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Police Investigator Wanted Zimmerman Charged
Aired March 28, 2012 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, Sanford, Florida. A 17-year-old heads home to his dad`s condo, gunned down by the captain of neighborhood watch.
As of tonight, no arrest. Protests going on at this hour all around the country, big controversy. The 911 calls, and now they`re calling the feds to enhance the calls. We`ve listened to it, and repeat, we do not need a NASA enhancement. I know what we hear. We have the calls to play for you tonight.
More reports the 17-year-old actually punched Zimmerman, slamming his head into the sidewalk, as even more critical details emerge.
Bombshell tonight. Stunning report Sanford police wanted Zimmerman arrested that night, but somebody said no. Tonight, who said no and why? With claims of self-defense swirling, tonight, you hear the evidence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A critical new development on what exactly happened between the teenager...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the neighborhood watch guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Zimmerman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) he shot -- he shot the person. He just said he shot the person!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The homicide officer investigating the case recommended George Zimmerman be brought up on manslaughter charges.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But was told there wasn`t enough evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This investigation has been botched from the beginning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "The Orlando Sentinel" reports that he told police that the teen punched him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knocking him to the ground, smashing his head on the sidewalk before the fatal shot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe my son was defending himself.
911 OPERATOR: Do you think he`s yelling help?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. There`s gunshots!
911 OPERATOR: You just heard gunshots?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH VOLUNTEER: Mr. Taaffe, this is George. First and foremost, I wanted to say I`m very sorry for the loss of your son. I can`t imagine what you must be going through. Secondly, I wanted to thank you for doing everything you`ve been doing. I know you don`t have to and I appreciate it. You`re truly setting an example for me for the future of doing the right thing, even when it`s tough. I appreciate it. Talk to you soon. Thanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell tonight. Sanford, Florida, a 17-year-old goes home to his dad`s condo, gunned down by the captain of neighborhood watch. Tonight, in the last hours, a stunning report that Sanford police wanted the shooter, Zimmerman, arrested that night, but somebody said no. Tonight, who said no and why?
Straight out to CNN correspondent Martin Savidge, who`s joining us there in Sanford. Martin, what happened?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nancy, the focus throughout the day today has been on these reports that the lead investigator -- that`s Chris Serino -- for the Sanford police department on the night of the shooting back on February 26th -- that he wanted to file charges of either negligent homicide or manslaughter against George Zimmerman.
In fact, CNN obtained the initial police report from that night, and on the document quite clearly, it states negligent homicide, manslaughter. However, he was overruled by a state attorney.
That state attorney`s name is Norman Wolfinger, and he basically said that the reason you could not charge him was because of the "stand your ground" law here in the state of Florida.
Chief Lee, the head of the department here, said that the moment that Zimmerman declared that his life had been in danger, that he was fighting to save his life, the "stand your ground" went into effect. And as a result, you could not -- they could not arrest him unless they had probable cause. And the chief says there was no probable cause. It`s caused outrage...
GRACE: Whoa! Whoa!
SAVIDGE: ... for the family...
GRACE: Whoa! Martin!
SAVIDGE: ... of Trayvon Martin.
GRACE: Martin! Martin! If a dead body is not PC -- probable cause - - what is, Martin Savidge?
SAVIDGE: It`s not considered probable cause at that time because of Florida`s "stand your ground" law. He claims he was fighting to save his life. The specific nature of that law in this state, according to authorities in Sanford, said prohibited them from arresting him without probable cause. And they said at that time, they did not have it.
SAVIDGE: I`m just quoting the chief.
GRACE: Martin, I know you`re quoting the chief, but if that were true, every single person behind bars right now on a homicide would all claim self-defense. Just because the defendant jumps up and says, Oh, I was protecting my life, that doesn`t mean you don`t arrest them. That`s for a jury to decide.
SAVIDGE: There were witnesses on scene, and according to those witnesses, the authorities here felt that George Zimmerman`s story was corroborated enough that they could not go forward.
It did not mean that the investigation stopped. It just meant on that night, they were not going to arrest him. And again, any desire to arrest him was overruled by the state attorney.
GRACE: OK, here`s another question for you, Martin Savidge -- Martin Savidge, CNN correspondent joining us there in Sanford. The way I understand the system to work, after practicing law for many, many years, is that the police respond to a scene. And when you have a dead body by shooting, you make an arrest.
Then the person makes bail or doesn`t make bail. And then the district attorney`s office either indicts or doesn`t indict. That is their decision, and it`s to a jury to determine guilt or innocence.
