cops.

There are ways to handle it and there are ways not to. What he did was wrong in pursuing him. And I did the same thing. But there also is a way to talk to people, to find out. All he had to do is walk up to him and say, "Hey, listen, I do neighborhood watch. You look a little lost, bewildered. Is there anything I can do for you?" And he would have found out right away. He had the intent to shoot somebody. I mean he is a vigilante.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think, Boston, I think you`re raising some excellent points. It`s about attitude. And it`s about judgment. And there is a way to approach somebody and say, hey, how are you doing tonight? I`m a member of the neighborhood watch group. And that`s what -- explain yourself. Don`t go up to somebody. How dare you just walk up to somebody and say, what are you doing here?

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And no wonder the person got their shackles up if you say that.

Now, I want to go out to Shandra Cotton. You are George Zimmerman`s neighbor. Tell us, what was going on in this neighborhood? Because we have this gentleman, Frank, who was on our show yesterday, who was in the neighborhood and he lives there. And he goes well, you know, crime`s been skyrocketing, and this is a stand-up guy who`s just -- boy, he`s dealt with this. And we`ve had break-ins. He`s just trying to do the right thing.

What say you, Shandra Cotton? You live there.

SHANDRA COTTON, RESIDENT: Well, the only crime that I know of in my neighborhood honestly is the one that George Zimmerman has committed. If the neighborhood was that bad and we had that many break-ins, so much crime going on -- why didn`t they put a cop out there? One that was authorized to pull over anybody he wanted, if he had to use a special force, he was basically licensed to do so. Why have a volunteer watchman out there if the neighborhood is that bad?

I honestly have never had any negative encounters out there with anyone. I don`t see how they come up with so many break-ins. I`m not disputing that there ever was, but I`m just saying I don`t know about any.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, did you see this George Zimmerman patrolling the neighborhood? Did he kind of give you second thoughts? Did you ever see him out there?

COTTON: Honestly, I`ve never seen him myself personally. My husband has. I know once my husband told me he followed him. He came in one night kind of late and he kind of showed him to the garage but apparently he kept going. I`ve never had any run-ins with him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So that`s interesting. He`s following residents of the community, who happen to be African-American, and asking them. I mean there is something that is very inappropriate. I`m not saying that he`s -- I`m not convicting him of a crime, but I`m saying at the very least, his behavior was inappropriate. And I think it says a lot about him as a person.

On the other side, we`re going to analyze him -- secrets of George Zimmerman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s a whole school of thought that you can save a ton of money, eliminate unnecessary products by using white vinegar to clean a lot of surfaces in your house. So let`s test it out. Here we go. Some white vinegar -- let`s see how it is for cleaning mirrors. And I`ve been told you can get a mirror really nice and clean with white vinegar. And I see that it is working.

Now, guess what. You can clean so many things in your house with simple ingredients like white vinegar. It`s not harmful to the environment. It will save you money. And it`s kind of fun.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: These (EXPLETIVE DELETED), they always get away.

This guy looks like he`s up to no good or on drugs or something. Something`s wrong with him.

Yes, he`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his hands. I don`t know what his deal is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok, we don`t need you to do that.

ZIMMERMAN: Ok.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We promised to tell you who is George Zimmerman -- his secrets are beginning to spill out. We`ve got a litany here. All right.

28 years old, former altar boy, married to a 25-year-old cosmetologist. Right now, he is in hiding, because of, well, among other things, half a million people are calling for his arrest.

Now 2005, we know this. His ex-fiancee filed a restraining order against him. She claims he pushed her one night and that he hit her three years earlier. Also 2005, he is charged with resisting arrest at a Florida bar although his record is expunged. And he`s also had money problems. In 2007 he was sued by Capital One for unpaid credit card debts. We understand that at this present time he`s also been a part-time student at a local university.

And here`s what I think is fascinating. And I`ll bring this to Steve Moore, former FBI agent. In 2003, he followed a shoplifter from an Albertson`s Supermarket, apparently tailed him in a car until cops arrived. A year later he followed another man who allegedly spit at him. And in 2008 he applied for the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy which is kind of like police academy light for wannabe cops. Your analysis.

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: He`s a wannabe. He`s a police groupie. We see them all the time. We see them in the application process. We hopefully weed them out, as he was weeded out. I mean this guy -- this guy`s got a Cal Tech (ph) 9 millimeter. Why?

When you have a restraining order against you, when you have an arrest for resisting, you shouldn`t be having a concealed weapons permit. In California with a restraining order against you, you lose the weapon. This guy is a wannabe. And it probably is because he has some need to establish authority over people. This guy`s scary. And there are people like that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course there are. I think we all know people like this. It`s the neighborhood busy body.

Now, listen, I have to say this, I don`t know if we still have Boston on the phone. But there are times when a neighborhood watch person is legitimate help. And Boston, you remember the time where I had -- actually, there was this young woman, she said she was homeless, she was outside my condo. She had a dog. I felt sorry for her. I brought her clothes, I brought her food. Well, she proceeds to park outside my condo. Next thing you know her boyfriend`s in the car with her. She and her boyfriend are directly staring into my window from their car, day after day.

Now, I know if I call the cops, they`re going to know that I called the cops and I`m afraid this boyfriend is going to come after me. So I called Boston Dawna. Do you remember this, Boston?

