Return to Transcripts main page
THE SITUATION ROOM
Pressure to Act After Zimmerman Verdict; Interview with Daryl Parks; State Talks Zimmerman Trial With HLN; Protesters Tear-gassed After Scuffle; Offensive List Provokes Lawsuit Threat; Waiting For The Royal Baby
Aired July 15, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Jake, thanks very much.
Happening now, mounting pressure on the Obama administration to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman less than 48 hours since he was acquitted in Trayvon Martin's shooting death.
So is this what Trayvon Martin's parents want?
Are they planning a lawsuit of their own?
Family attorney, Daryl Parks, standing by to join us live. That's coming up.
Plus, prosecutors sit down for the first time since the verdict with CNN's sister network, HLN. What they say went wrong with their case and led them to believe the jury was on their side.
And George Zimmerman's life as a free man -- will he ever, ever be able to return to any sense of normality?
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Eight hundred thousand NAACP signatures, 15,000 on a White House Web site, all calling on the Obama administration to act in the wake of George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict. This amid a second full day of civil rights demonstrations reverberating around the country and across social media platforms. Despite the outrage among activists, the White House is making it clear the president won't be involved in that decision.
Let's go to the White House.
Our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin, has the very latest -- Jessica, what are you hearing?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, civil rights activists say they believe Trayvon Martin was shot because is black and that is a hate crime. So now they want to see George Zimmerman face federal charges.
But, Wolf, that is a very high standard to meet. So now the Obama administration is busy setting realistic expectations.
YELLIN (voice-over): The pressure is mounting with protests across the country and on the steps of the Justice Department.
REV. ANTHONY EVANS, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BLACK CHURCH INITIATIVE: Eric Holder, we are asking the White House, President Barack Obama, to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.
YELLIN: In previously scheduled remarks Monday, the attorney general indicated his team has not decided whether they'll charge George Zimmerman with a hate crime.
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have opened an investigation into this matter. The department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law.
YELLIN: To prove a federal hate crime, the government would have to show George Zimmerman intended to shoot Trayvon Martin and was motivated by racial hostility.
Legal experts say that's a very tough case to make.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A federal civil rights case would be difficult because it would again require the government to prove that George Zimmerman had a bad intent, in this case, a racist intent. And one jury has already rejected that claim. It's hard to argue that another jury would see it differently.
YELLIN: This puts President Obama in a delicate position.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon.
YELLIN: That was more than a year ago. Since the verdict, the nation's first black president has yet to address this issue on camera. Instead, in a written statement, he called Martin's death "a tragedy for America." But he also called for calm and said, "We are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken."
But the president's team knows that won't be enough. By mid-Monday, there were more than half a million signatures on an NAACP petition demanding a federal case and more than 15,000 signatures on a similar petition to the White House.
(on camera): Does the president feel some pressure on his administration to bring a case against Zimmerman?
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Cases are brought on the merits. And the merits are evaluated by the professionals at the Department of Justice.
YELLIN (voice-over): That means all eyes are on Attorney General Holder, a man not always known for his politic choice of words. Monday, he seemed to offer a window into his own views on the case, questioning Zimmerman's self-defense argument.
HOLDER: The tragic, unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
YELLIN: You heard him there, Wolf, call it an unnecessary shooting death.
Now, Wolf, sources tell us that the Department of Justice is still reviewing the trial evidence to decide if there is a case for racial hostility, to make this case that the shooting was based on racial hostility. As you know, Justice officials will not bring the case unless they believe that they can win such a case.
Now, I would expect that you could hear the president address the broader issue of Trayvon Martin's death when he answers reporters' questions in interviews later this week -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Has the Justice Department -- Jessica, I don't know if you know the answer to this, clarified what Eric Holder, the attorney general, said when he said this was an unnecessary shooting death?
Do we know if they've explained what he -- what he meant by that?
