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Zimmerman`s Attorneys Quit
Aired April 10, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
Has George Zimmerman gone AWOL? His former attorneys say he has left the state and they share concerns about his mental health. Wow, did the man who shot Trayvon Martin flee?
Plus, actor D.L. Hughley is here with his open letter directly to Trayvon.
We`re live tonight. So, let`s get started.
PINSKY: And good evening. Thanks for joining us.
Attorneys for George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed unarmed teen Trayvon Martin -- there`s no debating that point, that`s what he did - - they say they lost contact with Zimmerman and are no longer representing him. They say they last spoke to Zimmerman on Sunday and don`t know where he is. Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG SONNER, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FORMER ATTORNEY: As of now, we`re withdrawing his counsel for Mr. Zimmerman. We`ve lost contact with him. Up to this point, we`ve had contact every day.
He`s gone on his own. I don`t -- I`m not sure what he`s doing or who he`s talking to.
(END VIDO CLIP)
PINSKY: Well, thank you for sharing, Mr. Attorney.
Attorney Craig Sonner says Zimmerman went against advice and contacted special prosecutor, Angela Corey, himself. Just one hour ago, Corey issued a statement saying she will hold a news conference within the next 72 hours regarding this case. I guess hopefully some update on whether or not Zimmerman will in fact be charged.
Joining me, Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of HLN`s "JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL." And Jose Baez, you guys remember him as the defense attorney who represented Casey Anthony.
All right. Now, Jose, I want to start with something -- a little softball to you. You had an unpopular client, and can you sympathize with what these attorneys went through? That`s my first easy question.
JOSE BAEZ, REPRESENTED CASEY ANTHONY: I don`t know if that was an easy question. You know, I disagree with the way this was handled today. I do understand how difficult it is to handle a case like this, but the way these attorneys handled this situation was nothing short of a train wreck, in my opinion.
PINSKY: Jose, that is why I`m asking that question. I mean, A, I guess it would be did you ever consider leaving? And, B, can you ever imagine a situation where you would call a press conference, announce that you`re leaving and divulge information about the patient`s mental health?
Is there -- in your wildest imagination, can you imagine that?
BAEZ: No, I can`t, but, you know, unfortunately, I had seen another lawyer in central Florida who I`d rather not name do something very similar, where they`ve come out and announced, "I`m resigning because the client is not doing this, this, this and that. They`re not following my advice."
It`s not about the lawyer. When you defend someone, you know, we have certain rights in this country and the one right that you have is that right to counsel. And it`s not about the lawyer. So, if you`re no longer on the case, I think the best way to have handled this was to issue a statement, we are no longer the counsel of record for this case -- withdrawn, end of discussion.
But to go out and to hold a huge press conference like that where plugs are being done for local channels and voices are being imitated of congresswomen, and talking about specific mental health issues of your very own client or former client, it goes beyond any rational thought process as far as I`m concerned.
BAEZ: Now, what`s really important to note here, too, is it`s also an attorney/client confidence. So --
BAEZ: -- the communications between you and your client aren`t the only thing that`s protected. It`s also the confidences, which means that anything that you learn or gain in the process of representing your client, you cannot divulge without the client`s consent.
PINSKY: That`s privilege.
BAEZ: Exactly. Exactly.
PINSKY: Jane, that`s what`s killing me. It would be like if a physician said, you know, I`m not going to be this guy`s doctor anymore, but, he was a little nutty. What are you going to do?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST, "JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL": You and I talk about addiction, Dr. Drew. Attorneys get addicted to fame. They get a little taste of it -- oh my gosh. All of a sudden, they want more, more, more.
And they figured, well, this is the end of the line. He`s doing his own thing. He`s not returning our calls.
How can we maximize at this moment the situation we`ve been dealt? Let`s go out and hold a 46-minute news conference, knowing that with the intensity focused on this case, the national media is going to cover it live.
PINSKY: Of course.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can`t buy that kind of publicity.
PINSKY: So you think they did it out of a self-serving desire to get the limelight exclusively? And in that, they slipped and divulged some information they know is going to get their ass on a sling. The fact is, they are going to -- I think -- Jose, correct me if I`m wrong, but I think they have serious liabilities here, do they not?
BAEZ: They do, if Mr. Zimmerman chooses to file a complaint against them. But I don`t think that`s --
PINSKY: Jose, set up a Web site to try to garner some money together. Here`s the perfect solution. He can sue his attorneys. He has quite a case, does he not?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they seem to say, well, we never signed anything on paper. Therefore, therefore, were they even his attorneys? I mean, it`s very amorphous. They never met him in person. They only spoke to him on the phone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So we`re dealing with a mega case, and when you`re in a mega case, it`s a parallel universe. It`s like being sucked into a black hole. None of the normal rules of gravity apply.
