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The Death of Whitney Houston
Aired March 22, 2012 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(A portion of this transcript has been removed)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHITNEY HOUSTON: I fell in love. With a great man and, I thought, I think I`ll have his baby.
No, I`m only kidding. But no, I did fall in love with a great man and decided I`d like to have some kids, you know? But I don`t know, I just thought maybe it`d be nice to have somebody carry me on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Welcome back.
I`m speaking with members of Bobby Brown`s family tonight, getting their side of the story about his former wife Whitney Houston.
Joining Bobby`s sister Leolah Brown and myself are his nephews Jerod Brown and Kelsey Brown.
All right, you guys. So gentlemen -- Jerod, you were in the hotel room the night Whitney died, is that right?
JEROD BROWN, BOBBY BROWN`S NEPHEW: Right.
PINSKY: What did you see? What happened there?
J. BROWN: Well, when we first got to the hotel and when we first got the call, Uncle B. told us to get to the hotel.
PINSKY: Uncle Bobby?
J. BROWN: Uncle Bobby. Yes. He told us, you know, get to the hotel. So, Uncle Tommy, he went upstairs first because the whole hallway was blocked off by security by the time we got up there. About an hour later, we got up there and a lot of chaos was going on. We were in the hall way, we spoke to the security.
Ray came at with us, spoke with us for a second, was really, you know, in shock. You know, you could see it in his eyes.
PINSKY: Did you see Pat and Gary in the room?
J. BROWN: No, not at that time.
PINSKY: When did they come in?
J. BROWN: After we hospitalized -- after we took Krissy to the hospital, we came back. But like I said, we heard Krissy go into a panic attack, medics came, we took out of the room --
PINSKY: Bobbi Kristina we`re talking about?
J. BROWN: Bobbi Kristina. We took her down.
PINSKY: So, she must have been distraught.
J. BROWN: Very. I didn`t get to see her until we took her to the hospital, because they had the sheet over her. When she was taken out the hotel room, my Uncle Tommy was really the orchestrator of the whole thing because they wanted to bring her down to the lobby. But, you know, he got to where they brought her down to a secret location in the hotel. And after that, we went to the hospital.
Now what bothered me when we got to the hospital is that you know, Nick, this guy Nick --
PINSKY: Nick`s the guy that`s the alleged --
J. BROWN: This is the guy that Krissy was still asking about the whole time going through her grieving point.
PINSKY: Is he her boyfriend?
J. BROWN: I don`t really know. But at this moment, you know, when he got to the hospital, you know, he -- after he spoke with Krissy in the room, he left. He came back into the waiting room and saying, "Thanks for you guys coming out" as if we wasn`t supposed to be there, you know?
PINSKY: Presumptuous of him, you`re the family.
J. BROWN: We`re the family, exactly.
PINSKY: What did you see -- I understand you saw Pat and Gary did something that bothered you.
J. BROWN: Right.
PINSKY: What did you see?
J. BROWN: When we came back from the hospital after I talked with Krissy in the room and we got her to get discharged, you know, we went to the hospital -- I mean, back to the hotel and Krissy was still in disbelief so she rushed down the hallway and was like, you know, I want to go see mom, her room. So, we took her down there. By the time we got to the room, you know, Gary and Pat was coming out with luggage and jewelry, Pat going across into Whitney`s room into another location into another room.
L. BROWN: This was all -- they were getting all of Whitney`s belongings.
J. BROWN: And Krissy fell down to the ground. And, you know, me and my brother and my fellow cousin and my uncle, we just, you know, looked and sort of confided in her, but, you know, Gary just kept rolling, kept rolling along with the luggage, you know. It was kind of bothered me because as your niece and --
PINSKY: He should have been with Krissy.
L. BROWN: Yes.
PINSKY: How did Pat get into the picture?
L. BROWN: Pat. I don`t -- I really don`t -- I`m hearing from family members that she was somebody that was, I guess a fan of Whitney`s, and she was a singer. She was looking for a record deal or something, and she was trying to sing. I don`t know if she had a group or if she was a solo.