YELLIN: They have not officially put out any word on that, Wolf. I can tell you that I have been led to believe that we should not read too much into those words. We should not interpret that to indicate which way the Justice Department will go on the larger decision about whether there is a hate crimes case here or not -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jessica, thank you.
Jessica Yellin over at the White House.
Let's bring in our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, to further assess what's going on right now.
How much of this decision, eventually, by the attorney general and the Justice Department, let's say the Obama administration, will be political?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, Wolf, if this were a political decision, I think it probably would have been made already. It would be an easy political decision for President Obama and for Eric Holder to pursue civil rights charges against Zimmerman. But it is not a political decision. This is a legal decision.
And as Jessica and Jeff Toobin pointed out in the piece earlier, this bar is very, very high. You have to prove that Zimmerman acted with deliberate intent, that he was racist. And that was not the case that was proven in this particular trial. And the Justice Department is not in the business of raising cases -- or trying cases with our taxpayer money that it believes it cannot win.
BLITZER: Yes. And if they were to try a case like that and lose, who knows what the reaction would be then?
BLITZER: So they're better off not --
BORGER: -- even doing it if they don't think they can win. They should only do it if they're --
BORGER: If they could win, they would --
BLITZER: -- if they're sure they could win.
BORGER: -- they would be there.
BLITZER: So what are you hearing?
I know you're working your sources behind the scenes over at the Justice Department.
What's going through the minds of top officials over there?
BORGER: Well, in talking to some legal sources, I can tell you that there's a sense in the department that there is no need, at least right now, to move quickly on this. They're looking, for example, to see whether there is going to be some kind of a civil lawsuit. If there is a civil lawsuit, I think there's some sense they'd like to see that play out. Also, I think they need to have a debrief with the prosecution to find out what evidence was not used in trial, that it's something they might consider if they were to bring a case.
So I think that at this point right now, there are people in the Justice Department saying, OK, take a deep breath, do our due diligence, talk to the prosecutors, let's see what happens on the civil side and then let's make a decision.
BLITZER: Yes, I think based on everything I've heard, they want everybody to calm down. And taking a deep breath is very important. They're relieved, at least so far, there hasn't really been much violence --
BORGER: That's right. That's right.
BLITZER: -- or anything like that.
Should the president speak out to the American public on this issue any time soon?
BORGER: I think he has no choice. I think at some point, he's going to be asked a question directly about it and he's going to have to answer it. I think the problem they've got inside the White House is that whenever the president speaks about race, Wolf, the conversation becomes about him and not about the issue.
And so I think that's what the president is juggling right now. He's got to be the leader of the country, he's got to lower the decibel level. But he doesn't want this to be a conversation about how President Obama reacted to the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict. He wants the nation to have a conversation about race, not him.
BLITZER: Gloria Borger, as usual, thank you.
BLITZER: We certainly haven't heard a whole lot from Trayvon Martin's parents in the aftermath of Saturday night's verdict.
But let's get some perspective now on how the family is dealing with this.
The Trayvon Martin family attorney, Daryl Parks, is joining us right now.
Daryl, thanks very much for coming in.
DARYL PARKS, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Thanks for having me.
BLITZER: A general question about the attorney general of the United States.
Do you have confidence in him, that he will do the right thing?
PARKS: I have every confidence that the attorney general will use the resources of the federal government to look into this matter. I happened to be at part of the meeting when the Justice Department had their first meeting with the family. And we were able to see the resources that the federal government has used to investigate this case. So I know that they have gotten the information initially.
And now we're at a point where they can now analyze the evidence that came into the trial to make their decision.
I think it's important, Wolf, that the difference now, though, is that we now have evidence from the state criminal case, where we've seen that on all the previous calls that George Zimmerman made to the police department all involved black people.
Most importantly, though, is in this case, one of the main reasons he suspected Trayvon may have been doing something bad was because he was black, so black being the common denominator.
Now, we've always said that the race is a -- it was an undertone in this case. But however, the evidence now is a little stronger and better in this case for the Justice Department to consider it.