We`re going to see more of this. This is just the beginning, Dr. Drew. Remember the O.J. Simpson case, remember the Michael Jackson child molestation trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crazy things happen on a daily basis.
PINSKY: We are talking to someone who was in the middle of that vortex. So, I`d like to get input from him.
First of all, Jose, in Florida, there is no obligation for a written commitment, is that right, to be an attorney?
BAEZ: No, that`s correct. You`re exactly right, Drew. There`s no requirement, but it is highly advised to do so.
So most competent attorneys, the very first thing they do is get a retainer agreement signed. The fact that a lawyer would go on television, put their name, their reputation out there in the national spotlight without having a retainer agreement is pretty odd.
PINSKY: But, Jose, without you divulging any confidences, what is it like being in the middle of that kind of a maelstrom? I mean, you said it`s not about the attorney, but you get painted with a brush of your client. You just do.
I heard Jane say some pretty bad things about you before she was your friend.
BAEZ: Here`s the thing, though. That`s the job -- that`s the job of the defender. You have to stand in front of your client, take it on the chin, take it again and again and again and again, and take whatever comes your way to protect the client.
And that`s the amazing part of our constitutional right, that you have someone that will stand up for you, fight for you, and stand in the eye of the storm and defend you.
And to sit there and, you know, it`s a tough job. I can`t say that it`s not. It keeps you up at night. It`s the first thing you think of when you wake up and the last thing before you go to bed. It`s a very consuming process.
But you got to always remember to step back and just practice law. And that`s the best advice I will give to any attorney about to -- who`s about to enter into a situation like this. And that is --
PINSKY: Jose was tested. His mettle was tested on this one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, Jose, has George Zimmerman called you yet?
PINSKY: Are you up for this one, Jose?
BAEZ: You know, it`s bad business practice to ever divulge whether a certain person is calling you or not.
BAEZ: You`ll never get that from me.
PINSKY: Uh-oh. Now, I`m going to --
BAEZ: I would do that in any case. Don`t draw anything from that.
PINSKY: But this case -- I mean, you know, no one liked Casey, but this case is so polarizing. I guess you don`t -- I can`t expect you to necessarily answer this, but if George Zimmerman showed up on your doorstep, said, I need representation -- is that something you could step up and do?
BAEZ: Well, I think --
PINSKY: I`m not saying would you, but could you?
BAEZ: Well, let me put it to you this way, and I`ll speak in general terms here. I think if a lawyer is in the criminal defense business, it is his duty, his or her duty to step up. Certainly, there are business considerations that a lawyer has to consider when taking on a case like this. But absent that, not for any other reason, the lawyer should take the case. I strongly feel that.
PINSKY: But, Jose, I think this could -- this kind of case could mean safety concerns to you and even your family, could it not? Isn`t that a consideration?
BAEZ: It could. Absolutely, absolutely. You take on those considerations, but, you know, this line of work is a selfless type of practice area. There are more lucrative practice areas that a lawyer can engage in, and you usually do this line of work because you have the cause in your heart and not because you`re out there looking for the buck or the limelight or anything like that.
You`re doing it because you believe that our Constitution needs defending. So, you know, you are not literally the soldier on the frontline, but you`re pretty darn close to it. And most people who do this work do it with that type of dedication.
PINSKY: Well, I am certainly in favor of defending the Constitution, but I remember when you were in the middle of all that, people weren`t nice. Were they? Jane?
BAEZ: No, they weren`t nice. They weren`t nice. But you know what, but you know what, it`s like any other job, you know? If there`s a doctor in the emergency room and an unsavory character comes in needing medical attention --
PINSKY: You do it..
BAEZ: -- they don`t deny that. You do it. You do your job.
Well, guys, thank you. We`re going to keep this conversation going. We`ll be back right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONNER: Because I`m still concerned about his safety, I`m not going to give too much detail. He`s in the United States. Any client I have, if there`s a warrant issued for their arrest, we make arrangements for them to turn themselves in. I don`t aid and abet people and --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLI)
HAL UHRIG, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FORMER ATTORNEY: The evidence is that he comes from a racially diverse family. His mother was Peruvian. He mentored two young African-American children. Took the young boy down to see Dwight Howard, took him to other activities. It doesn`t sound like the activities of a racist who`s out there trying to hunt people down.
There`s no evidence whatsoever from the time that the earth cooled to right this minute that George Zimmerman ever has been or is racially motivated to go and stalk somebody, racially profile them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I want to remind my viewers that although those are things that George Zimmerman may, in fact, want his attorneys to be saying about him, the fact is, they have no right to say it without explicit written consent or direction from their client who`s no longer their client. So, they have no ability, no legal right -- Jose, back me up on this -- they have no right to get up and say stuff like that now that they`re not their client. That all came to them as a result of their privileged relationship with him.
How can they -- these guys are not attorneys that just started practicing two weeks ago, are they?
