Return to Transcripts main page


Witness, Shooter`s Brother Come Forward

Aired March 30, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you from New York City.

The brother of the man who shot Trayvon Martin speaking out for the very first time and revealing what George Zimmerman told him about the shooting.

Plus, we have a brand-new eyewitness account from the night Trayvon Martin was shot. This person says they saw and heard what happened. We are searching for the truth right now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, two potentially key players break their silence in the Trayvon Martin case.

The very first eyewitness comes forward. Wait until you hear what he has to say about George Zimmerman`s altercation with the unarmed teen. Does his story paint a clearer picture of what happened?

This as Zimmerman`s brother speaks out for the first time in his defense, and offers his take on the surveillance tape everyone`s talking about. You`ll hear from both of these men tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone who says that they saw the Trayvon Martin shooting has finally come forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are two men on the ground, one on top of each other, obviously thinking, OK, something really horrible was happening.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn`t pull out a gun and shoot him. George showed tremendous restraint.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if you look at the video -- and I`ve looked at it and reviewed it a number of times -- I don`t see anything consistent with a broken nose.

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON`S FATHER: All I know is that my son was carried away in a body bag, and Zimmerman was left to go and shower and sleep in his bed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, uncovering the secrets that could blow the Trayvon Martin case wide open.

We`ve got a new eyewitness account from somebody who says they saw and heard the whole thing. And for the very first time, the brother of shooter George Zimmerman is speaking out. What did George tell him about the shooting?

This eyewitness does not want to be identified, even by gender, but that person says it was pouring rain the night of February 26, the night Trayvon was shot. The witness, who lives in the community where Trayvon was visiting his dad, heard people yelling outside, including a yell for help.

"AC 360`s" Anderson Cooper asked what happened next?


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Were you able to observe who was on top, who was on bottom? Were you able to see faces or any details of the people scuffling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, just that it was -- that it was dark. I mean, the only reason I can say is that if I was to have to say who do I think it was, I would have to say only the larger man, because after the larger man got off, then there was a boy, obviously now dead, on the ground facing down.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The witness says when Zimmerman got up, he didn`t appear to have any injuries. But was it too dark out to tell? Does this witness account match up to George Zimmerman`s version of what happened that night? And does it match the police report that says Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and head? We are going to investigate.

Zimmerman`s brother Robert, who a lot of people say looks like George quite a bit, spoke out for the very first time on "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT," defending his brother.

Robert Zimmerman says his brother was not on a Neighborhood Watch, that he was driving to a Target store.


ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, BROTHER OF SHOOTER: Saying that he was patrolling a neighborhood is absolutely false. He was not patrolling the neighborhood. This fantasy or this mythology that he chased a person is just absolutely false. He didn`t chase anyone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robert Zimmerman claims medical records will prove his brother was attacked and his nose broken by Trayvon Martin before the shooting. Well, you know what I say? Let`s see those medical reports. Let`s end all this speculation. Let`s get to the truth of what happened the night Trayvon Martin was shot dead.

Except here`s a problem. And I`m holding it in my hand right now. More breaking news, this brand-new letter from the special prosecutor, Angela Corey, who says she now wants to keep all documents in this case sealed from the media, and she will no longer be talking about the case. Wow.

Straight out to Rod Smith. Rod, you have served as a special prosecutor in a number of questions. Here`s my burning question tonight: can she do this? Can she keep all the documents, all the evidence, all the new videos away from the public that desperately wants answers in this case?

And remember, we all watched the Casey Anthony case, also happening in the very same area, the Orlando area. And during that case, as it unfolded, we were constantly inundated with new evidence, new video of her talking to her parents in jail. So how can they now say, Rod, "Unh-uh, the media and the public will not get any more official information on this case"?

ROD SMITH, FORMER SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: I`m actually surprised it`s taken this long. As a prosecutor, the first thing you want to do is control the flow of information.

No. 1, you`ve got to evaluate the case first. Second of all, you`ve got issues involving where you`re going to be able to ultimately try this case, and you`ve got also the issues of the defendant`s fair trial rights should there be a charge made. Generally speaking the prosecutors very early in the case take control of the case in terms of the flow of information.