But I guess she was introduced to Gary in some way that he could help her with her career or something and then -- this is what I heard. That she came in and kind of --
PINSKY: And then married Gary.
L. BROWN: And manipulated Gary and his wife because he was married to Monique. And it was like -- from what I heard it was kind of like a lot of sneaky stuff going on with her. You know, she came in --
PINSKY: Kelsey, you`ve had concern about the finances, yes?
KELSEY BROWN, BOBBI KRISTINA`S COUSIN: Yes, I`m concerned that, you know, Pat is manipulating Bobbi Kristina, certain individuals, I`m not sure, is manipulating the press and saying all these things, putting these things about Krissy in the paper to try to make Krissy seem as if she`s crazy.
L. BROWN: Right.
K. BROWN: In order -- in an effort to obtain guardianship over Krissy.
PINSKY: Now, you have guardianship over her now, right? You`re the legal guardian.
L. BROWN: I believe I am, yes, because --
PINSKY: So, Leolah`s legal guardian.
L. BROWN: -- when Whitney -- I signed papers for Krissy long time ago. And Whitney`s attorneys, Pat was present with this happened when I signed papers as Krissy`s legal guardian, Whitney was there, Whitney gave me legal guardianship over Krissy, her attorneys stated that I would have to resign to give her back to Whitney over, you know, a guardianship, we never did that.
PINSKY: And you`re concerned that Pat`s trying to get it so she gets control of the funds.
K. BROWN: Right.
PINSKY: But there are no funds. Where are the funds?
K. BROWN: Whitney has funds in offshore accounts that people don`t know about. When you look up --
PINSKY: Hold on, I`ve got to go to break here. There`s another one of Bobby Brown`s nephews joining us. We`re going to talk more about Bobbi Kristina and why the Brown family fears for her. Please stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOBBY BROWN, SINGER/WHITNEY`S EX-HUSBAND: I want to give blessings to my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. I love you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: We are back with Bobby Brown`s family.
Joining us, Bobby Brown`s nephew, Jairam Brown.
Jairam, both you guys, Jerod is with us too, as well. Your mom Leolah believes that Whitney -- the foul play, maybe she was murdered. Jairam, what do you think?
JAIRAM REID, BOBBY BROWN`S NEPHEW: Yes, I believe the same thing. Everything I heard, all the information, it really just doesn`t sound right, you know? Sounds like something fishy`s going on.
PINSKY: Jerod, you say the same thing?
J. BROWN: I believe so.
PINSKY: I mean, she took pills, she drank alcohol the night before. Why not just to took too much and didn`t breathe?
J. BROWN: Krissy told me at the hospital that my mom is a recovering addict and she did a lot of drugs so, you know -- pills wouldn`t take --
L. BROWN: I don`t think so.
J. BROWN: Pills -- she`s a swimmer, you know what I`m saying?
L. BROWN: I had a tumor before, I was on pain pills before, you know? And they are prescribed by a doctor. And you know how to take them.
PINSKY: Was she taking painkillers? Whitney?
L. BROWN: I don`t know. That I don`t know of. I have no knowledge of her taking any pain pills, no.
As far as I know, Whitney was fine, she was fine. And another thing, Whitney did not get in bathtubs in hotels. That was something that she and I discussed on many occasions. We used to laugh about it. Whitney would never get in the hotel bathtub.
PINSKY: She hated them? She thought they were dirty?
L. BROWN: Yes, we talked and laughed about how we would never do that. So when I heard she was found in that bathtub, I knew right then and there something was wrong.
PINSKY: Now, You knew Ray J. also, right?
L. BROWN: No, I did not know Ray J. But I can tell you this, Ray J., to me, I can tell you Whitney told me out of her own mouth that she never -- Ray J. was -- I asked Whitney. I said, Whitney, what is Ray J. to you? She laughed so hard she almost fell off the chair.
(A portion of this transcript has been removed)
So, this stuff about Ray J, there`s a lot of games being played here with Ray J. using Whitney`s name to say that he`s with Whitney Houston. That is -- I doubt it very, very, very much.