BAEZ: No, they`re not. They`re not, especially Mr. Uhrig who has been around the central Florida legal community for quite some time -- quite some time. So, looking at the situation, it`s very odd.
PINSKY: How is this possible?
BAEZ: You know, I think Jane was partially right when she said these types of cases do things to people. You know, I can`t begin to guess what they were thinking or what their rationale. Maybe there`s something that I don`t know, some other motive behind this strategy that I don`t know. And it`s very possible.
But having said that, it -- from the limited amount of what I know, where you have a situation where the individual is not charged, things are highly, highly charged right now, and very sensitive. You know, the central Florida community is extremely sensitive and volatile right now, and I think the last thing this case needs is this kind of attention, is this kind of bizarre behavior.
PINSKY: Right. Right. They could have just resigned and -- they could have resigned and gotten out of the way. This is not going to -- this is not going to diminish some of the racial tensions that are coming up certainly. This is going to inflame the community. It`s going to ill- serve Zimmerman. It`s unprofessional practice.
Let`s talk about Zimmerman for just a second. Jane, you ring on this, too.
First, we don`t know about anything. That`s the reality about all this. We know nothing about Zimmerman, where he is, except the attorneys who are speaking out of school tell us that he`s not in the state of Florida.
PINSKY: He could be in Peru for all I know. He could be anywhere, right?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t know, if they took his passport away.
PINSKY: He could be anywhere.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not only that, but the family of Trayvon Martin says they consider him to be a flight risk right now. The only thing we can hope is that the FBI is watching where he is and knows.
PINSKY: He`s not charged with anything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but they have their ways. Let`s put it that way. I don`t think that the --
PINSKY: I agree.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They want to be embarrassed.
PINSKY: Jose, you agree with that?
BAEZ: I agree. Yes, well, I agree that he`s free to go wherever he wants and should be free to go wherever he wants to go. So I don`t think considering him a flight risk is a right thing to do. I say that because you`re basically saying he would commit a crime before he ever commits it, and there`s no indication that he would do something --
PINSKY: Jose, he fled. He fled.
BAEZ: No, no, no. That`s not true. He is going where he wants to go for his own personal safety.
Once more, is there`s evidence to the contrary where he`s actually directly contacting the special prosecutor in this case. If you`re running, if you`re going away, the last thing you`re going to do is call the person who has the authority to arrest you. So --
PINSKY: That`s another bizarre piece of the story.
BAEZ: So, where do you get that he`s fleeing -- where you get that he`s fleeing is the further thing from my mind. To the contrary, he`s protecting his own safety, which --
PINSKY: Did you ever worry that Casey was going to flee and protect her safety? Did you ever have those kinds of concerns for her? She`s a free person, but she`s --
BAEZ: You know, you know, I hesitate to say, to talk about anything having to do with Casey Anthony because that`s a completely different situation. A completely different case.
So -- but in Mr. Zimmerman`s situation, he`s free to go wherever he likes, just like you are, just like I am. I can go, if you want to go to Peru tomorrow, I can go to Peru tomorrow. If I want to go to Europe tomorrow, I`ll go to Europe.
PINSKY: I understand that. I get that. Even though Jane said the FBI watching him may be a little paranoid about that.
BAEZ: They`re also bugging her phones.
PINSKY: I watched the interview and they specifically used the term PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. They gave him a diagnosis, I was stunned to hear that that, A, the attorneys are rendering medical diagnoses, and, B, they`re sharing it with the public.
But let`s be -- I want to share something with my viewers. If he truly had PTSD and not ASD, acute stress disorder, he should have ASD. He should have had ASD since the shooting. That`s normal to have a stress reaction for weeks or months after an acute traumatic event.
But if he truly has post traumatic stress disorder, that shines a very different light on this guy. That means he has (INAUDIBLE), a previous of trauma. If the current trauma that sets off PTSD usually reactivating traumas in the past which in my mind throws into relief the possibility this guy does have some pre-existing psychiatric stuff if what they`re saying is true. Who knows? Those guys were speaking so far out of school.
Go ahead, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think the point has been made that there is a certain commonality to all his behavior. He seemed to possibly take the law allegedly into his own hands the night Trayvon Martin was shot dead by him and he also wants to take control of this situation, specifically calling the special prosecutor, wanting, according to these former attorneys, to tell his story.
And I can understand that one thing that they`re saying, is that they don`t want him to talk to the law enforcement because look what happened to Dr. Conrad Murray. Oh, yeah, he went and talked to law enforcement. Where is he right now? Behind bars.
PINSKY: Yes. He was befriending everybody. I have this feeling that he -- a friend got under his skin.
Jose, I got to take a break. We`re going to talk about -- we`re going to stay with Jose and Jane, I think. D.L. Hughley who I said was going to be here apparently has not shown up.
