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Zimmerman Not Guilty; Actor Cory Monteith Found Dead

Aired July 14, 2013 - 07:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: That was the big moment from the George Zimmerman trial. After 16 hours of deliberations, three weeks of trial, just eight hours ago, that was the verdict. And the reactions are spilling over.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Thanks for joining us.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Chris Cuomo. It's 7:00 in the East, 4:00 out West. Thank you for starting your morning with us.

Protesters out in Oakland, they trashed a police squad car. One of the reactions last night. Thankfully, one of the few angry, violent reactions to that Florida jury's decision to set George Zimmerman free. A crowd numbering maybe 100 strong marched through downtown Oakland, an hour after the verdict came in.

But again, for the most part, so far, thankfully, there have been more voices than violence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's his name?

CROWD: Trayvon Martin!


CROWD: Trayvon Martin!


BOLDUAN: Protests also took place in many other large American cities from there to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.



CROWD: Trayvon Martin!


CROWD: Trayvon Martin!


CROWD: Trayvon Martin!


BOLDUAN: This was the scene across the bay in San Francisco last night. You're watching that right now.

Now, we want to kind of round up what's been going on, so let's bring in Victor Blackwell. He's in Atlanta keeping track of reaction across the country for us.

Victor, this is a little bit typical of what we've been seeing, right? How did it play out so far?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, those peaceful protests literally on both coasts. Last hour, we focused on San Francisco and Oakland. We talked about the West Coast.

Chris and Kate, this hour, let's go to the East Coast, and I want to start in Florida in Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida. Listen.




BLACKWELL: About 200 people singing on the steps of the old capitol building in Tallahassee, chanting and singing there with signs. Reports that some of the signs say, "Racism is not dead," and the question, "Who's next?" Let's go to New York now.

And a few hundred people showed up with signs and also chanting in peaceful protests in Union Square. Now, Union Square is a very popular place to hold protests there, protests there on an average weekday. But last night, very passionate people.

I want you to listen to one of them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a person that lost his life and to not get justice behind it, it doesn't make any sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a gross injustice, and I think it's just gross. It makes me feel sick, embarrassed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty much something I expected. I knew the system would, you know, pretty much not work again, and that's just how I feel about it. I'm very sad about the situation. I hope everybody just reacts calmly to it.

(END VIDEO CLIPS) BLACKWELL: Even a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. This is cell phone video of several people there singing, praying for the country after this verdict from Sanford, Florida.

We know that this went on for several hours as people joined and left that protest, that demonstration. There is a scheduled demonstration a few miles north of D.C. in Baltimore. We'll see what comes to fruition there. But again, protests all over the country.

And as you said, more voices than violence. Most people simply went to social media to voice their concern, their displeasure, for the most part, with the verdict, and we'll talk more about that throughout the hour -- Chris, Kate.

CUOMO: Victor, thank you for watching that for us. Very important that we keep track of it. We'll come back to you, like you suggest.

Now, we're giving you a broad snapshot of the national reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict, but we want to get to why this happened, all right?

So, let's bring in George Howell. He's been covering this in Sanford, Florida, from the beginning. And right next to him, Sunny Hostin, legal analyst, former prosecutor.

Sunny, I'm going to start with you.

People believe this is wrong, they don't like that this is the outcome. I suggested that you have to understand that there's more here than just this kid going to the store and then getting killed, that the jury accepted a theory about what happened during that fight, and they concluded that George Zimmerman was justified in killing Trayvon Martin on that night.

I know you don't agree with the verdict, Sunny, but help the audience understand why this verdict was not a surprise to many in the legal community.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, it was a surprise to me. I will tell you, I was stunned when the verdict came down. But there was the defense of self-defense, which is a complete defense to both second-degree murder and manslaughter. And to acquit George Zimmerman, the jury had to believe that he was acting in self-defense.

And clearly, that is what they believed. I will tell you, I think that, of course, as an attorney and as a former prosecutor, someone that swore to uphold the law, I respect the verdict and I want to make that very clear, that we should all respect the verdict.

But I do believe that the verdict was unjust. I think, Chris, to ignore that George Zimmerman started this event, started the confrontation, started the ball rolling by making these unfounded, wrong assumptions that Trayvon Martin walking home, unarmed, was a criminal is really looking at this in a skewed way, and the defense all along. And most people, I think, that were watching this trial wanted to see this from the perspective of the dead teen being on trial for his own murder, the dead teen being responsible for starting this confrontation --

CUOMO: Right.