PINSKY: And, Jairam, do you know anything about this Nick? He`s supposedly her fiance. What is their relationship with Bobbi Kristina?
REID: He came in as a brother, you know, but I guess now he`s ending up trying to be her boyfriend.
PINSKY: Is he?
REID: Which I feel like he doesn`t have true feelings for Krissy.
PINSKY: You think he`s up to something?
REID: Yes, I think he`s up to something. I think most the people around Krissy are up to something.
L. BROWN: Yes. I mean, it`s just a lot of -- and we`re not here just bashing everybody, you know? It may seem like that but really --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a lot of stuff that`s going on.
L. BROWN: It`s a lot of stuff we know and that`s going on that the world does not know. There`s a lot of people that are not who they say they are. They don`t have Krissy`s best interests, no.
And I think Whitney knew that, you know? I really -- I really -- I know that Whitney knew that.
PINSKY: Are they the ones trying to get her hospitalized psychiatrically, do you think?
J. BROWN: Right.
PINSKY: You think they are.
L. BROWN: Yes, and he witnessed something.
J. BROWN: At the time, they were trying to say she was 51/50. I went back in the room and told her, Krissy, you know, what they`re saying about you. And she said I`m grieving, you know. I`ve got to bury my mom in a couple of days.
PINSKY: I hope you guys -- you guys have not had contact with her for a long time. I hope you -- and you`ve been close. I hope you have a chance.
L. BROWN: They`ve changed her numbers and we cannot reach Krissy.
PINSKY: Leolah, I`ve got to break again. Thank you so much for joining us.
Gentlemen, thank you, as well.
L. BROWN: You`re welcome.
PINSKY: On call is next. We`re going to take on the Trayvon Martin case, the public outrage and your guys` comments.
Back after this.
PINSKY (voice-over): Outrage is sweeping the nation over the shooting of an unarmed teenager by a neighborhood watchman. Tonight, crowds descend on the Florida City where George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin.
The question, why has Zimmerman still not been arrested. Should the police chief be fired? Would it be different if Trayvon were White? A friend of the shooter says no way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George is not a racist.
PINSKY: He`ll tell me tonight why race allegedly had nothing to do with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right. We`ve got a lot to get into tonight. And first off, I want to start on a topic that`s in the news as a publication, a story that says that doctors are crossing a line. Apparently, some physicians contacting patients on internet dating sites. This is according to the "Journal of the American Medical Association."
Now, let me be super clear here. One of the most serious problems in our society today is people misappropriating their positions, violating boundaries. People that are managers dating people that are -- they should be managing. Doctors violating the trust of patients, teachers, and students. We`re reporting on these stories all the time.
Mary in Virginia, you`re on the line. What`s going on there?
MARY, VIRGINIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Mary.
MARY: I have a true story, not about dating, but I had a surgeon operated on me, and he was also a family friend, and he called me afterwards a month later to ask me if I could fix a ticket for him.
PINSKY: Yes. Yes. You see how these things are very serious boundary problems. That`s why doctors don`t take care of their family. And we really shouldn`t take care of our friends either. You see how these things get weirdly crossed. He wants you to fix a ticket. Was it something where he`d been like using drugs or anything?
MARY: Well, I worked for the county attorney, and he`d gotten a ticket for driving without a license, and I found out later that it`d been taken away because of DUI.
PINSKY: OK. All right. So, by fixing -- think about how far this goes, my dear. Just think about it.
If you had not had the wherewithal to really raise a couple of question marks and let`s say you`re somebody that when your boundaries are violated, you just go along with the person in position of authority, he would`ve had that ticket fixed and you would have a surgeon out there who is actively using, operating on people. Imagine how many people he would`ve hurt. It`s incredible.
MARY: I found out later he was a functioning alcoholic.
PINSKY: Forget functioning alcoholic. Doctors are not allowed to do that. They can`t use and operate. They can`t. That`s why we have well-being committees to protect the well-being of the doctors and the safety of the patients. I am so glad you didn`t go forward with that. I hope he just got caught.