This sounds like someone stopped the police in their tracks. That would be Norman Wolfinger decided that he was going to be judge and jury. How did that work, Martin?
SAVIDGE: Well, that is exactly the kind of controversy that the attorney that represents the family of Trayvon Martin is pointing out. In fact, he says that there seems to be a conspiracy on the part of law enforcement to support George Zimmerman and not bring justice to their son.
GRACE: Well, Martin -- Martin, you know, I`m always a little leery when I hear conspiracy because I really don`t think that many people are smart enough to have a conspiracy, much less keep their yaps shut after the conspiracy. So I don`t know about a conspiracy here.
But what is concerning to me, Martin Savidge, I don`t believe the police department works for the district attorney, or the state attorney as it is called down there. They don`t work for them. The police decide if they`re going to make an arrest, don`t they? And then if the state`s attorney doesn`t like it, then they can not go forward with the charges.
SAVIDGE: The explanation that`s been given to us, even by Angela Corey, who is the special investigator, is that once the "stand your ground" law was declared -- in other words, once George Zimmerman said that he was fighting to save his life -- the burden of proof and the burden of the investigation shifts.
In other words, now it is up to the state of Florida to prove that his life was not in jeopardy, that he was not struggling to protect himself. That investigation is still under way.
GRACE: OK. Unleash the lawyers. Joining me tonight, Judge Karen Mills-Francis, host of "Judge Karen," Darrell Cohen, defense attorney, Atlanta, Alan Ripka, defense attorney, New York.
Darrell Cohen, this is completely bass-ackwards. It doesn`t even make any sense to me. Darrell, you and I both know -- you were a prosecutor long before you became a defense lawyer -- the police make an arrest, then a jury decides whether there`s the burden of proof and who carried the burden of proof.
That`s not for the police to decide. And then trying to blame Norman Wolfinger? One, I disagree with Wolfinger. But two, the police can`t push it off on Wolfinger. It`s their decision. They don`t work for the state attorney`s office.
DARRELL COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But Nancy, once they decided to call the state attorney`s office and spoke to the assistant state attorney or the state attorney, then their hands are somewhat tied and they`re going to follow...
GRACE: Put him up!
COHEN: ... what the prosecutor has to say...
GRACE: Put him up!
COHEN: ... to do. Quite frankly, having been a former -- having been a former assistant state attorney in Dade County, I can tell you that they know what they`re doing. And just because they didn`t rush to judgment, as we had in the Ray Lewis case in the mid-`90s here in Atlanta...
GRACE: Don`t start with me! I still think Ray Lewis was guilty. Don`t even start with that!
COHEN: Well, so do I, but the mayor screwed it up. Our mayor at the time made that mistake and he ruined the case.
GRACE: Ray Lewis, don`t care, all right? Doesn`t matter. Now try to get back in the middle of the road, Darrell Cohen. Let`s talk about this case, all right?
COHEN: This case.
GRACE: In this case -- this begs the argument if they jump off the cliff, would you do it, too? I plan to use that on my 4-year-old twins when I have to. Just because the state attorney`s office says, Uh-uh, don`t make an arrest -- if I were the police commander, I would go, You know, I appreciate your input, but I`m going to do the right thing.
COHEN: But the right thing in this instance, Nancy, was following the advice of the state attorney, who has to make the presentation to the grand jury or file an accusation. At that point, in their opinion, obviously, there was not enough evidence...
GRACE: Well, that is what...
COHEN: ... and as a result of that, they made no arrest.
GRACE: ... they do when they get the case. You know what, Darrell? I don`t know whose Kool-Aid you`ve been drinking.
Let`s go to Judge Karen Mills-Francis. And I`m not saying Zimmerman is guilty because if he had his head beaten into the sidewalk, all right, that changes everything. But I don`t know that that`s true.
I know that there was a 17-year-old who was just trying to get home, and he was on the phone going, This guy`s following, blah, blah, blah, blah. I find it hard to believe he circled back and then tried to attack somebody. But hey, if that happened, Zimmerman might have a leg to stand on. But I just don`t see it.
JUDGE KAREN MILLS-FRANCIS, HOST, "JUDGE KAREN": Well, Nancy...
GRACE: Out to you, Judge Karen Mills-Francis. Weigh in.