HOSTIN: -- when they're not looking at the entire picture, who started the event.

And that's why I think you see so many people that are uncomfortable with the verdict. I think, actually, this verdict is going to go down in history as one of those infamous verdicts, like Casey Anthony, like O.J. Simpson.

But I think bottom line is we do need to respect the verdict, because, you know, the system that we have is the best system in the world. But --

CUOMO: Right. I just think we need to be careful, Sunny, to not make it seem like this was a mistake, that they didn't have any reason to find this. Because again --

HOSTIN: Exactly.

CUOMO: -- legal analysts from the beginning have been saying, this is going to be really tough for the prosecution, I don't think they have the facts here because. And, you know, we go through things quickly sometimes because we have legal backgrounds.

But this jury, their test was whether or not the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman should not have reasonably believed he was having serious bodily injury that night, that that was the risk. That's a very awkward thing to say. It's confusing to me. It's confusing to the jury.

So, they had to acquit this man if they didn't find that the prosecution had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman, thinking he was going to get seriously hurt, made sense.

It sounds confusing, but this was a very difficult test for them.

George, you followed this case. You've been in that jury room. You saw their faces as they went through.

Did you get a sense that the prosecution, while making its case, wasn't making it to their satisfaction?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a good question. It's a tough question.

All I can say, Chris, is this -- you could tell that these jurors, they took copious notes, they played close attention. Even Mark O'Mara noted this isn't a jury that fell asleep on me. It's a long process, he said. That happens at times, didn't happen in this case. And, clearly, they were very deliberate in taking their time to try to understand those instructions they were given to make a decision.

Just a couple quick points: the things that stood out to me yesterday. With John Guy walking up to Don West -- you remember there was some animosity in the courtroom about these possible discovery violations. Don West refused to shake his hand. So, you saw that animosity between the defense attorneys and the prosecutors.

Also, you know, when it came to the prosecutors, they said that they were disappointed with the ruling but they respect the verdict, and they still hold to their facts. They fought for those facts, even in the press conference after the verdict.

And the defense team saying, look, this was David and Goliath in many ways, but the defense team said, we won.

BOLDUAN: Now, I want to ask you both about this. Sunny, first to you. You know, we said as the jury started, began their deliberations, the instructions that they were given is the Holy Grail. It is what is one of the most important things that will, as they head into deliberations.

What do you think about this jury instructions, specifically about the manslaughter instruction, because that is the one question that the jury came back and had for the court, asking for clarification on that one point? The question from the jury was specifically, may we please have clarification on the instructions regarding manslaughter.

The court said, be more specific and we may be able to help you. They never came back with any more specificity before we had the verdict.

What does that tell you, Sunny?

HOSTIN: Yes. Well, what that told me last night when I was actually on set listening to it was that that's sort of the lone hold- out juror or two jurors saying, you know what, I'm not sure yet. Let me -- let's find out exactly what manslaughter means. Sometimes jurors use that as a bargaining tool.

I looked at the jury instructions, Kate. They were pretty clear. I don't think they were -- they were very different from what any sort of standard manslaughter instruction you would get. It was a 27-page jury charge. It was a good jury charge.

You remember, the defense and the prosecution both agreed to the jury instructions. They worked on it for a while. They had a conference on it in open court. We have a copy of the jury instructions. They were pretty clear.

I think what we saw yesterday with that question was jurors trying to reach a consensus. That's what that was about, and I will tell you, I think I said it -- I'm pretty sure I said it on air yesterday when Don Lemon asked me what do you think about the fact that they never came back with a specific, you know, request.

I said that sounds like it's good news for the defense.

BOLDUAN: George, any final thought before we've got to go?

HOWELL: You know, again, the biggest thing is you saw the prosecutors making the point that, you know, this is a case that they still believed in. Angela Corey said, you know, she respected the verdict but still disagreed with the facts of this case.

BOLDUAN: And it is decided this morning.

CUOMO: People are going to have feelings about it, they're going to be passionate, but that's why our job is to kind of present this picture of what happened at trial, what the facts were and why the jury found what they did.