BLITZER: Well, why didn't the state --
PARKS: That's the difference now.
BLITZER: Why didn't the state prosecutors bring those issues into this?
They didn't talk about race. They -- at one point, they mentioned profiling, but it wasn't necessarily racial profiling.
Why didn't the prosecutors raise those issues in this case?
PARKS: Well, I think it was right. Again, first of all, as you started your piece off, we don't like to talk about race. So it was logically and strategic that they not do it and that they use criminal profiling, because he was criminally profiled. He had developed a profile that the people who were doing the robberies were all black and all looked a certain way, so black being the common denominator here.
So they were totally correct not to make race the issue, but to make criminal profiling the issue.
BLITZER: Yes. They didn't bring in race at all into the course of those three weeks of testimony.
What do you want to hear from the president of the United States?
What does the family -- let me rephrase it. The Trayvon Martin family, the mom and the dad, the brother, what do they want to hear from the president?
PARKS: Well, I think the president's statement he made in writing was totally appropriate. The president should not chime into this conversation while it's clearly a Justice Department issue.
We don't want to make this political. The Justice Department is the legal arm of the federal government. And they have standards that they must apply. They must apply the legal standard and the factual evidence to come to their determination as to whether they can put together a case that they can win.
We have every belief and hope that they will base this case from the civil rights division of the Justice Department in Washington to make their decision. Obviously, they will be consorting with the U.S. attorney for the middle district of Florida. But the decision, in terms of whether the civil rights violation, we believe, should come from the civil rights division of the Department of Justice in Washington.
BLITZER: Tell us how the parents, the mom and the dad, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, how are they coping?
How are they dealing with this not guilty verdict?
PARKS: Well, obviously, they were devastated by the verdict on Saturday night. Although they weren't in the courtroom, we notified them right then. I was so surprised that actually I had typed in my device "guilty on manslaughter." I was about to hit the button and lo and behold, they said "not guilty." And I said, Wow!" it was devastating.
And so they have gathered themselves. They're very strong people. They have very good fortitude as people. And they are strong. They have strong family support. So they are preparing to move forward. They're preparing to move forward with the Trayvon Martin Foundation, preparing to move forward in their advocacy work around the country. And they're going to continue to argue against violence against youths.
And so this issue is bigger than George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman just happened to be the person that took Trayvon Martin's life. But what we have now is Trayvon Martin's legacy. It's causing this country to have a conversation that it normally doesn't have. That's a plus for all of the country.
BLITZER: Will they file a wrongful death civil lawsuit against George Zimmerman?
PARKS: Well, obviously, they have that right. But right now, Wolf, the big issue is the whole -- the jury verdict that came down. And so it's too fresh to make that type of decision. They're not some money hungry people trying to profit off of their son's death. That's not the type of people that they are. These are very good, hardworking people who live down in the South Florida/Miami area. And so they'll make that decision at the appropriate time.
Right now, though, they believe their son's legacy has been dealt an injustice and they are happy and encouraged by the fact that so many other people feel that this is an injustice and that our government should answer in some way.
BLITZER: You think we'll be seeing them any time soon, doing interviews, anything along those lines, or making a statement, doing an availability with the news media?
PARKS: Well, you know, it's funny, Ben and I had talked about that today at our luncheon meeting regarding some of the issues going on here. And we're going to talk with them.
But it's -- this is a highly emotional, sensitive, very personal for our clients. And so unlike -- they've had their moments, even in the past, as we've built up to the trial, where it's been difficult for them to go on, where we've had to try and talk with them.
Now that we've had this very deaf deafening event on Saturday, they have to gather themselves. So they'll gather themselves. And then at some -- at the appropriate time, whenever they are ready, they will make a statement.
BLITZER: Daryl Parks, thanks very much for joining us.
PARKS: Thank you for having me, Wolf.