D.L., I love you, man, and love what you said on "Huffington Post," but please, I`m -- I`ll wait for you in the next segment if you show up in the second half hour, I`ll stick you in here.
But the fact is, I think, Jose, tell me if you agree with this, I think somebody got under Zimmerman`s skin like a friend or something.
I got to take another break. Be back in a second. Continue that conversation after this.
PINSKY: Well, you all saw me stumbling on the way to the last commercial. It was the beauty of live TV. I was getting mixed signals as to whether or not D.L. Hughley was coming, here, going to be in this next segment. He`s here, here now. He joins us.
He`s actor and comedian, who`s recent letter to Trayvon Martin is making headlines and stirring a great deal of emotion.
I want to read you -- D.L., thanks for being here, buddy.
I want to read an excerpt from the letter. It began, "Dear Trayvon, I cannot help but wonder how people would have remembered me had my life been cut short at 17. I feel a profound sense of loss when I think of you Trayvon. Not only as a black man but as a father and a human being. I`m sad that the world will never know what you would have become."
D.L., that could have been you?
DL. HUGHLEY, ACTOR & COMEDIAN: It could have been anybody. What drove me to write the letter was to watch grown men sell the character of a child, he`s 17 years old. Either that old adage, except for the grace of God, go I.
I think that it was important that -- I`ve known so many Trayvons and obviously a lot of them didn`t necessarily fair so well, but some of them went on to do great things and I think it`s unfair to judge a meal before it`s finished cooking.
PINSKY: Well, let`s fill it out for the audience what your adolescence was like. Violence, gangs. Way worse than even anything that`s ever suggested about Trayvon, right?
HUGHLEY: Well, I think when you -- I said I would never presume to speak for Trayvon, but I grew up in an environment where like fear is your constant companion. I think that a lot of times people are fearful and act out of fear. And they don`t know how to say -- they only know how to do what they think is popular or what they think is going to gain them favor. And I thought that that was -- it`s obviously the weakest moment of my life.
But I think that I learned so much from it, that it`s an experience I would never want my children to repeat, but it`s one I`m glad I`ve had -- at least in terms of what it`s taught me about me and the world and my perspective.
PINSKY: Now, it`s been a couple -- probably a week or so since you and I have talked about this. Do you have any renewed perspective on all this? Or thoughts?
HUGHLEY: Well, I think that really when this country, or when people in this country -- I think at a certain point we have to decide what we`re going to be. I`ve watched any number of people, certainly, you know, I think the majority of people have been certainly gracious and I think human, and humane.
But there have been some people -- some of the things I`ve heard said about a child, just, it defies logic. I don`t understand -- honestly, Zimmerman was a 28-year-old man with a record. Trayvon was a 10-year-old- year-old boy who is a boy, who would go to a pediatrician. But it was a child killed by a man. I don`t understand how that doesn`t make anybody grieve.
If we call ourself a country that is compassionate, I think that starts with the weakest among us. And those would be children.
I hear the right all the time espoused how much they love children, every life is precious. But yet I hear nobody from the right talking about this child. That, to me, is just I think blatant hypocrisy.
PINSKY: Every time I talk to you, D.L., it`s awesome, I get a new layer, a new perspective on this. And it`s something I preach about all the time, big people take care of little people. And that is something -- that is a sacred balance that`s been out of whack in this country for some time.
And I love the fact -- I only got about 10 seconds more with you. But I love the fact your daughter helped you write that thing. I had a chance to meet her. She`s great. I`m sure she`s very proud of you.
HUGHLEY: Well, she costs a bunch for her education. So, his is where she had to kick in. But --
PINSKY: All right, buddy.
HUGHLEY: OK, all right.
PINSKY: I got to go. We`re losing satellite.
Attorney Jose Baez is back with me to answer your calls.
PINSKY (voice-over): American mom and a law professor is making headlines. Taking issue with Black leaders who encourage Black men to wear hoodies. What does she think of this? She`ll confront her critics right here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): Before we get to that conversation, it`s time to for on-call, and you guys have been sounding off on the breaking news about George Zimmerman and the fact that his attorneys quit the case. Casey Anthony`s former attorney, Jose Baez, is going to help me answer your question. Jose, are you there with me?
JOSE BAEZ, REPRESENTED CASEY ANTHONY: I am.
There he is. There`s his picture. OK. Good. I want to make sure you -- I`ll toss some softballs over your way, maybe some fast balls. We`ll see.
PINSKY: These callers can be a little tricky. Here`s Michelle in Tacoma, Washington. Go ahead there, Michelle. What do you got for us?
MICHELLE, TACOMA, WASHINGTON: Right. I`m trying to figure out how exactly they just quit and now the ramifications, could there be, like, copycats? Could there be other people out there so-called patrolling the streets doing this whole night watch thing --
PINSKY: Wait, wait, Michelle, slow down, slow down. You`re trying to connect the attorneys quitting with copycat sort of vigilantism?