Remember, they took their job very seriously. They came back, asked a question about that instruction. Sunny found it clear. I found it a little unclear. I understand why they were confused about how to fit the facts into that particular crime, because there was no real mention of the intent involved, no real way for them to interpret as lay people why he would have committed this crime --

BOLDUAN: One thing everyone agreed on, though, is that this was a very attentive jury.

CUOMO: Oh, yes.

BOLDUAN: Everyone said throughout, no one had to wake anybody up that was sleeping during kind of the mundane testimony. These women were attentive, they were right on point, they were taking notes and they were very deliberative. More than 16 hours of deliberation before they came back with the verdict.

Sunny, George, great to have you. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: Right. Now, there will be a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking, right? We're doing it on Sunday, let alone on Monday.


CUOMO: And some of the critics said prosecutors shouldn't have gone for a murder conviction against Zimmerman in the first place, too ambitious, that the evidence wouldn't support it. But Florida's state attorney, Angela Corey, was defending the decision, even after the verdict came down. Take a listen.


ANGELA COREY, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: That for a case like this to come out in bits and pieces served no good to no one. As Mr. Guy told the jury yesterday, to the living we owe respect, to the dead we owe the truth. We have been respectful to the living. We have done our best to assure due process to all involved. And we believe that we brought out the truth on behalf of Trayvon Martin. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Now, both sides on this case speaking after the verdict last night.

Don West one of George Zimmerman's defense attorneys. He wasn't exactly beaming. He was not jubilant. There was nothing they were really celebrating after this verdict. He seemed to kind of -- he took it to the prosecutors over the way they handled the case but had kind words for the jury. Listen here.


DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think the prosecution of George Zimmerman was disgraceful. I am gratified by the jury's verdict. As happy as I am for George Zimmerman, I'm thrilled that this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty. For that, we are eternally grateful. But it makes me sad, too, that it took this long under these circumstances to finally get justice.


BOLDUAN: Both reacting there, obviously.

Much more reaction to come throughout the morning, throughout the weekend.

CUOMO: There's another story we're following this morning that we're going to talk about after the break, a stunning story from the entertainment world. Actor Cory Monteith, he played Finn Hudson in the hit TV show "Glee." He's been found dead. We'll bring you the latest details.



JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL: Mr. Zimmerman, I have signed the judgment that confirms the jury's verdict. Your bond will be released. Your GPS monitor will be cut off when you exit the courtroom over here. And you have no further business with the court.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Thank you, your honor.

NELSON: OK, thank you. Is there anything else the court needs to take --


CUOMO: George Zimmerman a free man this morning, the first day of the rest of his life, a life that will probably never be the same. As Zimmerman starts his life as a free man, this was the scene right outside that Sanford, Florida, courthouse. Take a look.


PROTESTERS: Justice for Trayvon! Justice for Trayvon! Justice for Trayvon!


CUOMO: Those protesters are shouting "Justice for Trayvon." Those who gathered did remain peaceful. No arrests were made, but "The Miami Herald" reported that at least one verbal fight broke out between protesters, a man and a woman arguing over the role of race in the trial.

BOLDUAN: Keep an eye that.

But also, another stunning story happening overnight, the tragic death of actor Cory Monteith. The Canadian native who became famous playing Finn Hudson on the hit TV show "Glee" was found in a Vancouver hotel room Saturday. Monteith's body was found by hotel staff yesterday after he missed his check-out time.

Nick Valencia is in Atlanta monitoring all of this and more of this.

And it's truly a tragic story, Nick. He's so young. What's the latest you're hearing?


Sudden and tragic -- the cause of death is not immediately known, but police have ruled out foul play. An autopsy is set for Monday.

Just to remind our viewers, Cory Monteith skyrocketed to fame as part of the hit TV show "Glee." He played the loveable quarterback that was forced to join the glee club. He is actually credited for being the reason why "Glee" is so successful.

Earlier this morning, CNN's Poppy Harlow spoke to a close friend of Monteith who's just simply shocked.


ADAM SHANKMAN, DIRECTOR (via telephone): He was the glue, he was the cheerleader that really held everybody together on that, that I really felt. He was always smiles. He was patient, he was the first one, you know, he always knew all of his lines right away. He was, you know, he was the first to laugh when things were muddy.