MILLS-FRANCIS: Well, Nancy, in 2005, he was bodacious enough, he was man enough to confront a uniformed armed police officer and end up in a fight with that police officer. So it`s really hard to believe that fast- forward six years later, when he himself is armed with a flashlight, when he himself is armed with a handgun, that he`s lying on the grass, wailing and crying for help like a child. It doesn`t make any sense to me.
GRACE: OK. Alan Ripka, one minute. I want to go to this laying on the grass crying.
Ellie Jostad, two other big things are happening right now. Number one, we know that an independent group is not only examining all the 911 tapes -- of course, I can hear the racial slur, all right? -- but they`re also listening to what I consider to be even more important in trying to determine who was screaming, Help, help, help me.
Cue it up, Dana. Hey, Ellie, listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think a male.
911 OPERATOR: And you don`t know why?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know why. I think they`re yelling help, but I don`t know. Just send someone quick, please.
911 OPERATOR: Does he look hurt to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t see him. I don`t want to go out there. I don`t know what`s going on. So...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re sending them.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GRACE: All right. That right there, Ellie, if that turns out to be George Zimmerman, that`s going to corroborate his claim he was taking a beating. If that turns out to be Trayvon Martin, then Zimmerman is in even more hot water. Tell me, Ellie. Tell me about this...
ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): Right, Nancy. Well, "The Washington Post"...
JOSTAD: ... reports that a special voice analyst expert, independent group, has been brought in to listen to those tapes not only to determine if there`s some racial slurs used on Zimmerman`s call, but also to listen to what we just heard, those screams in the background.
Angela Corey has said, depending on whose voice is whose on those tapes in the background, that`s going to be critical to this case.
GRACE: Alan Ripka, defense attorney, New York. Listen, I know that you immediately want to jump on the defense bandwagon here, but let`s just talk really and truly. Look, you`re not representing anybody in this case, so you can actually tell the truth. You`re not in front of a jury that you`ve got to convince.
Isn`t it typical that the police make an arrest, and then the prosecutors decide, were the police right or wrong? If they go forward to the grand jury, then the grand jury true bill or no bill? If it`s a true bill, then it goes to a jury trial?
I mean, to me, again, this is all bass-ackwards. There should have been an arrest. He could have made bond, if he could make bond. And then it proceeds through the system. What happened? We`ve got the cart before the horse, Ripka.
ALAN RIPKA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, typically, you`re right. That`s what`s happened and that`s what`s happened in the past in many jurisdictions, including when I was an assistant DA here in New York. However, in Florida, they have a law to make that not happen that way.
GRACE: Oh, BS!
RIPKA: There`s a law that changes that.
GRACE: BS! Stand your ground? If that were true, everybody in the jailhouse would be saying, Self-defense, self-defense.
RIPKA: Not true because there`s an investigation at the time, and police decide whether or not it is self-defense. And they thought, after speaking to witnesses, it was. And they invoked this law, and in this particular case, they found there was not enough to arrest him under the Florida law.
GRACE: When we come back, friend and neighbor of George Zimmerman taking your calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A surprising turn.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the Trayvon Martin case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just hours after this howling fight -- and the gunshot that killed Trayvon Martin -- the homicide officer investigating the case recommended George Zimmerman be brought up on manslaughter charges.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state`s attorney`s office determined there wasn`t enough evidence to lead to a conviction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once George Zimmerman said, Look, I was fighting to save my own life, it changes everything as far as the ability of the law enforcement to go after him on a manslaughter charge.
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, he`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just heard a shot right behind my house!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just said he shot him dead! The person is dead, laying on the ground!
ZIMMERMAN: And you`re truly setting an example for me for the future of doing the right thing, even when it`s tough, and I appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. We are taking your calls. Very quickly, Ellie Jostad, isn`t it true that the night the state`s attorney was consulted -- I don`t know why they were even consulted in the arrest. I mean, I got cases all the time that came to my desk. No cop ever consulted me, Should I arrest this guy? I got a dead 17-year-old, should I make an arrest?
But they, the state`s attorney, said don`t make an arrest before they ever even went to the scene. How did they know? They hadn`t even been there. How could they that night, what, look in their crystal ball and go, Don`t make an arrest? Something is not right, Ellie.
JOSTAD: Right, Nancy. And this is "The Miami Herald`s" reporting that -- it`s not clear, though, I should point out, whether they said that might -- the state`s attorney`s office said that night, Don`t arrest. "The Herald" is just reporting that their office, though, was consulted the night of the shooting,, but they didn`t send anybody out to the scene to investigate.