MARY: No. I couldn`t and I wouldn`t, anyway.
PINSKY: Mary, thank you. God bless you. Well done.
Melissa here says, "There`s such a powerful differential between a doctor and a patient. There cannot be an equal relationship, then obviously, you need to find a new doctor." I think I understand what you`re saying. It`s not a friendship. It`s not equality.
It`s somebody who is in a position of authority who uses that position carefully and cherishes it and cherishes you as someone who there have a privilege to take care of. It`s a sacred privilege.
Jill says, "It`s beyond creepy for someone who inspects your naked body professionally to start trying to chat you up in that context even if he or she is cute as a button." Yes, if you ever get that funny feeling, run, run. I`m just saying. That is somebody that should not be in that position of authority with you.
The other night we spoke about Jason Russell. Remember this guy? The guy behind the "KONY 2012" video. He was found running down the street naked. His family -- do we have the video of that? Can you play it behind me or anything? We don`t have it right now. Anyway, he was in a psychotic state.
And I sort of reviewed that video on on this program, and you can see that he has excessive motor activity, he`s raving, he`s, you know, gyrating his hands, he`s apparently was masturbating out in public.
That`s what I call a manic psychosis. If I had third-year medical students, I would show that and (ph) describe and say this is a manic psychosis. Well, the family, God bless them, have had the courage to step up and say that he had what`s called a brief reactive psychosis. He might have had that. It looked like a manic state.
People with brief reactive psychosis, typically, may have a family history of bipolar. They may have other personality disorders, and it tends to be more of a catatonic reactive thing. So, it can be like this, but I`m suspicious. Also, by the way, he`s still in the hospital. Again, that`s more like bipolar manic psychosis.
So, listen, what I think is humorous about this is the reactive psychosis still leaves open the door to exhaustion and stress as the precipitating cause even for bipolar. All that stress he was under could help precipitated it. But it`s funny how in the press, when people trying to spin things, it`s always OK if it`s exhaustion and dehydration.
All right. Here`s what you, guys, are saying about this. Jennifer says, "I took notice the same sort of look that other people have who are psychotic or bipolar. It`s in the eyes. One eye is looking at you, the other eye is sort of glazed over."
Also, I`ve got Kelly who writes, "The mind and body can only take so much, and he`s obviously a caring man, breakdowns happen. I wish him a speedy recovery." I second that.
Now, you guys have been sounding off for 48 hours now about the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. We`re going to be talking about that later in the show. But, I just want to say this about this event. I`ve got to tell you. Every time I think about it, this weird chill goes down my spine.
Every African-American friend I have who describes the fact that they -- you`re going to see Trent Copeland out here in a while. He`s an attorney, a very successful attorney who says that, sometimes, he goes into Starbucks with a hoodie on (INAUDIBLE) running, and people look at him like, oh, oh, a threatening guy.
I mean, It`s almost like this event, I believe, has taken our consciousness as a nation to a new place. We`re in some kind of new place now, which is why I want to keep looking at this story.
Here`s what some of you are saying right now. Josie writes, "There are only two labels to choose from that can be applicable or appropriate, homicide or manslaughter. So, bias, paranoia, hate, not the primary factor." Fair enough.
Hardie in Florida, what`s on your mind? You got a question or a comment?
HARDIE, FLORIDA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hey, Hardie.
HARDIE: I`m ashamed to say that I`m from Florida.
PINSKY: You know what, what`s going on down there in Florida? I`m honestly -- God. Every time -- all those -- It`s Casey Anthony, it`s Trayvon Martin, it`s in Florida.
HARDIE: Well, it`s sad, you know? My prayers go out to the Martin family.
HARDIE: But I can`t understand how can you arrest a man, Michael Vick, for dog fighting, dog fighting, and this child was murdered. This child was murdered. OK?