I had several interactions with him yesterday where he said to me that he was feeling amazing and even said, "I'm feeling fantastic again." And you know, he was obviously referring to, you know, the moment he had this year with going to rehab. And so, I'm, like everybody else, really devastated and confused by what happened.


VALENCIA: Shankman was not only a close friend of Monteith, he was also a guest director for "Glee", and had worked with Monteith since the show launched in 2009 -- Kate. BOLDUAN: And, Nick, as Shankman mentioned rehab, tell us about it. Monteith battled substance abuse in the past. But before that, we're not making any connection at this point between what caused his death and prior substance abuse, but --

VALENCIA: That's right.

BOLDUAN: -- people are making note of it this morning because he is so young.

VALENCIA: He battled with sobriety for years. He first checked into a rehab facility when he was 13 years old, and most recently, he checked in voluntarily in March. He was said to be doing well. In fact, Shankman, as you mentioned, in that interview there had said his friend was doing well and was in good spirits when he talked to just hours before his death.

This death of his young 31-year-old really taking the entertainment world by surprise this morning -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, many more questions about that. We'll be staying on top of it. Nick, thanks so much.

VALENCIA: You bet.


CUOMO: All right, it is still a heated debate. Was race a factor in the death of Trayvon Martin and the case against George Zimmerman? And if it was, how did it play out?

BOLDUAN: Yes, after the break, we'll hear what some of the trial's key players had to say about all of that.


CUOMO: Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, argued for more than two weeks that his client harbored no ill will, hatred or spite when he shot Trayvon Martin.

Here is what he had to say moments after the verdict.


MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE ATTORNEY: George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense. I'm glad that the jury saw it that way and I hope that everyone who thinks, particularly those who doubted George's reasons and doubted his background, now understands the jury knew, everything that they knew was enough for them to find him not guilty.


BOLDUAN: Trayvon Martin's family, they have said that they did not want this case to be about race, but even their lawyers, they acknowledge that the issue did loom large throughout the trial. CUOMO: For many, race was at a minimum a subtext in Trayvon Martin's death and the trial of George Zimmerman is what made this a national story. That issue.


CUOMO: Some of the key players weighed in on the issue after the verdict.

Take a listen.


COREY: This case has never been about race, nor has it ever been about the right to bear arms, not in the sense of proving this as a criminal case, but Trayvon Martin was profiled. There is no doubt that he was profiled to be a criminal. And if race was one of the aspects in George Zimmerman's mind, then we believe that we put out the proof necessary to show that Zimmerman did profile Trayvon Martin.

O'MARA: I think that things would have been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason, he never would have been charged with a crime.

REPORTER: Does it bother you when people say this case is not about race?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: No, it doesn't. But you know, the whole world was looking at this case for a reason. And what people wanted to see, as we all said, how far we have come in America in matters of equal justice.

And, certainly, as we have said, we'll be intellectually dishonest if we didn't acknowledge the racial undertones in this case. So, we have to have very responsible conversations about how we get better as a country and move forward from this tragedy and learn from it.


CUOMO: It's a brilliant point. Probably too early. People are feeling their emotions. And any discussion of progress is like judging emotions. And if you're going to feel anger, it's going to happen, it's going to last this time, and then hopefully, as the attorney was saying, we can move forward.

Also, we're getting a lot of tweets from people echoing what O'Mara said, the defense counsel, that if George Zimmerman -- his theory, if George Zimmerman had been black, he would never have been charged. Except they take it in an opposite way from him. They're saying, well, that maybe that is just more proof of how unfair the system is, that if a black person kills a black person, the system doesn't respect it the way it does when race is involved.

So, these issues were out there. They're moving around. This case now, this Zimmerman case has been some 15 months in the making, nearly a year and a half of arguments and anticipation, all of which came to a crescendo last night.

BOLDUAN: And one side was bound to be heartbroken, obviously, because tensions were high, emotions were high and there was a lot of outrage after the verdict.

So, so far, reaction to the not guilty verdict has been passionate, both online and on the street. Listen here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, find George Zimmerman not guilty, so say we all, foreperson.

PROTESTERS: We demand justice! Nationwide protests! We demand justice! Nationwide protests! We demand justice! Nationwide protests!

The system has failed. The system has failed.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not guilty on all counts.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: I am disappointed, as we are, with the verdict, but we accept it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Complete shock, utter shock. I cannot believe that he was not found guilty.

PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace!

WEST: I'm thrilled that this jury kept this tragedy from becoming a travesty.

PROTESTERS: What do you want? Justice! For who? Trayvon! What do we want? Justice! (INAUDIBLE)



CUOMO: Bottom of the hour, everybody. Good morning. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Hope you're having a good Sunday morning. Thank you so much for joining us.

You're watching CNN's special coverage of the George Zimmerman verdict.

Late last night he was found not guilty of murder, in Trayvon Martin's death.

CUOMO: After the verdict came down, Zimmerman's defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, was asked about the role of race in the case. Take a listen.


REPORTER: Hello, sir.


REPORTER: I have a two-part question. Molly Hennessy-Fiske with "The L.A. Times."

The first part is the prosecution raised this question about whether the outcome would be different if the races of the defendant and the victim were different. Do you think it would have been different if George Zimmerman was black? And the other part of my question is, does he fear for his safety surrounding his security?

O'MARA: Well, I think that things would have been different if George Zimmerman was black for this reason, he never would have been charged with a crime. It seems as though what happened was an event that was being looked into by the Sanford Police Department, and quite honestly, as we now know, looked into quite well. I have taken advantage of police departments who have not done a good investigation of crimes because that's what I do for a living.

When I looked at the Sanford Police Department investigation, they had done quite a good job, and you can compare what they did across the country to see who does good or bad jobs with their investigation, but they were doing quite a lot.

What happened was, this became a focus for a civil rights event, which again is a wonderful event to have, but they decide that George Zimmerman would be the person who they were to blame and sort of use as the creation of a civil rights violation -- none of which was borne out by the facts. The facts that night, it was not borne out that he acted in a racial way.

His history is a nonracist. And you know all the anecdotes about mentees, and children living in his home when he was young and the Sherman Ware incident.

So, if only those who decided to condemn Mr. Zimmerman as quickly and viciously as they did would have taken just a little bit of time to find out who it was that they were condemning, it would never have happened. And it certainly wouldn't have happened if he was black, because those people who decided that they were going to make him the scapegoat would not have.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: There are a lot of explosive statements there. O'Mara has told CNN that he blames Martin family attorney Ben Crump -- that's the man on your screen -- for getting Zimmerman charged in the case and making it a larger story about race.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's continue talking about this a little bit. Shortly after Trayvon Martin was killed back in 2012, the Reverend Jesse Jackson publicly demanded that officials in Florida arrest the man who had pulled the trigger. Well, now George Zimmerman, the man who did pull the trigger, he is a free man, found not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter in Trayvon Martin's death.

Let's talk more about all of this, the racial overtones, what this means going forward with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader, joining us from Chicago.

Reverend, it is great to see you. Great to see you, as always. I want to you to listen --


BOLDUAN: Good morning.

I want to get your take on all this, but I want you to first listen to the state's attorney, Angela Corey, and what she said just after the verdict last night.


ANGELA COREY, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: This case has never been about race, nor has it ever been about the right to bear arms, not in the sense of proving this as a criminal case. But Trayvon Martin was profiled. There is no doubt that he was profiled to be a criminal. And if race was one of the aspects in George Zimmerman's mind, then we believe that we put out the proof necessary to show that Zimmerman did profile Trayvon Martin.


BOLDUAN: You heard right there from Angela Corey. She said two very important things. She said this case was not about race, but she said that they believe they did offer enough proof that Trayvon Martin was profiled.

Going forward, that might be a big issue. What do you see in this case, especially after this verdict, Reverend?

JACKSON: I remain stunned at this decision that the grown man armed murdered an unarmed man going home because he suspected him. The state's attorney avoided the issue of race. The defense team denied the issue of race. And yet, race profile was obvious from the very beginning.

And because of this conclusion, you look at all white people doing the offense and defense, you look at a jury without a black or without a man on it. It certainly was not a jury of Trayvon's peers.

The Department of Justice must intervene and take this case, frankly, to another level.

CUOMO: Reverend, let's take a look at that as to why, because what we're faced with now is what you're very well aware of, that the jury took a look at the situation and said that no matter how it began, once there was this altercation and Trayvon Martin, they assume, took the advantage and started to beat George Zimmerman, that he was justified in doing what he did that night. That's the finding of the jury. And now that we know that --

JACKSON: You can't start -- you can't start at the altercation. What you start at is a boy going home attending to his business and a grown man, wannabe cop, armed, profiling and pursuing him, advised by the police not to pursue him. He did it anyhow.