GRACE: With me right now, Frank Taaffe. This is friend and neighbor of George Zimmerman. Mr. Taaffe, I want to thank you for being with us, and specifically...
FRANK TAAFFE, NEIGHBOR OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Thank you, Nancy. You`re my hero.
GRACE: Well, I appreciate that. Maybe not after I ask you these questions. Tell me about George`s -- George`s Zimmerman`s injuries. I want to hear about his broken nose and the blows to the back of his head.
And I want to know -- I`m sure you`ve heard the 911 calls, too, by now. You`re sitting there. I just played them. Do you believe that was George Zimmerman screaming for help?
TAAFFE: Yes, I do. Nancy, his injuries are consistent with self- defense.
GRACE: Did he break his nose?
TAAFFE: Yes, he did.
GRACE: And were there gashes to the back of his head?
TAAFFE: I believe that Trayvon had him on the ground and he was slamming his head against the concrete.
GRACE: Have you seen the injuries?
TAAFFE: No, I haven`t seen the injuries. I only heard the police report that was corroborated by "The Orlando Sentinel."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the Trayvon Martin case...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A 17-year-old young man is dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What exactly happened between the teenager and the neighborhood watch guy?
ZIMMERMAN: This is George.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Zimmerman, he shot Martin.
ZIMMERMAN: Doing the right thing, even when it`s tough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was not armed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reports that he told police that the teen punched him and slammed his head into the pavement.
ZIMMERMAN: I can`t imagine what you must be going through.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The initial police report is, quote, "manslaughter/unnecessary killing to prevent an unlawful act."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There wasn`t enough evidence to lead to a conviction.
ZIMMERMAN: Talk to you soon. Bye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We are taking your calls. With me, Daryl Parks, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family, Frank Taaffe, speaking on behalf of George Zimmerman.
Back to you, Mr. Taaffe. Again, thank you for being with me. Mr. Taaffe, you stated that George Zimmerman, your friend`s, injuries are consistent with a beating, having his head slammed into a sidewalk, and that he did have a broken nose.
But as we were going to break, they were playing the music so loud in my ear, I couldn`t hear. Did you say you have not seen the injuries?
TAAFFE: I only read in "The Orlando Sentinel" that recently was corroborated by the Sanford Police Department.
Nancy, I just want to share this with you. You know, you`re a criminal lawyer, and there`s two words, "due process." I think we need to let due process work here and not disrespect my friend, George Zimmerman. And let`s go forward and let the authorities do what they have to do.
GRACE: Well, here`s my concern. And I agree with everything you just said, but...
TAAFFE: Thank you.
GRACE: ... when there is a dead body, and my experience as a homicide prosecutor, there is an arrest. And if there`s a self-defense claim, that is made in front of a jury. And also, Mr. Taaffe...
TAAFFE: Nancy, his injuries were consistent with the self-defense theory here. Look at the facts in the case.
GRACE: I am. But what`s concerning me...
TAAFFE: ... bloodied nose, cuts to the back of the head...
GRACE: I get it. I get it.
TAAFFE: ... grass stains...
GRACE: But what concerns me, Mr. Taaffe -- I get it. I hear what you`re saying.
TAAFFE: Thank you.
GRACE: But they told Mr. Zimmerman not to pursue him. That makes George Zimmerman the original aggressor. He should not have been doing that.
TAAFFE: That`s a good point, Nancy. You know, the first...
GRACE: He should not have been armed.
TAAFFE: I spoke to a former law enforcement deputy, and he stated to me the first maneuver, defensive position, is when there`s a police stop and/or any sort of investigation, that the officers are told to leave their car.
GRACE: But he`s not an officer!
TAAFFE: And I think George just wanted...
GRACE: They told him not to go! And this makes him the aggressor. I mean, you can`t go into a bar and then complain you got into a fight!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the third version of Zimmerman`s defense.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, SHOOTER: He`s coming to check me out. He`s got something in his hand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had a .9 millimeter gun. Trayvon Martin had a bag of Skittles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first story was Trayvon dragged him out of the car and attacked him.
MARY CUTCHER, WITNESSED SHOOTING AFTERMATH: I heard the crying. It was a little boy. As soon as the gun went off, the crying stopped.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s just someone screaming outside.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: We are back and taking your calls and, unusually also taking your calls is a friend of George Zimmerman speaking on his behalf, Mr. Taaffe. Also with us is Daryl Parks, the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family.