PINSKY: Hardie, listen, I agree with you. I know there are people out there defending this guy as someone who is just, you know, a concerned citizen, but boy, I don`t -- if you don`t see the bigger -- agree with me on this. If you don`t see the bigger picture here, there`s something wrong. There`s --
HARDIE: There`s something wrong.
PINSKY: Yes, right? We`ve come -- do you agree with me? Are you African- American?
HARDIE: Yes, I am.
PINSKY: And what does this say to you? What does it mean to you as an African-American woman? As an American?
HARDIE: OK. I am not racist. I don`t think it was a racist attack, but, if he was some type of security officer at the time, he should`ve been more responsible. It hurts me for any kid, any child that`s injured, killed, or hurt. You know, we had an incident where (INAUDIBLE) run this child around the house until she died. That was awful.
PINSKY: Yes. That was awful.
HARDIE: People have to stand up for these children.
PINSKY: You know, Hardie, you`re right. I think it is something -- again, there`s a consciousness raising aspect about this that it`s important we keep having this conversation. I really appreciate you calling me. Call me back some time, will you?
HARDIE: Thank you very much, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: All right. Hardie, take care of yourself.
All right. Next, we have -- the question is, have we rushed to judgment about this man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin? It is hard not to, but in this next segment, we`re going to hear with some friend -- a friend and neighbor has to say about this man who -- I can`t say anything good about, but he apparently thinks he`s defensible. So, I`m interested to hear about that. That`s after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: He was loved by his family, he was loved by his friends, and I just refuse to stop pursuing the arrest of Mr. Zimmerman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: The death of an unarmed African American teen at the hands of a pistol toting neighborhood watch captain has justifiably sparked outrage and cries for justice across the country. And to me, this thing has taken us to another level. I mean, think about this.
We have discovered, those of us that may -- and many of my African American friends were acutely aware of this, that if you are Black and you are male, you have to worry about scaring somebody into harming you.
Parents who have young male, Black male sons, have to worry at night that their son, because of their skin color and because they`re male, is going to scare somebody, and because they scared somebody, something bad`s going to happen to them.
George Zimmerman has yet to be charged on the February 26th shooting death of a 17-year-old, this is Trayvon Martin we`re talking about. Police say Zimmerman did not violate the law. Here is what martin`s parents told Anderson Cooper on "Anderson." Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tracy, there has not been police action. This man, Zimmerman, was not arrested the day of the shooting. Do you believe if your son had been White, that Zimmerman would have been arrested?
MARTIN: I honestly believe had Trayvon been a White kid, he would have been arrested. Zimmerman would have been arrested. I just feel that the Sanford Police Department is doing us an unjust. They`re actually trying to sweep our son`s death under the rug. Trayvon was a person, you know? He wasn`t just a statistic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So sad. Now, Zimmerman maintains that he shot and killed Trayvon in self-defense. Remind you again, Trayvon armed, as we`ve said every night, armed with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.
Joining me to discuss this, Frank Taaffe, he is George Zimmerman`s friend and a neighbor, Judge Alex Ferrer, he`s host of "Judge Alex." He`s also a former police officer, and Trent Copeland, a criminal defense attorney. Trent, do you agree with what Trayvon`s dad said? He`d be behind bars if Trayvon had been white?
TRENT COPELAND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t think there`s any question he`d be behind bars. He`d be behind bars, he`d be convicted not just in the court of public opinion, but he`d be well on his way to a conviction in court of law. Look, I don`t know, there are few stories that get me so personally arouse than this kind of story.
Because, look, this was an unarmed young man, a 140 pounds. This is not a kid who was in a neighborhood where he didn`t belong. This wasn`t -- he was walking to his dad`s house. This isn`t a kid who is harming anyone, he was unarmed. This is a circumstance where someone has to say enough is enough.
And I think everybody, not just African-Americans, but all Americans have to be outraged that we`ve taken our country, we`ve taken this country, and we`ve had to turn this kind of discussion upside down on its head because what`s happened is that people are turning an eye towards young kids who are unarmed, who are walking in their own neighborhoods not being safe.