And the grown man murdered the unarmed boy. And I might add, walked away into the arms of police as a sanctuary because he knew them.

It took protests to get him in court in the first place.

All the argument about the altercation as a start takes the whole issue out of context. I also feel across the nation, I want people who are going to protest, do so with dignity and don't dishonor the legacy of Trayvon.

There is a Trayvon in every town. There is Fruitvale and Oscar Grant in Oakland. There is the (INAUDIBLE) protest led by Reverend Sharpton in New York.

There's (INAUDIBLE) kid shot in Chicago. As a matter of fact, last in Chicago, 57 shootings or killings by the police civilians, 93 percent black or brown.

So, there is a Trayvon in every town. That's why the Department of Justice has a role to play and look at this pattern, because the equal protection under the law remains elusive.

BOLDUAN: I want to ask you, going forward, we have got many statements after the verdict last night. One statement from the NAACP president Ben Jealous -- you know him well, of course. He said this in part. We have it up there on the screen.

He says, "We are outraged and heartbroken over today's verdict." He also says, "We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice. We will continue to fight for the removal of 'Stand Your Ground' rules in every state and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed."

And as Ben Jealous says right there, they're asking the Department of Justice to look into civil rights violations here against George Zimmerman. Do you support that effort?

JACKSON: Absolutely. Rainbow Push is having a 10:00 press conference here in Chicago. They're making the same appeal.

The two unifying factors of civil rights struggling 50 years later on is, the Supreme Court unifying our struggle by attacking voter rights enforcement last Wednesday. And now, the case of Trayvon Martin, who joins a legacy of Emmitt Till and Medgar Evers as the innocent man shot down without a sense of justice as a response. I will tell you that we all are stunned. We deserve better. People of good will and conscience must say no to this kind of blatant miscarriage of justice.

CUOMO: Reverend, I want to thank you, but I want you to allow -- I want to allow you to leave this part of the discussion with a message for people. People are still figuring out how they feel about this and what to do about it.

What do you want people to know, no matter how they feel about this, whether they feel George Zimmerman was targeted or whether they feel Trayvon Martin was unfairly treated? What do you want people to know?

JACKSON: Well, there will be protests, but they must be carried out with dignity and discipline and let no act discredit the legacy of Trayvon Martin on the appeal of his family, because in the long run, we will prevail in the struggle for justice. So, in that act of violence, it could serve on the mind the innocent blood and moral authority of Trayvon. Because what will happen if there are, in fact, riots, you give sympathy to Zimmerman and it discredits Trayvon, and Trayvon deserves the sympathy. Zimmerman in this school of thought does not.

BOLDUAN: All right. Reverend Jesse Jackson joining us from Chicago. Reverend, thank you so much for your time.

JACKSON: Thank you.

CUOMO: We do appreciate the reverend's perspective, not just on the case, about the as a leader of what we want to see in this society.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

CUOMO: We're going to take a break now.

When we come back, flight 214, company behind it, Asiana, is threatening to sue a TV station that aired an offensive joke as factual information. We'll give you the latest on that.

Stay with us.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to a special edition of NEW DAY, everyone.

We are continuing our coverage of the not guilty verdict in the case against George Zimmerman.

CUOMO: But it is not the only story going on, as important as it is. So let's get the other headlines.

For that, we go to Poppy Harlow in Atlanta.

Good morning, Poppy. POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Chris. Good morning, Kate. Good morning, everyone.

It is a tragedy, it is a shock. Actor Cory Monteith has been found dead in his Vancouver hotel room. The Canadian native famous for his role as Finn Hudson in the television hit show "Glee" was found Saturday by hotel staff after missing his check-out time. Police do not yet know the cause of his death but have so far ruled out foul play. There is an autopsy scheduled for Monday.


ACTING CHIEF DOUG LEPARD, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA POLICE: Mr. Monteith checked into the hotel on July 6th and was due to check out of the room today. There were others with Mr. Monteith in his room earlier last night, but video and fog key entries show him returning to his room by himself in the early morning hours, and we believe he was alone when he died.


HARLOW: Now, the actor was just 31 years old. Our thoughts, our prayers, of course, with his family at this hour.