I can tell you that in one of the highest profile murder cases I was involved in, I literally was sued by -- for information, but I would not release it, because I believed at the time that the most critical thing from a prosecutor`s point of view was to get it right and to evaluate the evidence first.

When the case is over, whether the case is dismissed or whether or not it goes to trial, all this information will be in the court of public opinion. But right now, the prosecutor is not trying to save himself from opinion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s -- you`re assuming. Excuse me for a second, Rod. With all due respect, you`re assuming that it will. And I certainly hope that we are going to able -- we are able to see this...

SMITH: I`m not -- I`m not going assuming that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... in the context of justice. But I do have an issue with trying to shut down all the official information. I think you shine a spotlight on it. And we have these great discovery laws in Florida, the sunshine laws.

Why are we now saying, "Unh-uh, they don`t apply here."

I want to welcome a very special guest, Terrence Jay, host of one of BET`s "106 & Park." And I want to play a clip of the Trayvon Martin special you hosted just last night, Terrence Jay.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wear a hoodie almost every day. I run and I jog with my hoodie. And as a black man, it just -- it just seems so unfortunate that we`re at the place now -- I mean, would you agree -- that if someone is, well, don`t wear a hoodie, and you might not get shot. I thought this was America.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Let me ask you about this idea that we`re not going to get any more official information, Terrence Jay? Does that disturb you at all?

TERRENCE JAY, HOST, BET`S "106 & PARK": Absolutely. The fact that they don`t want to give us the information lets us know there`s something to hide. We want the information. We want justice for his parents. We want justice for his family. Everybody wants to know what happened, and the fact that they`re trying to hide even more just shows that there`s a lot of miscalculations going on there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jasmine Janet (ph), political race issues commentator, what do you think? Do you think the special prosecutor should say, "Unh-uh, despite Florida`s sunshine laws, we are not going to get any information official on this case"?

JASMINE JANET (ph), POLITICAL RACE ISSUES COMMENTATOR: I definitely disagree with that. But I think the information is going to get out regardless. I think somehow the information is going to continue to flow out. And we`re going to continue to seek answers. We want answers.

This is not the time for them to go, you know, mum`s the word and try to keep all the information to themselves. This is one of the most talked about stories across America. This is not the time for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what my concern is, is that if they don`t get official information out there -- and listen, I`ve interviewed Angela Corey. She`s a great person. I think she`s trying to do a good job. But here`s my problem with it.

What you are going to see is more leaks. Remember the video that we`re looking at, the video that we`ve been looking at for a couple of days now of what happened at the Sanford Police Department, it was initially leaked to the news media. We`re talking about surveillance cameras from within the police department.

And let`s show that video again, leaked to the news media, and then, of course, they had to release it to everyone.

So I want to go to Curtis Sliwa, founder of Guardian Angels. Since we had leaks...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Leaks from the police, saying, "Oh, here`s George Zimmerman`s version of events." It was leaked to the "Atlanta Sentinel. Does it concern you now that -- that they`re saying, "Well, no more official information"? Do you think that`s going to cause more leaks?

SLIWA: There`s no question. It`s going to leak like a sieve. You know why the cops leaked this information, because they were being made the bad guys in this. You saw Zimmerman being walked in. He was in the perp walk. He was cuffed behind. They had him arrested.

The lead investigator, originally from New York, said, "We were going to charge him with manslaughter." It`s the state`s attorney who stepped in, the suit, the so-called intellectual, said, "Oh, no, you can`t do that." They were ready to book him, Dano. They were ready to photograph him. They were ready to print him. They were ready to put him in the cell, and the state`s attorney said, "Take the cuffs of and turn him loose."

So I think the cops said, "Oh, yes? We want everyone to see it wasn`t us that turned him loose." It was the state`s attorney, the suits, the big shot pullers, not the little guys busting their shoes on the ground, who clearly at the scene knew that Zimmerman probably was guilty of manslaughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, are we going to see more leaks like this? This video, which was finally released to everybody officially, but was initially linked to a news conversation. If the state`s attorney, the special prosecutor assigned to this case, as she indicates in this letter, is not going to give any information to the public, are we going to see more leaks?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You absolutely are, Jane. This case is too important. It`s too big. It`s too well known. We`re not just going to see information coming out of the police department, somebody`s going to release the M.E.`s report. Somebody else is going to get the name of witnesses, and those witnesses are going to magically appear. Everyone wants to know what`s happening.