MICHELLE: Well, because -- well, in a way because they can say, well, I feel threatened.
PINSKY: No. Listen, that`s the risk -- connect that for me to the attorneys quitting. That`s a separate topic, right?
MICHELLE: Well, if the attorneys can acquit them because they feel threatened being adults, could other attorneys do the same thing?
PINSKY: You mean, could -- I`m not following you, Michelle?
MICHELLE: You`re not following me with that?
PINSKY: No. I`m sorry, honey. But, don`t you share, though -- let`s say, Michelle, let`s say you had an attorney, and let`s say you decided -- you`re not so happy with that attorney, you stop calling them for a couple days.
Wouldn`t you be a little upset if they went on TV and tell you, Michelle, she`s got a bad attitude. I think she`s a little depressed, and I`m worried about here. Don`t you think that would be a violation?
PINSKY: OK. All right. Jose, help me with this. Is it not outrageous? I mean, a lot of funny stuff goes on in Florida. I know. But even in Florida, this is crazy.
BAEZ: Well, that was more like a curve ball there, Drew.
BAEZ: As to Michelle`s statements. But, you know, I think it`s, like I said, it`s not something I would do, but there might be some reason behind the lawyers` strategy of calling this press conference. I just don`t -- with the facts as we know them, don`t think it was a proper thing to do.
It`s certainly not anything I would do. And, as to the vigilante thing, I don`t think there are going to be too many copycats, because I don think a lot of people want to be in Mr. Zimmerman`s position right now. He`s not --
PINSKY: That`s a good point. Yes. That`s a good point. Let`s talk to Robyn on Facebook. She writes "Seems to me like the truth about Zimmerman is coming out. He`s a rogue human being. He goes against everything his attorney advised him of. What has he been doing since day one is indicative of someone who has a problem with authority."
She raises an interesting point there, doesn`t she, that this is a guy that sort of plays by his own rules. He doesn`t listen to attorneys. And I -- Jose, first of all, there`s that, and secondly, I don`t know why I have this feeling. I get funny instincts about people, that somebody got in his ear.
Some friend said, oh, no, no, only I know what`s good for you, man. I`ll take you up to Montana, hide you out. You can trust me. Stay with me, and of course, he ends up taking bad advice. Do you think something like that is going on?
BAEZ: Well, you know, if I were to think that or anybody to think that, that`s pure speculation. We really don`t know what`s going on.
PINSKY: We don`t know anything. I get it. We don`t know anything.
BAEZ: Exactly. And not only that, you have to wonder about the attorneys who never sat down with Mr. Zimmerman and looked him in the eye and had a heart-to-heart conversation with him. I think -- I think the bond between an attorney and the client is a critical one.
And when someone`s going to place their life in your hands, it`s an awesome responsibility, and it`s something that should be done face-to- face. There are situations where it`s impossible to do face-to-face. I realize and understand that. But, in a situation like this, it`s a very scary time. It`s a very scary time.
So, when people say, well, he seems to have a problem with authority or go off and do his own thing, you have to remember -- and I think Jane had commented on this earlier, you have to remember, he went and spoke with law enforcement without an attorney, and they let him go. And I think someone in that position probably thinks, well, if they`ll just listen to me and hear my side of the story, maybe we can clear this whole thing up.
And reaching out to the special prosecutor, that might have been a reason why someone would reach out to the special prosecutor in a situation like this. It`s because a lot of people are talking for him, but he`s not getting that opportunity to speak and to be able to convey it.
Now, as ill-advised as that may be, it`s still the natural way people think. People think that if they can just have a sit-down and explain it - -
PINSKY: But this -- but I would just point, too, and Jane pointed to the same case, Conrad Murray as sort of the quintessential example of how bad it can go when you think you`ve done the right thing, and in fact, you`ve done something very wrong. You`re not a legal expert. You`re not the one to make that determination. You`re not a judge and jury.
BAEZ: I couldn`t agree with you more. I think it`s ill-advised for someone who is a suspect or a person of interest to go out speaking to law enforcement or the special prosecutor in this situation without having legal counsel present. However, the common layperson doesn`t think that way.
You got to remember, he was taken in cuffs, taken to the police department, and after giving his version, after having an opportunity to sit down and explain it, he was able to --
PINSKY: He was let go.
BAEZ: They let him go.
PINSKY: I get it. Let`s go on --
BAEZ: There`s a little history there that might make someone think that way.
PINSKY: I get it. But -- also remind ourselves he left the state and he knows he`s in a lot of trouble. Let`s go to a caller. I`ve got Shirley. Let`s see if we can get to that Shirley call. She`s in Ohio. What`s your question there, Shirley?
SHIRLEY, OHIO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Shirley.