Also, a warning coming from the journalist who broke the NSA surveillance program story. He says information still unreleased by Edward Snowden could be the most damaging yet.

In an interview with an Argentinean newspaper, Glenn Greenwald says that Snowden has information that would produce dire consequences for the United States if it is released. He told the newspaper, quote, "Snowden has enough information to cause more harm to the U.S. government in a single minute than any other person has ever had. The U.S. government should be on their knees every day praying that nothing happens to Snowden, because if something happens, all information will be revealed and that would be their worst nightmare." Pretty strong words there.

On Friday, Snowden said he would ask Russia, where he currently is, for temporary asylum, but Russian immigration officials reportedly said yesterday they have not yet received an official asylum application from Snowden.

And this just in to CNN: Asiana Airlines says it may take legal action against the NTSB and a bay area television station over a report about that fatal plane crash. KTVU misreported the names of the four pilots during its noon broadcast on Friday. The information wasn't just wrong. It also made fun of Asian names.

The report went viral not long after it aired. The station apologized and said the NTSB had confirmed those names as the pilots' names. The agency apologized and said it was a summer intern who had confirmed the names. The airline says the report seriously damaged the reputation of the four pilots of the company and they called it demeaning -- Kate, Chris.

BOLDUAN: Not an OK mistake.


BOLDUAN: Poppy Harlow, thank you so much.

A lot more coming up. From celebrities to politicians, everyone is weighing in on the George Zimmerman verdict. We're tracking it for you.

CUOMO: Part of our job today is telling you what's going on and also give you insight on why it's happened. So, we're going to bring in our legal experts who have been following this trial since day one, where they think things went wrong for the prosecution, what they could have done better and why the result is what it is.


CUOMO: The jury of six women deliberated for over 16 1/2 hours, two days they did this before finding George Zimmerman not guilty. Now, none of them has spoken publicly.

BOLDUAN: Yes, but plenty of people are weighing in on why they think the prosecutors failed to prove -- and here's the important part -- beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.

Let's talk more about all of this. There's a lot to analyze now that we know the decision by the verdict.

Joining us now are: CNN legal analyst Paul Callan. Thank you so much. Nice to see you, Paul, as well as criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos.

Got a lot of questions for you two, but first to you, Paul. It's something Chris and I have been talking about a lot in the break. You had folks saying all along that this was wrong, George Zimmerman shot someone, killed someone, he should be punished.

But also, all along as the trial continued, legal minds were saying this is going to be a tough case for the prosecution to win. So, why -- how and why did the jury reach the conclusion that they did? Did the prosecution's case just simply fall apart?

CALLAN: Kate, it was a tough but very well tried case by very talented lawyers on both sides. You really had a good prosecution team and a very good defense team.

The jury got to see pretty much all of the evidence that was legally admissible but in the end this is what they concluded. George Zimmerman mischaracterized and made a mistake in thinking that Trayvon Martin was a criminal bent on possibly burglarizing an apartment in this condominium development and he started to loosely follow him despite the fact that a 911 operator said, "We don't need you to follow him."

But what happens next is where the prosecution ran into a lot of problems and that is who initiated the physical contact between the two men? In the end, there were two things that prosecutors could not get around. Number one, George Zimmerman had a broken nose. The only injury on Martin were abrasions to his fist other than the bullet wound which would indicate that he struck Zimmerman in the nose, initiating the physical contact.

And the second thing was a stopwatch. O'Mara did something that looked very boring and very foolish I think to many people during his summation. He stop -- hit a stopwatch and let it go for four minutes and said that's how much time passed that Trayvon Martin had to get back to his father's house which was only a 30-second walk -- indicating that Trayvon Martin circled back and jumped George Zimmerman.

And I think in the end because of those two things prosecutors failed to meet their burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CUOMO: So, Danny, let me bring you in here. I mean, as you know, throughout the course of this, you know, Paul I haven't done it to you as much but you're been a mentor to me for years and understand where my head is.

I was challenged, Danny, to find people -- to take the prosecutions side of the analysis. I was teased for always pushing the prosecution side, because so many legal minds were saying, I don't see this case. I don't get where this is going to go with all due respect to the prosecutors.

But my Twitter feed and social media and e-mails are filled with people that don't get how this was possible. How this jury came to this decision.