This isn`t the sort of thing that would happen in a White community. And I`m sorry to say that. This is something that`s unique to be in an African-American. This is something that`s unique to the perception of who you are as an African-American. And it happens in neighborhoods just like this neighborhood all over the country.
PINSKY: It`s taken racism to a new level, a new depth in a way. It`s disgusting, but it`s really creating an awareness of how insidious this is, right?
COPELAND: There`s no question about it. And look, we`re having these discussions, not just at the water coolers, but we`re having these discussions across the table with our kids.
You`ll have to tell your kids, listen, there`s a reason why you need to be concerned about where you are and when you`re there and what you`re wearing, because circumstances may dictate that just simply because you`re scaring someone, simply because someone doesn`t understand you, they may shoot you and kill you.
PINSKY: It`s unbelievable. Now, Frank, you were sympathetic of Zimmerman`s actions. Is that right?
FRANK TAAFFE, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FRIEND: That is correct, Dr. Drew. Thank you for having me on your show.
PINSKY: I appreciate it. Now, help us understand that. It`s hard to get -- I guess, there`s a helicopter, it sounds like. I just cued it to come in for you. But it`s hard to -- for any of us to get our head around justifying what Zimmerman did. Help us understand this. What`s your point of view?
TAAFFE: Dr. Drew, what if this was your neighborhood? Put yourself here. You painted my friend, George Zimmerman, the other night as a paranoid racist. That`s total minutia (INAUDIBLE). George Zimmerman was a caring person. He stepped up to a position that was totally on a volunteer basis. He didn`t ask for any compensation.
George cared for the residents of the community to be safe. We encountered eight burglaries in the prior 15 months in our community. Of those eight, they were predominantly young, Black males. George did this in self- defense. Dr. Drew, let`s ask the question, how did he get a wound on the back of his head?
How did he get a punched nose? Where do the grass stains come on his pants? Were they self-inflicted? Ask yourself this question. And if this was your neighborhood, how would you feel if you had just been robbed eight times and somebody trolled on through there and I`ve done it when I was block captain, I`d go out and just ask people, hey, what`s your business here?
COPELAND: Can I try to answer that question?
PINSKY: Please. Then, I want to talk to Judge Alex.
COPELAND: I`d like to answer that question. And the reality is, how do you explain a young man who`s 140 pounds being assaulted, being killed by someone who`s 200 pounds? And if, in fact, George -- if, in fact, the assailant, and I`m going to call him the assailant because that`s what he is. If, in fact, he in fact encountered Trayvon --
COPELAND: Listen, it has absolutely nothing to do with race. Absolutely, it has nothing to do with the race. And I think you`re right about that. It has everything to do with the fact that this is a guy who`s a vigilante. And how do you describe and how do you explain that if, in fact, Trayvon Martin calls that harm.
Let me say this. Let me interrupt it. It has nothing to do with Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin wasn`t the guy who came into your house.
PINSKY: Gentlemen, let me throw myself in the middle of it.
PINSKY: Gentlemen, Judge Alex -- Frank -- hold on. Judge Alex, let me go to you. The problem, you know, -- even if we accept what Frank is saying, isn`t the problem that Mr. Zimmerman went on even after being told by dispatch not to go after this guy? That he was acting alone, that he was armed.
There were all these elements that as a police officer you would say I suspect makes this an unsafe situation. Let`s take race out of the question for one second.
JUDGE ALEX FERRER, HOST, "JUDGE ALEX": It absolutely is a problem, because as a police officer, I never wanted to see a crime watch volunteer confront a suspect. That is the reason dispatchers tell you don`t go near them. We don`t want you doing that. Not because of any reason other than police officers are trained to deal with these situations.
If somebody they feel is suspicious, for whatever reason, if they feel they`re suspicious, they approach them with caution. They`ve been trained in shoot, don`t shoot situations, and even with all of that training, police officers make mistakes. So, imagine the civilian who`s not been trained, who`s hopped up, maybe wants to be the hero of the neighborhood who caught the burglar or whatever.