SHIRLEY: I have two questions.
SHIRLEY: Was Trayvon on the grass or on the sidewalk when he was found? And does the fact that Zimmerman`s father is a judge have any effect on him being arrested or not?
PINSKY: Well, let me ask you first about the grass versus sidewalk. Why is that important to you?
SHIRLEY: Because I want to know where his body was. Zimmerman said that he was hit on the sidewalk. So, that`s why I wanted to know where his body --
PINSKY: The only thing I read was that Zimmerman had a grass on the back of his jacket. He had been rolling in the grass. Jose, I`m glad I have a legal expert here. I suspect we`re not going to find out those sorts of facts until this thing actually goes to trial. Is that right?
BAEZ: Correct. And, you know, it may be a combination of both. There may be a cement walkway right near the grassy area. So, we`re just speculating on the facts as far as that`s concerned.
PINSKY: And then, finally, Shirley raises about her father, yes, what do you think object that? The judge, yes.
BAEZ: I don`t think that had anything to do with the situation. My understanding is he was a magistrate in Virginia. So, I don`t know how much weight that would carry in Sanford. I really don`t think any --
PINSKY: You would think at least -- you would think -- wow, makes me sort of fantasize about whether dad had a role to play in Zimmerman`s disappearance, but you would think about -- and I`m not saying he is. You would think dad would have more of an impact on his son`s understanding with the law and interaction with law enforcement. You know what I mean? Isn`t that sort of surprising to you?
BAEZ: Well, if his dad being a magistrate was a factor, you probably would have seen a lawyer in there that first evening right at the very beginning of the case. So, I don`t think that his father being a magistrate had any role here, despite the speculation, otherwise.
PINSKY: Here`s a Facebook comment from Serenity. She says "George Zimmerman`s legal team is so full of it. This is a big publicity stunt for George Zimmerman." Jose`s saying maybe there`s some strategy there. Jane says it`s for the attorneys. Let me go quickly to the call. This is Susan. Susan, you`re in Boise. What`s your comment?
SUSAN, BOISE: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Susan.
SUSAN: I think it would be very helpful if the authorities would issue a press release indicating what`s the actual reason why Zimmerman has not yet been arrested? There`s been so much speculation, pro and con, that`s not very useful to the situation.
PINSKY: Thank you, Susan. Jose, I`ve got about 30 seconds. Do you think we`re going to hear that from the prosecutor?
BAEZ: It`s anyone`s guess. And the fact that they want to speak within the next 72 hours could go badly for Mr. Zimmerman or it could be the end of this for him. And he`ll be able to be free. So, it really -- again, we don`t know what they know or what they`re thinking. So, to speculate, I know that`s what these shows do, but unfortunately, we can`t.
PINSKY: If they let him go free, will they explain why or do they owe that kind -- I mean, this could be a disaster if he goes free, it seems to me, and people are going to be very upset about this.
BAEZ: I think they would have to. I think they owe it to the public to issue -- and they owe it to Mr. Zimmerman. If he`s being freed for a reason, they owe it to him to be able to say, look, we found him to be credible. We found this evidence to be consistent with his statements, so, therefore, we don`t feel that we have enough to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt --
PINSKY: Jose, got to break.
BAEZ: -- and should be set free.
PINSKY: Thank you, Jose. I really appreciate you joining us tonight. And hopefully, we can get back in touch with you in the future. And someday, maybe you`ll show up with your client on our show, won`t you? Your famous client?
BAEZ: Thanks for having me, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: -- come on and tell the whole story. Listen, thank you, Jose. Appreciate it.
BAEZ: I`ve got several clients. I have several clients.
PINSKY: I`m sure you do. I`m certain you do.
And we have a special show lined up for our viewers tomorrow. A full hour of on call. Just like this, any questions. We`re not going to be talking so much about Zimmerman, but things you want me to answer, medical, psychiatric, addiction, sex, relationships, stuff I`m very used to dialoguing about. You just write in now at HLN.com/Dr.Drew.
Next, an African-American mom and a law professor is taking issue with Black leaders who encourage black men to wear hoodies. She`s going to confront her critics right here. Wonder what she`d think of these folks? Hmm. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORRYN FREEMAN, PROTESTER: Black kid walking down the street, walking home with just a hoodie on in the rain, makes him suspicious. It doesn`t make any sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie the night he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Since his death, the hoodie has become a symbol of racial profiling, injustice, and even solidarity. Many Martin supporters are wearing hoodies to honor him. Miami Heat forward, LeBron James even tweeted this photo of his NBA team.
But Carol Swain feels Black men wearing hoodies is a bad idea. She says it feeds into racial stereotypes. Carol is a law professor at Vanderbilt University, author of "Be The People," herself, a mother of two sons. Also with me, Judge Karen Mills-Francis, she`s the host of "Judge Karen`s Court."