OK, Mr. Taaffe, I`m not picking on you. What I`m telling you is this, and I want to hear your answer. What concerns me about him claiming self- defense is you don`t go into a bar and then get in a fight and claim self- defense. They told him don`t go after this person. He did.
I can hear him -- kind of breathing going after him. I heard him say all these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) get away. I heard him say (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I heard that with my naked ear.
FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I didn`t hear that. I heard the tape. I heard something completely different.
GRACE: I`m going to play it for you in just a minute. So I mean --
TAAFFE: I`ve heard it. I`ve heard it.
GRACE: I mean that sounds like --
TAAFFE: He`s saying F-ing cold. He`s saying it`s F-ing cold. He does not enunciate that word that you`re saying. Clearly it`s inaudible.
GRACE: You know what --
TAAFFE: So you`re out there -- you`re out there --
GRACE: I hear what I hear. No, oh no, oh no.
TAAFFE: I know what I heard, too.
GRACE: OK, play it, Dana.
TAAFFE: Hey, you know what --
GRACE: Play it right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I didn`t hear cold.
Parks, did you hear cold?
DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN`S FAMILY: I didn`t hear cold. He said (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
GRACE: All right. Whatever. You know what, I`m fighting with you like it`s a jury.
TAAFFE: If that`s what you want to hear, that`s what you`re going to hear.
GRACE: And -- no, it`s not what I want to hear. I don`t want to hear that, but the point I`m making is, if he was the original aggressor, then how can he claim self-defense? OK, your turn Taaffe, go.
TAAFFE: OK. The injury sustained by George Zimmerman are consistent with the self-defense claim. What did he do, Nancy? After he shot Trayvon, he got up and punched himself in the nose and cut him in the back of his own head? And then put grass stains on him? Look at the facts. Look at the facts.
PARKS: Nancy is, if I may.
PARKS: You have a man with a gun who`s patrolling, who calls for no reason --
TAAFFE: How did he get the broken nose?
GRACE: Your turn, Parks. You go.
PARKS: Well, excuse me, sir.
TAAFFE: No, answer that.
PARKS: Hey, no, no, let me tell you something.
TAAFFE: I want to hear how did it -- how did it happen?
PARKS: He was the aggressor.
TAAFFE: Come on.
PARKS: He`s following.
PARKS: He called and said he`s a suspect for no reason at all.
TAAFFE: He punched himself in his own nose? He punched himself in his own nose and hit him in the back of his head?
PARKS: Well, let me say this here.
TAAFFE: On his own? Please, come on.
PARKS: If you go start -- if you start a fight --
GRACE: No, gentlemen, gentlemen, I get it, Taaffe. He did not punch himself in his own nose. I know he didn`t bang his head in the sidewalk. I get it.
TAAFFE: Thank you. You`re still my hero.
GRACE: OK, Parks.
PARKS: Let me say this here.
GRACE: Hit it, Parks.
PARKS: He went after -- he was following Trayvon. OK? No question about it. They told him not to follow Trayvon. Right? He gets out of the car --
TAAFFE: We had eight burglaries in our neighborhood --
PARKS: And he gets out of the car and he goes toward Trayvon --
TAAFFE: -- all perpetrated by young black males.
GRACE: OK. Now, this is Parks` turn, Taafee, wait.
PARKS: It`s very clear.
GRACE: All right. Cut his mic. Dana.
PARKS: You targeted him. You profiled him. You killed him. Zimmerman will be arrested. You watch.
GRACE: OK. I got the tail end of that but I think, I think I got the gist of it. All right. Let me go to Richard Kurtz, he is the funeral director that handled Trayvon Martin`s body. Joining us exclusively tonight.
Mr. Kurtz, thank you for being with us.
RICHARD KURTZ, FUNERAL DIRECTOR, HANDLED TRAYVON MARTIN`S BODY: OK.
GRACE: Mr. Kurtz, you handled Trayvon`s body. Now I know an autopsy had been performed but did you see any bruising or cutting on his knuckles or hands?
KURTZ: Well, first of all, when I received the body, it was (INAUDIBLE), I noticed the gunshot wound, but as far as his hands and knuckles, I didn`t see any evidence that he had been fighting anybody.
GRACE: OK. So you did not see -- and I want you to tell me, not me to tell you, tell me you did not see cuts or bruises on his knuckles or hands.
KURTZ: No, I did not.
GRACE: You did see the gunshot wound. Can you tell me where on his chest was the wound if you could tell after autopsy?