BLITZER: Daryl Parks is the attorney for the Trayvon Martin family.
When we come back, the chilling one word description prosecutors used in this case, using to describe George Zimmerman -- the interview with CNN's sister network, HLN. That's coming up next.
Plus, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is weighing in -- what she says her father would think of the verdict if -- if he were still alive today.
BLITZER: Well, for the first time since their news conference the night George Zimmerman was declared not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter, prosecutors are now speaking out about the case they so desperately fought to win. HLN's Vinnie Politan sat down with the Florida State attorney, Angela Corey, and the lead prosecutor, Bernie De La Rionda, to talk about what they think went wrong. Watch this.
VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: You know, we're stuck with the evidence we have.
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, LEAD PROSECUTOR, ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: Well, no, it's the truth. You know, we don't get to pick our witnesses. We've got to deal with what we've got and we've got to do the best we can.
ANGELA COREY, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: There was a wealth of hard, cold physical evidence, DNA and everything else that showed that George Zimmerman lied in his statements to the police.
POLITAN: There was no sort of narrative that this jury could follow, that America could follow.
DE LA RIONDA: Well, the problem you've got in a trial is you can't say jury don't speculate and then ask them to speculate. And so, we're left with the defendant's story and what we attempted to do as best we could was to prove that his story was false. Therefore, why would he be lying about something, something minor like trying to get an address?
I mean, I thought that was blatantly obviously a lie. And when I was talking to the jury, when I was arguing to the jury, I saw them nodding their heads.
POLITAN: What was the deciding factor? And was it a group decision?
DE LA RIONDA: Yes. The problem you have is that there was enough evidence, even though I would argue it was insignificant or very little, that there was self-defense. You had John Good. You had other people. So, they were going to be able to get an instruction as to self-defense. And once we knew that was coming on, we felt we needed to put this statement on and just disprove it.
COREY: And you had the injuries. And the injuries indicate there was some sort of a struggle. Our position all along, we never said that Trayvon didn't do something to George Zimmerman. What we said is you can't take a concealed weapon and encourage or incite a fist fight, which is what he did by stalking a teenager who didn't know who he was and then whip your gun out and shoot. And that's what he said. I just got my gun out and shot him.
Never explaining the details of how he was able to pull his gun if he was being beaten as brutally as he claimed. And so, we had to put all that in and then we clearly refuted it with the physical evidence. No DNA on Trayvon's hands who supposedly were covering his bloody nose. You know, so many other things. And those lies were put in front of the jury one after the other after the other.
POLITAN: We heard his story or stories, depending upon your perspective, right, of what he said on audiotape, on videotape, at the scene, in the police car. What was your story? What was your story? Everyone was wondering, what was the prosecution theory of what actually happened?
DE LA RIONDA: Well, we were left with inconsistent witnesses in terms of what actually happened and his story. And what we were trying to prove is that his story was false. Our belief as to what happened, he chased down Trayvon Martin. He wanted to make sure Trayvon Martin did not get away.
He felt Trayvon Martin was headed towards the back, which is normally what had happened in the prior cases where the guys gotten away that allegedly had committed crimes. He was going to make sure that Trayvon Martin didn't (ph) get away and was going to be there when the police got there.
Now, at what point, he pulled out the gun, we can speculate as to what happened. My theory as he pulled it out early. He was going to make sure that he didn't get away. He wanted to be a cop.
POLITAN: The screams. What did you think the first time you heard it?
COREY: As soon as I heard those screams, it sounded like a young male voice to me. And as soon as I heard that the screaming stopped, the minute the bullet was fired, the second the bullet was fired, I knew it was the victim's voice. That was one of the most compelling aspects of this case.
POLITAN: I saw the defense team that -- I didn't turn the table on the entire prosecution beginning with villainizing Trayvon Martin and then villainizing you, the prosecutors, because you guys are hiding all the evidence. You guys aren't giving them what they're supposed to have. They kept saying it and saying it and saying it. Did you feel like a villain in the courtroom?