Guy Aoki is the founding president of Media Action Network for Asian- Americans. Trent Copeland, a criminal defense attorney. Hope this is going to be a very lively conversation. Carol, your thoughts to start this conversation on the Miami Heat photo.
CAROL SWAIN, LAW PROFESSOR, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: Well, the Miami Heat photo, I`m not sure the signal that they were trying to send. What I feel about the hoodie is that all of this encouragement from the Black leaders, for young Black people to put on hoodies and march down the streets, I don`t believe it gets at the real issues affecting the Black community.
And, that, it is only polarizing the situation. It`s not the hoodie, itself. The hoodie is appropriate in the gym, but to symbolize the death of Trayvon, I don`t see a useful purpose coming from the way they`re using it.
PINSKY: Karen, do you agree with the professor?
JUDGE KAREN MILLS-FRANCIS, FORMER JUDGE, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: Well, you know, I don`t even believe this case of Trayvon Martin had anything to do with the hoodie. This hoodie has come up after the fact. If we listen to Zimmerman`s 911 call, he never mentions that there`s a Black man wearing a hoodie.
We only hear about the hoodie when the officer asked, can you describe the person? I believe if Trayvon Martin had been walking down the street with a T-shirt and jeans that night in the rain, the same thing would have happened to him. So, I think it`s really unfair that this hoodie has somehow come to symbolize, I don`t know, Black pride, Black freedom, whatever.
He had the right to be wearing a hoodie. But my understanding from this professor is that she thinks that Black boys shouldn`t wear hoodies at all?
SWAIN: No, no. That`s not it at all. The point I was trying to make about the hoodies is that our Black leaders encouraging young people to put on hoodies, purchase Skittles, that it`s really not serving a constructive purpose. It seems as if we`re in a time warp of the 1960s, and I believe the problems affecting the Black community call for new strategies.
And we do have a problem with our Black youth, especially the Black males, and we need to be looking at ways to address those problems, not fanning the flames of racism. I know a lots of people -- I know of lots of people who are White who are sympathetic. They wanted an investigation.
And as soon as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and some of the race leaders came on the scene, all of a sudden, the Whites divided, as far as they became defendants of Zimmerman when they were not defending him before and all the Blacks, you know, became angry.
MILLS-FRANCIS: I agree with that. I agree with that.
PINSKY: I have a representative of the Asian-American community at the table. I thought it was important to sort of broaden this conversation out. Do you think this is just a Black/White issue? Or Asians are rarely brought into this conversation, it seems like.
GUY AOKI, MEDIA ACTION NETWORK FOR ASIAN-AMERICANS: Well, I never really knew that wearing a hoodie was cause to be suspicious about someone. So, this is like a new thing for me. I mean, Trent and I were talking before. And he wasn`t somebody that --
PINSKY: We didn`t see Trent in a hoodie.
AOKI: Well, then, I might be a little threatened. I don`t know, but we never grew up worrying about putting on a Hoodie. It`s cold, we put it on.
PINSKY: Yes. But Trent, the Hoodie became an issue for me is when you talked about people -- look at this man. Give me a picture of Trent. This is not a scary man. And yet, he walks in -- you`re a little scary.
TRENT COPELAND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I can be scary, especially with a hoodie on.
PINSKY: When you walk in to a Starbucks with a hoodie, people look at you differently. That stunned me. That --
COPELAND: We had that conversation off air. We had the conversation on air. And look, it is still stunning that I have to share that conversation with friends.
COPELAND: And the reality is, look, I, from time to time, have to wear a hoodie. I`m out in the morning. I go out for a run. I`ll go to a Starbucks, and I`ve got a hoodie on. It`s a damp morning. It`s misty out. It`s rainy. I have a hoodie on. And sometimes, whether I like it or not, there are people who find me to be somewhat suspicious, because I get the looks, and people recoil to an extent.
Not every single person. Not every single person has that same view. But look, professor, I would tell you the Hoodie isn`t on trial. It`s not the hoodie that`s on trial. It`s George Zimmerman who should be on trial. This is not an issue about whether Black men should have --
PINSKY: Carol, go ahead.
SWAIN: As long as Black men have the -- as long as we have the crime rates that we do in the Black community, especially among our youth, and as long as they wear pants, you know, halfway down their but and hoodies, they fit into a stereotype. They appear to a lot of people as being dangerous.
And that may be unfair. I think we should encourage our young people to carry themselves in such a way that they don`t raise unnecessary suspicion.
MILLS-FRANCIS: You know what, I don`t think we should get the focus - -
COPELAND: I couldn`t agree with you more.
MILLS-FRANCIS: I don`t think we should take the focus of --
COPELAND: I couldn`t agree with you more.