KURTZ: Well, it appeared to me that it was in the upper chest area. That`s where the (INAUDIBLE).
GRACE: Did you see any other injuries on Trayvon Martin`s body?
KURTZ: Not that I could tell.
GRACE: Richard Kurtz, joining us, funeral director who handled Martin`s body.
Mr. Kurtz, what`s the name of your funeral home?
KURTZ: Roy Mizell and Kurtz Funeral Home, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
GRACE: Roy Mizell Kurtz Funeral Home in Fort Lauderdale.
Mr. Kurtz, did anything else stand out to you that I have not mentioned regarding his body?
KURTZ: Well, no. It`s just the sight that you know, that the pain I went through as the embalmer of the body when I saw it was a kid and we didn`t know all the circumstances. And when I knew it was a gunshot wound. And then, you know, my question what happened why and as the, you know, news developed, but then, you know, it was starting to clear that, you know, I might say that, you know, I`ve been involved in a lot of (INAUDIBLE) in my life (INAUDIBLE) and homicides and these kinds of things.
But I`ve never witnessed one from day -- from the moment that it happened I think the police investigation was the most unprofessional one I`ve ever witnessed in my life.
GRACE: With me is Richard Kurtz.
Very quickly, back to Frank Taaffe. Mr. Taaffe, I think I`ve got some bad news for you because we just looked up on the Almanac -- was that where you looked, Clark? OK. Online Almanac, it was 62 degrees, 62 degrees. I`m putting on a bikini and laying out in the front yard.
TAAFFE: In Orlando, Florida, that`s pretty cold, Nancy. OK. Orlando, Florida.
GRACE: You know what, Taaffe?
TAAFFE: It`s cold.
GRACE: You`ve got a good reputation up until now.
TAAFFE: We were at Parkers` then it`s 55.
GRACE: But telling me 62 degrees is cold is going to be a problem. You`re going to have to do a little -- all right.
Let`s go out to Steve Helling, writer with "People" magazine.
All right, Helling, what have you got?
STEVE HELLING, STAFF WRITER, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Well, you know, this is fascinating listening to all the back and forth and what it goes to show is that even to this moment we really don`t know what was happening that night.
GRACE: Wait a minute, Helling. You`re a writer for one of the --
HELLING: I am a writer.
GRACE: The major magazines in this country, and you`re telling me that the news is people disagree. OK, I know that. Give me something else, Helling.
HELLING: OK. In this week`s issue of the magazine what we did is we spoke to people who knew both people. Zimmerman and as well as Trayvon, and we did as well as we could to put together a really rich picture of the two of them. You know, and we`re hearing one story here.
GRACE: OK. I don`t care about their backgrounds. I don`t care.
HELLING: Why don`t you care?
GRACE: I do not care that Trayvon Martin may have been suspended from school. Don`t care.
GRACE: I don`t care that he may have had pot somewhere. Don`t care.
HELLING: All right. You`re misunderstanding what I`m saying.
GRACE: I don`t care that Zimmerman was arrested five years ago. Don`t care. I care about what happened that night, and I want to ask you, Helling, you got your nose to the ground, what do you know about --
HELLING: I do.
GRACE: -- who said no when the cops say we`re going to make an arrest, somebody, what, sitting at home on the bed watching "Murder, She Wrote," goes say I don`t do it? Why?
HELLING: Well, OK. What we do know is, you know, as we`ve been reporting yes, the state`s attorney`s office said, you know, there`s not enough information yet, there`s not enough evidence yet. Now the police could have gone back. They didn`t say stop all investigations, stop it now. What they said is what you`ve given us so far isn`t enough and then it was back to the police and they could have continued to investigate this.
You know, so we may be reading a little bit too much into the state`s attorney`s office saying it`s not enough because they were basically saying it`s not enough yet.
GRACE: All right.
HELLING: So then it would be on the police to go and do more investigation.
GRACE: OK, Dustin Weis, WIOD, what do you know, Dustin?
DUSTIN WEIS, REPORTER, NEWSRADIO 610 WIOD: Essentially, Nancy, we`ve heard through "The Miami Herald," an anonymous source within the Seminole County State Attorney`s Office, says there was something that gave investigators pause, it made them want to hold off on pursuing any charges right away, some piece of evidence or some witness testimony, but what that is, Nancy, like so much in this case right now we don`t know. The police aren`t saying.
GRACE: Well, Dustin Weis, when are they planning on getting the missing pieces of the puzzle?