Now, I will say this. I used to be a prosecutor, and I understand where Angela Corey is coming from, in that she wants to preserve the integrity of her investigation, because she doesn`t a witness being spoken to in the media and impeached later on at trial on the stand with something they said to the media.

So I see where she`s coming from, but you`re not going to stop those leaks. It`s coming out, Jane. We`re going to see all of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The problem with police is they happen selectively. We still don`t get the whole story.

We`re just getting started. This is George Zimmerman`s brother breaking his silence. You`re going to hear his sound on the other side of the break. Does his description of what happened that night of the shooting match the eyewitness account, which you`ll also here in just a moment?

And we`re taking your calls.


ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S BROTHER: Saying that she was patrolling the neighborhood is absolutely false. He was not patrolling the neighborhood.




ZIMMERMAN: The last thing he remembers doing was moving his head from the concrete to the grass. So that if he was banged one more time, he wouldn`t be, you know, wearing diapers the rest of his life and being spoon-fed by his brother. And it would have been George dead, had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The shooter`s brother claims George was barely conscious after the allegedly beating he took for Trayvon Martin. But when you see the surveillance video which was taken not long after the shooting, do you see a man who was just severely beaten and had to fight for his life?

Now, the police report says, well, the paramedics did treat him. The paramedics cleaned him up perhaps in the squad car before he came into the police station.

Nevertheless, I`ve got to throw that out to Curtis Sliwa. What do you see when you look at this videotape?

SLIWA: Oh, come on. He`s soft serve. I`ve had concrete facials, I`ve had wooden shampoos. I mean, I know what it`s like to get hit in the head. I`ve had concussions. This guy, if you look at the video, you can see there`s no blood. He`s not raising his head up like I typically have when I`ve had a broken nose, because you want to keep the blood from flowing down. So it`s clear. This guy is not injured anywhere near to what his brother is saying.

And Jane, the other thing that I`m most concerned of, they`re flipping the script now. Oh, he wasn`t on patrol. He wasn`t doing his Barney Fife routine in the gated community. He was on his way to Target. What is that?

So why was he mad-dogging Trayvon? Why was he eye-fornicating him? Why did he get into a confrontation with him? I think this demands even more of an explanation, because the brother has opened up a real Pandora`s box.


JAY: I couldn`t agree with you any more. When you look at Zimmerman walking with the police officers, you can tell. There`s no physical evidence of any type of altercation. It doesn`t look like he got into a fight. Anybody that plays football, played basketball, that suffered a broken nose or got into a fist fight, knows that`s not how you walk around afterwards.

Trayvon Martin was on the phone for six hours, talking with his girlfriend. He went to get some Skittles. That boy wanted to taste the rainbow. He didn`t want to get into any type of physical altercation. And the fact that they`re trying to withhold the information now just proves our point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to bring in a very special guest, Olivia Bergelon (ph). You are a former neighbor of George Zimmerman`s, and you say that you have a completely different picture of George Zimmerman. You say that George Zimmerman helped you after a burglary. Tell us how long ago was the burglary and what happened, Olivia?

OLIVIA BERGELON (PH), FORMER NEIGHBOR (VIA PHONE): Hi. I was broken into in August of 2011, just a month after we moved into the retreat at Sun Lakes. And we were broken into around 11 p.m. by two 17-year-old African- Americans while I was home with my 9-month-old son. And they tried to get into the room I was in.

Later that afternoon, George came over and seemed very concerned, just to see how we were doing. Later on that week, he put a lock on our doors, gave me a list of phone numbers to reach him and his wife at, that, you know, if we ever needed anything, that we could call him or I could go over there if I needed, if I didn`t feel safe. Very concerned and very sweet and caring, not at all the way he`s being portrayed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Terrence, weigh in.