DE LA RIONDA: You know, I thought what they were trying to do was create issues for appeal when there really weren't any. You know, there was this thing of we got to depose Ben Crump. They're hiding -- we did that. Ben Crump never testified. There was this issue about this evidence that came out, our I.T. person testified about that.
You know, they had the evidence. Their own witness testified. Mr. Connor testified that they had it, but they were trying to create those false things that were going on from the media standpoint. What we were concerned about is what's the jury hearing? As long as the juror said whatever we've heard we can set aside and we hopefully they stuck to what they said they would, it's irrelevant.
But you're right, from the standpoint of what the public, what they were trying to tell the public, our position has always been as we try the case in the courtroom.
POLITAN: Let's talk about that relationship. You ever experienced this before, Bernie, during a trial, during a case what was going on between this defense team and you guys?
DE LA RIONDA: You know, I've been doing this for over 30 years, no. And I've had some tough cases. I've had tougher cases, quite frankly, than this, murder of a police officer where everybody thought I'd lose it. So, you know, there's always -- in the courtroom, you do battle. But at the end of the day, you respect your opponent.
And the fighting is in the courtroom, not trying to sway the public out there, which is what was occurring.
POLITAN: Do you respect this defense team?
DE LA RIONDA: You know, I'm not going to comment about them. I'll leave that to other pundits.
POLITAN: One word to describe George Zimmerman.
POLITAN: George Zimmerman.
DE LA RIONDA: Lucky.
POLITAN: Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
DE LA RIONDA: I don't know that there's one word that can describe a victim.
POLITAN: Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
COREY: Prey. P-R-E-Y.
BLITZER: And Vinnie Politan is joining us now. Excellent interview, Vinnie. Let's talk a little about that one word "murderer." She's the Florida State attorney, and even though he was found not guilty, she still says that George Zimmerman is a murderer.
POLITAN: Yes. She's standing by her conviction or lack of conviction, right? in this case, no backing down. They still feel what they feel. They believe he's a murderer. They believe there's enough evidence to prove it. They were confident at the moment of the verdict, and still today, even though the six women of Seminole County said not guilty, set George Zimmerman free, in her eyes, he's still a murderer.
BLITZER: Yes. That's the first time -- I don't remember a time -- maybe you have an example of a state attorney still calling someone a murder who was acquitted. Does that come to mind, anything along those lines or is this pretty extraordinary for her to say that? POLITAN: Never. Never ever saw that, because, you know, we're all lawyers, right? We're very careful with our words afterwards. But -- I mean -- and it was an emotional response. I don't know if you could see her eyes, but at that moment, she didn't scream out murder. I mean, it was something that she was really thinking about.
And you know, we'll see if there's any response to it, but the bottom line is she believes in her case and there's no doubt that they were motivated by anything other than what they truly believed happened in this case.
BLITZER: Vinnie, thanks very much. Excellent, excellent work. By the way, to our viewers out there, you can catch the entire interview with Bernie De La Rionda and Angela Corey later tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern on our sister network, HLN. The program called "After Dark." You'll want to do that. Thanks, Vinnie.
Coming up, how the Zimmerman case is reopening the nationwide conversation on civil rights and the justice system? Dr. Martin Luther King's daughter, Dr. Bernice King. She is here with me in the SITUATION ROOM. We'll discuss.
BLITZER: Happening now, George Zimmerman's acquittal raising civil rights issues to the top of the nation's agenda. Dr. Martin Luther King's daughter, Dr. Bernice King, she's here in the SITUATION ROOM with me.
Zimmerman, himself, is staying out of sight, at least for now. We're taking a closer look at what his future may hold.