WEIS: Essentially that`s all been turned over now to this special prosecutor out of Jacksonville, Angela Corey. She took the investigation and started it over from scratch. They started back at square one, so it`s up to her and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI that`s working on this case right now.
GRACE: We are taking your calls right now.
Protests still going on across the country.
With me Frank Taaffe, friend and neighbor of Zimmerman. He has not seen Zimmerman`s injuries as of tonight.
Daryl Parks, lawyer for Trayvon Martin`s family.
I want to go out to Dr. Bill Manion, medical examiner joining us out of Philly. Dr. Manion, it`s going to be very, very important to determine -- and this is not just a fact question, it`s a legal question. I want to talk about the trajectory of the bullet, the bullet path. Did it come in from the left? Did it come in from the right? Was it going down to the back? Was it going up toward the head?
This is extremely important, Manion, because tonight Taaffe`s telling me Zimmerman was down on the ground fighting for his life, that Trayvon Martin turned around, circled back and went on him. Now if that is true, this gunshot wound is going to corroborate one or the other, Martin or Zimmerman.
Explain, Manion, and dummy down for me. I`m just a JD, all right, you`re the MD.
DR. BILL MANION, M.D., MEDICAL EXAMINER, BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ: Well, you always have to be very careful evaluating these scenes because, as I`ve thought about it, you brought it up last night, as I thought about it, if Trayvon was sitting upright and swinging down punching, we would expect the bullet trajectory to enter the chest and move front to back in an upward direction.
If the person is right-handed, we may expect the bullet to pass from the left side of the body to the right side of the body. I mean, it depends from where they`re struggling. On the other hand, as I thought about it, Trayvon could have been over him at a more bent -- at a 90-degree angle swinging down, punching, swinging down so the bullet may follow more of a flat trajectory rather than an upright.
GRACE: All right.
MANION: So we`ll have to be very careful with that.
GRACE: All right. Let`s go back to Taaffe. Mr. Taaffe, in a nutshell, what is Zimmerman`s story as to how it happened?
TAAFFE: Nancy is, it was reported in the "Orlando Sentinel" yesterday that the gunshot was at a close range.
GRACE: I know.
TAAFFE: Which, once again, is consistent --
GRACE: Yes. Let me repeat my question.
TAAFFE: George Zimmerman didn`t tick him off at 50 paces.
GRACE: Are you going to tell me what Zimmerman said?
TAAFFE: Didn`t roll up on him. And bust a cap in him. OK? It was self-defense.
GRACE: Sir, I did not ask you what "The Sentinel" said. I asked you, what is Zimmerman`s story? What does he say happened?
TAAFFE: I haven`t spoken with George. He left me a voicemail last Friday, as you heard.
GRACE: All right.
TAAFFE: He appreciates that I`m being tough for him.
GRACE: All right.
TAAFFE: And I`m vouching for him because I`m a stand-up guy.
GRACE: OK, Mr. Moore, former Fed with the FBI, explain the significance of what Bill Manion is saying.
STEVE MOORE, FMR. FBI AGENT AND VIOLENT CRIME INVESTIGATOR: Well, it`s going to be all on physical evidence at this point. The police didn`t arrest because they were confused. They -- there`s just so much going on here. There`s so many moving parts that it`s going to come down to physical evidence that will determine this case. And that is the important thing right now.
GRACE: To Daryl Parks, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family. Daryl Parks --
GRACE: Why did a state`s attorney who had not been to the scene -- maybe I`m wrong, OK, but I`ve got plenty of cases where somebody said self- defense at trial. That`s affirmative defense. But that was at trial. The defendant had already been arrested. Maybe they bought it out, maybe they didn`t. Went to a grand jury and then I tried it if I believed in it. So what -- who decided not to even make an arrest?
I mean, they had Zimmerman there at police headquarters interrogating him. What happened in those critical moments?
PARKS: Well, in our opinion it either had to be a supervisor --
GRACE: Wait a minute, who is our? I`m asking you, Daryl Parks. Who is our? Who is that?
PARKS: Well, in my opinion --
GRACE: All right.
PARKS: Certainly the supervisor failed to sign on to it or the decision was made in the state`s attorney`s office. We agreed with the lead investigator. He should have been arrested that night.
GRACE: I listen to what you`re saying and, you know, as far as police go, I would be very surprised the police do not work for the state`s attorney`s office. They work in tandem together. I would be surprised for the police to go, oh, OK, we`ll let them make up our minds for us. Something is not right. Something smells.