Two possibilities jump out at you. One is, the guy really is a criminal, and he`s armed and he shoots you. The other is, he`s not a criminal and you mistake him for one, there`s an altercation and you shoot him. None of those outcomes --
TAAFFE: How can you see this? X-ray vision?
PINSKY: Guys, I understand. We`re just hearing from a police officer, Frank. You know, the judge and the police officer -- frank, I appreciate you joining us. Judge Alex, thank you, as well.
PINSKY: Hold on. If George Zimmerman is arrested by killing Trayvon Martin, what could be a successful defense? We`re going to tackle that question when we get back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN: Not only did I lose a son, I lost a dear friend. He`ll be sadly missed. And I made a promise that I won`t stop until justice is brought for my son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: A basketball loving team goes for an iced tea and a candy run just before the start of the NBA all-star game, but never returned home, instead, he shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain. Tonight, Mr. Zimmerman remains a free man as Trayvon Martin`s parents continue to -- try to make sense of this. They recently spoke to Anderson Cooper on his daytime show, "Anderson." Take a look.
ANDERSON: It`s only been 25 days. It`s got to be surreal to be even here talking about him in the past tense for you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is. It`s a nightmare. It`s hard to sleep. Everything reminds me of him. And the only thing that`s fueling us to keep pressing on for justice is the fact that we know that justice will be served.
ANDERSON: You believe that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Well, here`s what I want to do in this little segment. I want to talk about a possible defense. And before we do that, Frank, I want to go to you and ask you, how do you think Mr. Zimmerman should defend himself?
TAAFFE: I`m sorry, Dr. Drew. I didn`t hear the question.
PINSKY: Let me ask you again. The question is, how do you think your friend, Mr. Zimmerman, should mount a defense for himself? What would his defense be?
TAAFFE: I was attacked.
PINSKY: That`s it?
TAAFFE: And he defended himself. He defended himself.
PINSKY: And it`s OK to use lethal force even if somebody unarmed attacks?
TAAFFE: Dr. Drew, I don`t condone the use of the lethal weapon. I, myself, when I was block captain, the maximum I probably would have carried which I didn`t, which I had access to would have been pepper spray and/or a taser. I don`t condone this action where a young man lost his life.
I, myself, have experienced that. I lost my son three years ago. So, I know what the devastation is of a loss of a child. My heart goes out --
PINSKY: What happened to your son?
TAAFFE: -- to Trayvon`s parents. He died in a cross prescription toxicity death.
PINSKY: OK. All right. Frank, listen, I want to speak to an attorney now about what he thinks a potential defense would be, but I appreciate you joining us, and I`m sure I`ll be talking to you again as this story unfolds.
Trent, is there a defense here? I mean, just -- you know, I`m attacked. Is that a defense? That seems silly to me.
COPELAND: It`s not a defense. And what we have to also understand is Florida has a law like 21 other states that allows you to --
PINSKY: Defend yourself.
COPELAND: They call it stand your ground.
PINSKY: That`s provided that Mr. Zimmerman didn`t first aggress. And by the way, he may have threatened (INAUDIBLE).
COPELAND: Let`s just assume that he found Trayvon Martin threatening. Let`s assume that on its face.
COPELAND: And let`s assume that for whatever reason, he believed that Trayvon Martin walking away from him still presented a threat.
The problem with that defense is that, listen, even if you perceived him a threat and even if Trayvon Martin beat this 200-pound man up, beat him up, caused him the bloody nose, blood in the back of the head and then had the presence of mind to walk away with his Arizona iced tea and his Skittles in his hand unarmed, even under those circumstances, it would be difficult for a defense lawyer to say that my client believed that he was under attack that he was being threatened. And remember, let`s look at what the facts are. The facts --
PINSKY: I`ve got to go out in about five seconds.
COPELAND: Facts are, 911 call, he never said in the 911 call, Zimmerman did, he never said that he was under attack or he felt threatened.
PINSKY: Right. And we hear the kid crying out in the 911 call for help and other people in 911 call.
We`re going to keep this going. Thank you for watching us. We`ll see you next time.