DAWNA: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. So that`s when I called you. I said, help me out, these people are parked right in front of my house and they`re staring into my front window and I`m scared of them. She started out nice with her dog, now the boyfriend`s looking more menacing. And you came over and you talked to them, and whatever you said, they went on their merry way.

But there is a place for legitimate neighborhood watch. It`s how you do it, Boston. Isn`t that the trick?

DAWNA: Well, there`s a lot of things you can do. Number one, there is a -- we had an arson going nuts in Venice, California, last -- a couple of years -- a year and a half ago, just before I left. And I was out chasing them with the arson investigators. And there`s a local Web site yovenice.com that people were posting on and informing the neighborhood. You get e-mails, you hold neighborhood watch meetings. And you introduce yourself to the neighbors.

And everybody had my telephone number and knew, you know, and somebody mentioned that he called the cops 43 times. Well, in 40 years, there were probably 50,000 calls from me. I`d say the majority of them -- and I chased everything from a murder, who was living next door to your house, Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. Thanks for telling me now.

DAWNA: I do want to say one thing. Whether or not he -- let`s just say the young boy was guilty. Ok? Let`s just say --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, now let`s not just say that because there`s no evidence of that. Wait, wait, wait. You were doing good, Boston, until then. I don`t want to even go there because that`s the problem.

And Boston, I love you, but I`m going to agree to disagree with you right now. Let`s not just say, he was minding his own business, he was talking to his girlfriend, the phone records show that. He was walking back from the store with Skittles and an iced tea.

Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on this very serious subject in a moment, but I think we all deserve a little laugh break.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me. Go on, then. Go on, then. Down you come. Good boy. Good boy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(PROTESTERS FOR TRAYVON MARTIN)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Protests all across the country -- we are delighted and honored to have with us the president of the NAACP, Ben Jealous. Mr. Jealous, thank you so much for joining us.

BEN JEALOUS, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Thank you Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sir, what is it that you would like to see? What would mean justice for you for this family?

JEALOUS: You know, justice for this family is the man who killed their son being brought to justice. That`s what we hear them calling for again and again and that`s what any parent would want. It has been four weeks. And as we heard somebody say at a church last night, if you kill a dog in this town, you are in jail the next day. And their son was shot in cold blood and it has been three or four weeks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think when the grand jury convenes which it will, April 10th that at the end of that proceeding there will be an indictment of George Zimmerman?

JEALOUS: Yes, I have faith that we`ll get there. I think it`s very hard to believe that a group of reasonable minds, people of any color could come together in our society, look at this case, look at this boy, look at this man and not conclude that charges should be filed.

At the same time, I expect that we will see the chief change here. You just reported that there`s been that no confidence vote by the city commission. And I`m confident that we`ll see a change in leadership.

My hope, though, having listened to dozens of people in this community talk about their experience with this department is that they will go much further. The DOJ will go much further and look into the pattern of this community. This is a community that`s been in the news because of misdeeds of people associated with their department twice in just a few years. And there`s a really disturbing trend here of young black men being killed, black men being assaulted and people with connections to the department here are doing it and not being punished.

And it`s deeply disturbing and needs to be dealt with from the very bottom to the very top.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll, let`s hope if we have a national dialogue then this youngster will not have died in vain. And that is my sincere hope.

I want to go to Richard Kuritz, a very patient man, former special prosecutor, criminal defense attorney out of Jacksonville. What some people are saying is it is going to boil down to what`s on these tapes and who is crying for help. If it is this young man crying for help, George Zimmerman will be indicted, but if the tapes determine that it`s George Zimmerman`s voice and there`s a dispute about that, then maybe not. What are your thoughts?

RICHARD KURITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I absolutely think he`s going to be indicted; the question is going to be first-degree or second-degree murder. My thought is it`s going to be a second-degree murder case.

You can`t use this law to chase somebody down, hunt them so to speak, and then cause a confrontation and then say, "Hey, I was defending myself and standing my ground." It is just not going to happen.

A couple of things that were said, just so you know, that in Florida, obviously it is different than California and Boston, and the law here is that he must`ve been attacked. You can`t chase somebody down and then claim that you`re being attacked. And the tapes are all going to show that he`s pursuing this child. And the child, if anything, turned around to find out who was pursuing him.

I absolutely believe he`s going to be indicted. All the people doing the rallying, while it`s very supportive and it`s wonderful, take a deep breath, step back. He`ll be indicted and the law enforcement is doing exactly the right thing.

The sheriff`s office handled it appropriately and they need probable cause to make the arrest. Take their time, go to the sheriff`s office, get (inaudible) results back and autopsy results, toxicology --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you heard it first, we`ll see if that`s accurate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tanya Young Williams is an attorney and a motivational speaker -- easy for me to say -- motivational speaker. You`ve had experience involving these hoodies, tell us about it.

TANYA YOUNG WILLAMS, ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Jane. You know, as an African-American you`re aware of your color and that there is racism and discrimination in our country still. So there are times when I`m driving from the gym and I have a hoodie on. And I`ll see an officer trailing me and I take off my hoodie and sometimes stick out my hand to let him know I`m a woman, not a black male.

And the fact that that is even in the back of my mind is very scary. That`s something that you won`t have to think about, but we as African- Americans think about why we may be unfairly charged or unfairly pulled over just because of the color of our skin. And black men have it far worse than even I do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I consider myself a person of color, as a Puerto Rican and Irish woman. And I thank you for sharing that story. And let`s hope we all learn from this, I mean that`s the most important part of this. Let`s learn.

Nancy next.

END