PARKS: We agree with you.
GRACE: And I`m not saying --
PARKS: Something does smell.
GRACE: And I`m not saying, I`m not saying Zimmerman is guilty, because if he was getting his head banged into the sidewalk, that`s going to go to a jury. But I also find it very hard to believe, Paula Bloom, psychologist, that this is a guy on the phone going to his girlfriend, somebody is following me. Somebody is following me. Should I run? Should I not run?
If that is true, if that is true, I find it hard to believe the same 17-year-old would then circle back and then go attack the guy, hey, you got a problem, homie? You do now because that`s the story I`m hearing tonight. Those two stories are not consistent, I don`t think.
PAULA BLOOM, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, BLOGGER, PAULABLOOM.COM: You`re right. They`re not consistent and it goes against your instincts. Listen, we talked a lot about Mr. Zimmerman being involved with law enforcement things and kind of as somebody was describing before he was sort of spring loaded a few years ago when there was that issue with the police officer, but it makes no sense to be able to go back, to want to go back, it goes against your desire to take care of yourself and protect yourself.
He was worried according to what the girlfriend is saying on those phone calls.
GRACE: Well, a lot of us is --
BLOOM: Somebody who`s out worried doesn`t do that.
GRACE: A lot of this is going to depend on the forensics that our medical examiner Manion and Steve Moore are talking about.
Out to the clines. Clayton in Florida. Hi. Clayton, what`s your question?
CLAYTON, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Yes, I was just wondering. My name is (INAUDIBLE), I`m from West Palm Beach, Florida. I like watching this show, Nancy. I was trying to figure out when a lady is abused or anybody is battered, they normally take pictures of it. No broken in his head. And I was wondering why no pictures right now.
GRACE: OK. I`m going to throw that to Frank Taaffe.
Mr. Taaffe, do you know whether photos were taken? I imagined that they were.
TAAFFE: I`m sure they are and they haven`t been released yet, Nancy.
GRACE: Back to Dustin Weis, Newsradio 610 WIOD. OK, Dustin, where is this whole thing going?
WEIS: Well, Nancy, now we`re at a position where we`re really just waiting on the special prosecutor Angela Corey out of Jacksonville. Of course she`s --
GRACE: Hey, Weis, she is no idiot. OK?
WEIS: No. In fact, you had her on last night.
WEIS: We`ve heard from her about the new details coming out about how the police department in Sanford --
GRACE: Have you looked at her track record? Have you looked at her track record, Dustin Weis?
WEIS: I haven`t gotten too deep into it but --
GRACE: Hey, I looked at it.
WEIS: Kind of a hard nose, as I understand it.
GRACE: I`ve looked at it. I looked at her track record. She ain`t afraid of trying a case. All right, go ahead.
WEIS: Certainly. I mean just the latest that we`ve heard out of her on the case, I mean, it`s essentially a contradiction of everything that we heard earlier from the police department in Sanford. One would wonder really at this point why police chief Bill Lee made the statements that he did if it was the state`s attorney`s office that was really making the decision not to go ahead with prosecution of George Zimmerman, not to go ahead with an arrest.
We`re also told now that the clothing George Zimmerman had on at the time of the shooting was actually taken that night and put into evidence and processed and sealed. Of course a lot could be discovered from that clothing.
GRACE: Let`s stop and remember Army Sergeant Dayne Dhanoolai, 26, Brooklyn, New York, killed, Iraq, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Iraq Campaign Medal. Loved music, dancing, X-box. Favorite food, barbecue, native of Trinidad and Tobago, granted citizenship after death. Leaves behind parents Ashton and Monica, sisters Carlyn and Joan. And Natalie, widow, Kenisha.
Dayne Dhanoolai , American hero.
Thanks to our guests but especially to you for being with us and good night from Georgia, friends. Ann, Tina and Ginny. Aren`t they beautiful? Especially you, Ann.
And happy birthday to Florida friend Holly, devoted mom of two, to Grace and Cole, loves friends and family, including husband, Robert.
Here are new photos of the twins, John-David and Lucy. The Easter bunny came over night and decorated the house. And then Bunny, he visited. Thee they are. All excited. They got some lollipops, they`re getting ready for the big egg hunt.
There`s Lucy in her gown first thing in the morning, looking at the decorations the bunny left overnight, as we head into holy week.
For more on Trayvon Martin, watch Dr. Drew coming up next, everybody. We are waiting on justice, whatever that may be. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Good night, friend.