JAY: I`m sorry. I don`t -- first of all I don`t how the fact that two 17-year-old African-Americans, I don`t understand how that -- why that fits into that story. But if that`s George Zimmerman`s excuse for targeting 17-year-old African-American, is because he burglarized you, I think we have a bigger problem on our hands. This is racial profiling at its finest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I really feel that the issue of looking at people in terms of their race, along with looking at people in terms of what they`re wearing is something that we have to address as a culture.

Lisa Wu, you`re a very well-known actress. You`re a former cast member of "Real Housewives of Atlanta."

In my opinion, we are overly focused on race in this country. We are increasingly a multiracial, multiethnic, diverse culture where you cannot fit all of humanity into four little squares, four little boxes. It just doesn`t work.

And nevertheless, this is how people continue to describe strangers that they see. Simply in terms of that. That, to me, is one of the fundamental problems here.

LISA WU, ACTRESS: Absolutely, I`m totally outraged. I have a son that`s, you know, 17 years old. It could have been my child, and it`s just unfortunate, because he has on a hoodie. That`s insane. My 5-year-old wears hoodies. So then you could be -- you know, you feel threatened by him, as well? It`s just insane. It`s unfortunate, and I`m outraged by it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor. One of the greatest freedoms we have in our country is the freedom to wear whatever we want. I was just reading an article about North Korea, and how regimented their society is, and how hundreds of thousands of people literally are in uniform, their freedoms limited. Isn`t one of the basic freedoms of being -- being an American the freedom to wear what you want?

HUGHES: Absolutely. And we see this in rape cases, too, Jane. It wasn`t too long ago that, when a woman got raped, the first question was, "Well, what were you wearing? What did you look like?" Absolutely wrong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More Trayvon Martin in a moment. But first, here is your "Viral Video of the Week."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Eagle keeps calling me. And then I have a fox. He`s very quiet. And then I`ve got the cat out here. And the other cat.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After the shot, obviously, someone, a man got up, and it was kind of like that period of him, I can`t say I watched him get up, but maybe only within like a couple seconds or so, then he was walking towards where I was watching. And I could see him a little bit clearer. You see that it was a Hispanic man, and he was, you know, he didn`t appear hurt or anything else.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This reported eyewitness, he doesn`t want to reveal his identity. He spoke to "A.C. 360," and this new eyewitness had some surprising words to say about the gunshot that killed Trayvon Martin. Listen to this from "A.C. 360."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard the gunshots, which to me were more like pops than they were like a bang.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You say gunshots, plural. Was there more than one to your memory? Or was there just one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the sound that I had from where I was walking, it was more like a pop. And it definitely was more than one pop noise. So I don`t know if it was an echo or anything else. But it definitely made more than one pop.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But everything that we`ve heard so far has indicated there was only one gunshot. Even the 911 calls only had one bang from what we could hear anyway.

So I want to go out to Ron Smith, a former violent crimes prosecutor. What could this mean for the credibility of this witness?

SMITH: Well, first of all, in any witness, you`re going to have to question why it came when it came, when the evidence came forward.

You know, I serve on the Innocence Commission in Florida. It would surprise people to know that eyewitness, especially a nighttime eyewitness cases are not necessarily the best cases, one way or the other.

It does appear that there`s some information here that`s inconsistent with the story previously told. And I agree with those who said earlier, one of the reasons a prosecutor tries to control the flow of information is to at least hold the inconsistencies down until there`s an explanation for them. I think that -- I think that there`s a real question -- there will be real questions raised in terms of how this person will perform ultimately either in court or before a grand jury.

Because right now, what we know is there`s someone saying these things, and they`re really not being pressed on how they know what they know, where they were. It also appears that it would be, if this information is believed, it would be highly inconsistent with the statements of the man`s injury as he later reported it.

I think what -- the prosecutor will be looking at run reports by the - - by the people who came out in the emergency response. I think they`ll be looking to see whether photographs were taken. They should have been taken if there were injuries at the time. I think all of these things they`ll be trying to analyze whether or not there`s self-defense here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Holly Hughes, you were saying one of the reasons why the special prosecutor wants to shut down any information is to prevent witnesses from saying something that`s later going to be contradicted and they can be then really grilled on the stand and destroyed on the stand. But if they`re speaking anonymously, isn`t that the same effect?