So, Danny, take up where Paul was and let us know what people were missing that don't understand this verdict.

DANNY CEVALOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I agree with you about the twitter feed and social media. Certainly, there's a lot of people who are outraged. They're outraged about things like race. They're outraged about the idea that a child went and bought Skittles and a drink and was shot.

But taking that position ignores the additional facts in this case. There is evidence that George Zimmerman was injured. Now, we don't know how and, in fact, ultimately after all the evidence, each side, whether or not one started the fight or another, they remain in equipoise. In other others, we still don't know. It's equally possible on both sides.

And legally, not morally, but legally when you have the 50/50 where you're not sure how this began except you know it did begin, some kind of altercation, then that benefit goes to the defendant. And that's it. It's about burdens and presumptions of innocence.

We can have discussions about the morality of the state of race relations in America but legal analysts on the whole agree from a legal perspective the prosecution in Florida with it's self-defense law had a mountain to climb. The prosecutors were excellent attorneys, outstanding but they had a set of bad facts. And it was --

CALLAN: Chris, can I -- can I add one other thing?

You know, you and I have known each other for a long time. And in New York and in the big cities in America, when you bring a gun to a fistfight, it's such a disproportionate amount of force. And if you use that gun you probably go down to manslaughter.

And I suspect, had this case been tried in place like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, where Americans had a certain hostility to the use of firearms and guns, it might have been a different result or at least a closer result.

But we try cases in front of local juries in America and in Florida, gun ownership is common. As a matter of fact, the prosecutor, Angela Corey, invoked the right to bear arms at a press conference. Try to picture a big city prosecutor saying that.

This was a judgment by a local jury that George Zimmerman acted in self-defense and properly used his firearm. And I think that's what people have to understand. You can't view it from the perspective of big cities and people who are anti-gun control.

And that's why it hits every fault line in American life from gun control to gender to race, to class, every issue was touched by this trial. And I think it's why so many Americans watched it so closely.

BOLDUAN: Well, Paul, let me ask you this, as a former prosecutor. Here's one issue that Chris and I have also been talking about.

You mentioned the issue of manslaughter -- but George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. And even though manslaughter was added as part of the instruction for the jury to consider before they went in for deliberation, it was clear the prosecutors were aiming to hit the threshold of second-degree murder throughout the trial and throughout closing arguments. Do you think and this has been asked and we disagree on this, do you think this is an issue of overcharging or did they mischarge him?

BOLDUAN: Well, you know, my answer may surprise you here, but I don't think it was an issue of overcharging and I'll tell you why. I think it was a strategic judgment made by prosecutors.

They wanted to get into evidence that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin as a criminal. Originally, they wanted to say they picked him out because he happened to be a black kid in this neighborhood where maybe you only see whites usually and that's sort of, that's, you know, racism in it's worst form. The judge threw that out though and left them with criminal profiling. They couldn't even refer to that if they didn't have that murder count.

So I think what they were doing is they put that count in so they could offer that evidence and then expected the jury would compromise and come in with a manslaughter conviction. But, you know, when the jury got down to manslaughter, self-defense applies to both counts and they came in for George Zimmerman.

CUOMO: And, Paul and Danny, thank you very much for bringing this insight. I hope people are listening carefully to what you said. It's very instructive.

BOLDUAN: Very good.

CUOMO: I'm sure we'll be back to you later on this morning. We're going to go to break now and at the end of the day also want to be reluctant to put anything on this jury. They worked hard by all accounts.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

CUOMO: They were doing their job as well as they could. And for them, the prosecution, had to lay it out for them, that George Zimmerman story about self-defense didn't make sense beyond a reasonable doubt, and they couldn't find it. That's how the case ended.

We're going to take a break right now. Thank you for starting your morning with us.

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the Circuit Court of the 18th Judicial Circuit, in and for Seminole County, Florida, State of Florida versus George Zimmerman, verdict -- we the jury find George Zimmerman not guilty. So say we all, foreperson.


CUOMO: Welcome, everybody, to this special edition of NEW DAY.

That was the moment we have all been waiting for, the reading of the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial. Jury's decision, you heard it, not guilty. Some people expected it. Many did not.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. It's just 8:00 in the East on this Sunday, July 14th. Thank you for joining us for a special edition of NEW DAY.