MILLS-FRANCIS: -- of what this case is about. This case is about a young, Black boy. He wasn`t in the middle of the hood. He wasn`t crawling into somebody`s window. He was simply walking home, and he happened to have on a hoodie. And I do agree that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have somehow divided the races by bringing up this whole hoodie thing.
They sell hoodies at baseball games. They sell hoodies at basketball games. They sell hoodies in the bookstore at my college in Maine. Harry Potter wore a hoodie. Monks wear hoodies. Your children in raincoats have hoods on them. My bathrobe has a hood. So, I don`t think this is an indictment of the hoodie.
I think that they have created this issue. It`s made this whole issue very racial, and it shouldn`t be racial. The question is about right and wrong. Did the wrong thing happen to that 17-year-old boy that night?
SWAIN: The wrong thing happened to Trayvon --
PINSKY: Carol, I`m sorry. Carol, I got to take a break. We`re going to come right back and keep this conversation going. Be with you in a sec.
PINSKY: I`m back with my panel. We have limited time here. George, I want to go to you first. We were talking off the air about -- we talked about the hoodie, obviously, but Asian-Americans have had to withstand profiling, stereotyping, subconscious expectations, even about who you are, let alone what they`re going to get from you.
AOKI: The problem is most people think of us as foreigners first. They`re surprised if we speak good English. The problem we have is when we have conflicts between United States and Asian countries, people kind of take it out on us.
PINSKY: All Asians?
AOKI: Yes. You know, as if we have something to do with it. As a Japanese-American, I was always frustrated that when Japan did something bad like bomb Pearl Harbor, you know, we got the flak.
PINSKY: Japanese-Americans got the flak.
AOKI: We got flak. We got --
PINSKY: My understanding is there were some autoworkers actually killed, was it a Chinese man --
AOKI: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) the 30th anniversary of Vincent Chin who was a Chinese-American. He was killed by two White out of work autoworkers who were mad that they`re laid off from their jobs because the Japanese imports were doing so well.
PINSKY: Same thing. Same thing. Because it`s profiling. Same thing.
COPELAND: It`s about racial profiling. We shouldn`t forget that racial profiling exists. Look, the government did a study about racial profiling. It said that African-American and minority men of color are twice as likely to be pulled over and asked whether or not they have drugs and twice as less likely, remember that, twice as less likely, 50 percent less likely, to have drugs than they would White Americans.
PINSKY: That`s interesting.
COPELAND: That`s a statistic.
PINSKY: That`s fascinating.
COPELAND: And it really goes back to the issue of racial profiling exists, and it impacts all of us.
PINSKY: Carol and Karen, I want to thank you guys for joining me this evening. But Carol, I want to go to you. I`ve got probably about a minute or so left. You grew up in poverty and thought you were destined to becoming a stereotype. Is that right? And if so, how did you beat that?
SWAIN: Well, I mean, I always believed in hard work in America, and what I would like to say with my time now is that we need to change this conversation that we`re sending the wrong signals to young people. We`re not teaching them how to handle emotion and anger.
And as a consequence, this Trayvon Martin tragedy is, you know, it is pushing us in a direction of a race war. No wonder Zimmerman is hiding.
PINSKY: Yes, Carol. I hate to hear you say that. I don`t believe that in my heart that`s going to happen. I don`t believe this is going to let us unravel. First of all, Carol, by the way, go Commodores, by the way.
SWAIN: Thank you.
PINSKY: I`ll tell you why I know. I sat at many of your football games. But Karen, I want to go the last word for you. I`ve got about 30 seconds.
MILLS-FRANCIS: I think that we need to go back to what this whole issue is about. It`s been a lot of grandstanding on the part of Al Sharpton and on the part of even these lawyers, I think, for Zimmerman. Everybody`s trying to jump on the bandwagon and get their 15 minutes of fame.
We cannot forget what this case is about. You know, we have the right to freedom of expression. We can wear Mohawks, we can wear miniskirts, we can have pierces, and we can have hoodies. The constitution guarantees us all that even if it makes us uncomfortable.
PINSKY: Trent, last word.
COPELAND: I couldn`t agree with you more.
PINSKY: You`re smiling.
COPELAND: Look, the guy who`s at the Starbucks and who has body piercings. He`s got hole in the nose, look, he may look odd to me, but he has every right to be who he is, and I have no right to stereotype him and treat him differently as a result of it. That really is what this case comes down to.
PINSKY: It`s hard.
PINSKY: It`s hard. It`s hard -- particularly, the guy you described. It`s hard not to treat somebody a certain way. This is the time to examine that.
COPELAND: This is the time, and this is why we have this dialogue. This dialogue has to continue. And I would disagree with the professor. I don`t think we`re going to, you know -- this is going to devolve into something that is less important than what we have. This is -- the conversation has to --
PINSKY: I got to go, guys. Thank you for this panel for joining me. I want to thank you all for watching tonight. See you next time.