HUGHES: Well, you know, they say they`re speaking anonymously now, but later on down the road, we`re going to see subpoenas issued for the release of that information. Because once it goes into court, if in fact, criminal charges are filed, it`s a whole other ball game. So they will find out -- just like we were talking about earlier with the leaks, you`re going to know who it is, based on their story that they`re telling. So it`s not going to remain anonymous if they get subpoenaed in a criminal trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But again, that`s why I think Florida`s sunshine rules would do well to apply in this case. We`re going to talk about that on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you think he`s yelling "help"?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. What is your --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just heard gunshots?




ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, JR. GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S BROTHER: I know that that`s his voice. It sounds just like my voice. He`s my brother. That`s what I sound like if I yell.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Whose voice is screaming help on the 911 call? Is it George Zimmerman`s, as his brother claims; or is it Trayvon Martin as the family of Trayvon Martin`s family.

And Jasmyne Cannick, political and race issues commentator, one of the really difficult things about this story covering it from a journalistic perspective is that so much of what`s coming forward is murky. It`s open to interpretation. You hear two completely conflicting accounts of the very same moment.

JASMINE CANNICK, POLITICAL AND RACE ISSUES COMMENTATOR: Exactly, you do. And for me, it all boils down to this. For me it doesn`t matter if it was Trayvon or Zimmerman. The bottom line is Trayvon is dead.

You know, if George Zimmerman was -- you know, if I were in his shoes -- let me tell you if I were in Trayvon`s shoes he might have had a problem with me. Because if I`m minding my own business walking down the street and he started following me, there might be some issues. But the bottom line is you don`t show up to a fist fight with a gun. Who is just walking down the street with a .9 mm? That`s just crazy.

So at the bottom -- at the end of the day, I`m not buying -- me personally I don`t buy Zimmerman`s account of it. But for me, the whole who`s yelling, that`s sideline. The bottom line is Trayvon is dead, Zimmerman hasn`t been arrested and we need to see some justice because you just do not walk down the street with a .9 mm in the middle of a rainstorm, following someone. That`s just crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Olivia Bertalan, you`re a former neighbor of George Zimmerman`s. You`re saying Zimmerman helped you after a burglary, you`re defending him. What do you say to that, that this guy was walking around packing heat and pointing out strangers and saying they look suspicious?

We know that Trayvon had gone to a 7-Eleven and he had purchased skittles and an iced tea and was walking to his dad`s house.

OLIVIA BERTALAN, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I think to say that it`s crazy that he had a gun on him is silly, because apparently, he`s carried a gun all the time. I have never seen it because even the police report said it was inside his pants. So that`s kind of crazy, if he carried it all the time, did you expect him to take it out when he went to Target? No, he probably kept it on him 24/7.

And as far as following him, my husband follows kids in the neighborhood and not because we`re racist, because I`m not in the slightest, at all. I love everyone. But because this was a rampant problem in our neighborhood; there was eight break-ins in the last 14 months, all by the same profile. And it fit this kid; I`m not saying that he was guilty.

But my husband probably would have done the same thing, if he felt like he was about to break into someone`s house, he probably would have followed him just to make sure that he wasn`t going to do that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, you`re the founder of the Guardian Angels. There are rules about being a neighborhood watchman. And even though his brother says, if he was on the way to Target, if he is operating in that capacity, from moment to moment, then he was doing a patrol of some sort. What rules did he break?

CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: All right. Let`s just say he was being vigilant, a good citizen, he may have come to the aid of that neighbor like we`ve seen volunteer firefighters risk their lives and fight fires. And then on one day set a fire and get arrested for being an arsonist.

It doesn`t mean because he`d do good things most of the time, you`re not capable of all of a sudden messing up. I think what happened was, he was rolling through that gated community, he saw somebody that he felt was suspicious, not because of the hoodie, not because of the color of the skin, he was on a mission, he decided to confront him.

He calls 911, which is the proper thing to do. You see something, say something; the encourage people to do that. Cops told him, hey Jack, back off. Now he took it upon himself. He is responsible for Trayvon being dead because the cops who are the ruling authority -- he`s subordinate to them as a crime watch person -- he decided to cross that imaginary line. Nobody asked him to do that.

This neighbor who was talking about his good work before, she didn`t ask him. There were other 911 calls who got Trayvon saying, we got a suspicious guy in the neighborhood? It was all about Zimmerman`s perception. And look, on that day he might have had all the furniture upstairs Jane rearranged in the wrong rooms. And now the whole world is watching.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Terrence J, for me the bigger issue is the Wild West mentality that we as a culture often have. That somehow oh, it`s a good idea to walk around packing heat and in your mind -- it kind of reminds of like the film "Taxi Driver", you`re going to go out there and you`re going to impose your version of justice on whomever you meet.

Do we need to change our mentality? Because I know that the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. who was on the show spoke about practicing nonviolence. And to me, as I practice nonviolence, I go to the famous philosopher, Thich Nhat Hahn, that says "Peace is every step." Peace is every step. Was George Zimmerman being peaceful as he stepped through that community that night?

TERRENCE J, HOST, BET: Absolutely not, and Jane, not only do we need to change our mentality we need to change some of these laws. We need to hold, not only Zimmerman accountable but this judicial system. This is a flawed system. We shouldn`t have vigilantes chasing after kids, hunting them down with guns and then claiming self-defense. It`s not right. It`s just -- it`s incredible that he`s getting away with this and people will not be happy until he goes to trial.


SLIWA: Although Jane, I have dealt with unarmed patrols, as you know, I run the largest in the world -- 17 countries, 440 cities, 5,000 members and I have run across armed patrols; people risking their lives every day, not making these mistakes.

So let`s not judge all of the community patrollers based on Zimmerman, this lone wolf; this guy in his own mission. And it really wasn`t the law. Zimmerman wasn`t following the law because he was the aggressor. It`s clear by everyone`s account. Zimmerman triggered the action, Trayvon was a victim. Now, if Trayvon reacted, then he actually was utilizing the law in defense of himself being stalked, being hunted down.

So, nothing wrong with the law -- it isn`t about hoodies; it`s about what Zimmerman did. It`s the actions of one individual. Let`s not judge everyone else based on this guy not being able to control his mental faculties and making the right judgment because the cops told him to back off. That`s when the mistake was made.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Zimmerman told police, he acted out of self-defense, after Trayvon Martin attacked him, punched him, repeatedly slammed his head into the sidewalk; that is what Zimmerman is claiming. But the victims` parents say no way.


SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: I have no confidence that my son chased this guy. I really believe that this guy chased my son and my son was protecting himself. My son was exercising his stand your ground rule.

ZIMMERMAN: This fantasy, this mythology of if you chased a person is just absolutely false. He didn`t chase anyone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If this ends up going to trial, how important will it be, Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, that the 911 dispatcher told George Zimmerman, you do not need to follow Trayvon Martin.

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s going to be very big to a jury. Legally speaking, disobeying a command from a dispatcher is not violating any kind of law. But the jury is made up of human beings Jane, and they are going to stop and look at that and say, ok you know what? A law enforcement officer told you we don`t need you to do that, so what was your purpose in continuing to pursue this young man who we know was unarmed and we know based on what we`ve seen that he didn`t have drugs in his system.

So Zimmerman on the phone saying, he`s acting funny, he`s on drugs -- we now know that`s not true either. This young man was just walking along, talking to his girlfriend. So the jury`s going to hold that against him. They`re going to say, if you had listened to the 911 dispatcher, none of this would have happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, the autopsy on Trayvon Martin has been complete. We do not have the results. They are also, according to this new edict, going to be sealed and we will not know them until this is played out in court, if it is played out in court.

Now, don`t blame the messenger, there`s been a lot of controversial things that have been said in the course of this story unfolding. And we`re going to play one for you right now. George Zimmerman`s father has come under a lot of fire for this statement he gave to WOFL. Listen to this.


ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, SR., FATHER OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I never foresaw so much hate coming from the President, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP. Every organization imaginable is trying to get notoriety or profit from this in some way.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Wu, actress, former cast member of "Real Housewives of Atlanta." First of all, I want to point out that President Obama said that well, if he had a son, that son would look like Trayvon. We reviewed everything he said, he didn`t say anything hateful as far as I can observe whatsoever. What do you make of this comment by the father of the shooter, George Zimmerman?

LISA WU, ACTRESS: He`s a father trying to protect his child, basically is what he`s trying to do. You know, all the stories are conflicting. His brother just said that he wasn`t patrolling, he wasn`t following him so then why would Zimmerman call the dispatcher and say there`s someone that looks, you know, suspect. So none of the stories are adding up.

And there was nothing hateful that the President said. Or, you know, people want justice. That`s what we want. We want justice. We want Zimmerman in jail paying for it. Honestly, I know that, you know, I wouldn`t take revenge, but really, I might like somebody in jail, so I`m just praying for the family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to tell you about a very special town hall meeting that I`m honored to have been part of. It`s called "Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America". It airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Or you can catch a replay, Saturday on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. right here on HLN.

More on the Trayvon Martin story when we come right back in a moment.


ZIMMERMAN: What Trayvon said was either to the effect of, I believe, this is going to be easy. You die tonight or you have a piece, you die tonight and then attempted to disarm him. So when you say have a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Nobody just stood there with a bag of Skittles and iced tea. You were trying force with force when somebody assaults you.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he and his friends experimented with marijuana that is still completely irrelevant to George Zimmerman killing their son.

FULTON: He killed my son and now they`re trying to kill his reputation.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A heart-wrenching case that has captivated the nation. Let`s go out to the phone lines. The very patient Ryan from New York; your question or thought, Ryan?

RYAN, NEW YORK (via telephone): Hi Jane, I have a quick comment and a quick question.


RYAN: I have a hoodie that I wear with the hood over my head sometimes just to hide from people, not because I`m someone who is up to no good. Not everyone who wears a hoodie is evil. I think it`s the people who automatically jump to conclusions about others who are far more dangerous.

And my question is, the neighborhood watch that hired Zimmerman as a volunteer, if they knew of his previous criminal background, shouldn`t they be made accountable for allowing him to work there?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s an excellent question. Rod Smith, Zimmerman has problems in the past. Even though his record pretty much was expunged. He was arrested for battery on a police officer, there was a domestic incident. Should they have investigated him first?

ROD SMITH, FORMER VIOLENT CRIMES PROSECUTOR: Well, they -- clearly they should have. But I have to tell you that it will depend on the terms of whether there was a formal agreement, what his responsibilities were. Was he acting within the scope of those responsibilities that evening?

You know, I think thought that right now any question about civil liability ought to be on the back burners. The real issue is the search for the truth in a criminal case and whether -- whether or not this person should be charged and if so, with what he should be charged.

And I really think these kinds of discussions are better for later and that would depend on whether or not negligence was present. And we simply wouldn`t know now and this is not the time for that inquiry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to final thoughts. I want people to predict as we have been doing every day this week, what is going to happen, starting with Curtis Sliwa, founder of Guardian Angels.

SLIWA: Oh, no doubt. He`s going to get charged. The grand jury is going to find a bill of goods on him. He`ll face a criminal prosecution and we`re going to get it on all over again. Because obviously he`s already loaded up with material witnesses and people who will speak on his character, I`m talking about Zimmerman.


Terrence J: We will watch Zimmerman get charged and that will play out in front of the court. But the bigger issue is the system and the bigger issue is out how we get to a place where this doesn`t happen again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely right with you.

Lisa Wu actress?

WU: I`m praying that Zimmerman is charged and that he pays for what he did to Trayvon and I just pray for their family inner peace.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jasmyne Cannick?

CANNICK: I think what`s going to happen neck is that autopsy report is probably going to be leaked ME`s office. And I`m with everyone else in terms of wanting to see Zimmerman arrested and see him charged.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney.

HUGHES: Jane, I think we`re going to see charges filed. I also think we are going to see the "Stand Your Ground" law either amended or abolished. This is not just going to play out in a single courtroom; this is going to apply to how the law is applied and how it is drafted in the legislature as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what I would like to see is a shift in our culture where we stop trying to put all of humanity into four little boxes. It doesn`t work, there`s going to be 9 billion people on this planet by 2050 and we have tremendous diversity and we have people who are gloriously multiracial, multiethnic. This idea that we have to look at people and look at them in this cartoonish fashion, as either black, white, Asian or Hispanic has got to go. So many people are of a multiethnic, multiracial background and we should celebrate that.

And I want to get your thoughts on that Terrence J.

Terrence J. I agree with you whole-heartedly. It pains me when we had the comments from Olivia earlier and she categorized her burglar as 17- year-old black men. That had nothing to do with the crime. We have to get to a place as a society where all those color boundaries, and our racial and ethnic differences and our religions are put aside and people are judged off of their merit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I really hope that this tragedy results in a national dialogue. And in that sense, Trayvon will not have died in vain. If we can all learn from this and all change how we judge and not judge.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So much news this week, but I think we all deserve a little bit of a laugh break.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Intelligent people who are making good with (inaudible) politically aware. And they just have absolutely no idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re windowless, (inaudible). They contain thousands upon thousands of animals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I decided to go take a look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cannot come on to my property.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ok. Dad, turn it off.

I had to be a little more sneaky. So why did they put all these bushes here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to hide what they`re doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to see with my own eyes (inaudible) what they`re doing on this side road here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do people know about this?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we`re lost.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: On this show, we expose secrets and one of America`s most shameful secrets is the way animals are treated on factory farms. We have to warn you, yes, the video you`re about to see is graphic, but it`s not nearly the worst of it. There are 10 billion animals on factory farms, far more animals than there are people in this country.

Did you ever see them? How often? If the answer is "not really", there`s a reason. They`re kept behind closed doors.

Critics say the way these animals are treated is an abomination. These creatures have as much feeling as your family dog or cat. But critics are saying if you did to your pet what is being done to these animals on these factory farms you would be charged with animal cruelty.

Joining me now, Mark DeVries, the director of a new movie, "Speciesism, the Movie" and you just saw a clip of it. Mark, what are you trying to accomplish with this movie?

MARK DEVRIES, DIRECTOR OF "SPECIESISM, THE MOVIE": Well, it started out as an investigation into the secrets you just spoke about, factory farming. Most people don`t realize that animals raised for food in the United States aren`t raised on farms at all anymore. Farms pretty much don`t exist.

There are giant factories where thousands of animals are kept in a single building and everything is controlled to the t -- the lighting, the temperature and so on. But while I was investigating that, I found out that it goes much deeper.

An increasing number of philosophers, scientists, lawyers and so on argue that the basic ethical principles that we all hold, on the left and on the right, that hurting others, causing suffering, harm, is a bad thing. And that they argue, like Peter Singer (ph), Gary Francion (ph), Tom Reagan (ph), Richard Dawkins (ph) and various others argue that these basic principles extend to members of other species, to non-human animals. They have popularized the term "speciesism", by analogy with racism and sexism to describe what they say is an unthinking assumption -- again taking the suffering of non-human animals seriously.

If they`re right that we can`t justify the distinction between the interests of man and the interest of nonhuman animals that would make what we just described going on, on factory farms is one of the most serious ethical issues of our time, if not the most serious ethical issue of our time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s take another clip from "Speciesism, the Movie".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that animals are not human, they belong to a different species, isn`t a reason for giving less consideration to their interests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Animals are under attack. They`re under attack. This is a war.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Speciesism. Let`s think about it. Gandhi said "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Nobel Peace prize recipient Albert Shweitzer (ph) said until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things man will not find peace himself.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, my thought is, first of all, I feel so bad for the people who were the victims of this animal. I also feel --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s not an animal. Let`s leave them out of this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s right, Jane. You know, he is an absolute animal. And he is a manipulator.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: don`t call him an animal. Let`s not call insult animals.


All right. Well, we`ll see. It`s a horse -- I don`t want to say horse race. That species is -- sorry, I take it back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve talked about speciesism on my show. If you had ten seconds to talk to America, what would you say, Mark.

DEVRIES: Sometimes you have to rethink things that you have always believed. I can`t say to much more now, so visit

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to applaud you for tackling this very difficult subject. I want to applaud our viewers for having to the courage to witness what is unpleasant. But we must bear witness to the truth. It`s the first step to changing things.

Nancy next.