Plus, a bizarre offshoot of the Asiana plane crash. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
The George Zimmerman murder case ignited fierce debates about the state of race in the United States long before the not guilty verdict came down Saturday night. Now many are asking what all of this means for the future of the civil rights movement in this country. Our Mary Snow is working that part of the story. She's got some more information. Mary, what are you seeing?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, members of the Congressional Black Caucus gathered here in New York today to discuss moving forward after the verdict. And they say instead of seeing the verdict as a setback, they view it as a way to hit the reset button. And they're calling for a real conversation about race and the criminal justice system.
SNOW: From the nation's capital to cities across the country, voices were raised. Along with outrage, a message to send after a jury acquits George Zimmerman.
The verdict isn't ending the debate. Rather it's forcing a nationwide conversation about race and the justice system.
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: I view this decision as an opportunity to hit the reset button and for America to have a real conversation about the intersection between race, the criminal justice system, and how and whether young black men are treated differently on account of their colors.
SNOW: New York congressman Hakeem Jeffries joined other members of the Congressional Black Caucus calling on the Department of Justice to consider federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least in my view, George Zimmerman identified Trayvon Martin as a potential criminal because he was black.
SNOW: Hundreds of thousands of people have signed online petitions asking the Department of Justice to act. The Reverend Al Sharpton says demonstrations demanding federal action are planned in 100 cities on Saturday. Zimmerman's lawyers have said race was not a factor. But some members of Congress see the widespread protests as evidence of why they need to fight harder.
REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D), NEW YORK: We got a lot of work to do. A lot of individuals thought that once President Obama was elected, we live in a post-racial America. Well, those of us in Congress and those of us that are in the street really knew that's not the case. And unfortunately, it lets us know we have a long way to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not guilty.
SNOW: But this case, they say, has strengthened their resolve.
SNOW: And Wolf, lawmakers who gathered today say the first place they plan to hold conversations about race in America is Congress and reevaluate some of the laws that exist. Wolf?
BLITZER: Mary Snow, thanks very much.
BLITZER: And joining us now, a very special guest, Dr. Bernice King, the daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King, thanks very much for coming in.
DR. BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: Thank you. Glad to be here.
BLITZER: If your dad were alive today and saw what was going on as far as the Zimmerman trial was concerned and the not guilty verdict, what do you think he would say?
KING: Well, I think the first thing, he would make an appeal, uh, to everyone, because my father had an incredible ability to understand the range of human emotions, um, on both sides of an issue. And so his -- his first thing would be to make an appeal to all people to -- to not let this further divide us, uh, that we should not drink from a cup of bitterness and anger and hate in this moment.
This should be an opportunity for us to really, uh, look at, uh, this -- this racial issue that continues to, uh, haunt us, that -- that continues to face us as a nation.
Um, I -- I do think, uh, that, uh, he would probably feel a little bit of a -- a disappointment in -- in the verdict in this situation --
BLITZER: Just a little?
KING: Well, you know, he -- he would feel disappointed, I -- I would say it that way. Um, but again, I think he would focus -- because he was a leader, he was a non-violent leader. And his -- his main focus in everything that he did was about keeping people grounded in that.
BLITZER: Do you think he would take any specific action as a result of the not guilty verdict, in other words, encourage people to go to the streets, to demonstrate peacefully, but to do things along those lines?
KING: Uh, I think he would encourage people to -- to do those things. But I think also, what Attorney General, uh, Eric Holder and the Justice Department has done, um, he would encourage that as -- as well.
But more importantly, he would probably, in times like these, because we are 50 years later and there have been some changes in America, although for a lot of African-American children, in particular black males, uh, there has not been.
And so he would look at this as an opportunity for us as a nation to really sit down and have a dialogue and -- and a discourse and the kind of discourse that doesn't rise to the level of hostility. Because oftentimes, when we get to these difficult places, it gets very hostile and very emotional.
And, unfortunately, you know, hate cannot put out hate. Uh, only love can do that. And so we have to figure out have -- how to have these discussions out of a heart of love, knowing that it's a very difficult discussion, because over and over and over again, African-Americans, uh, boys in particular, uh, get the short end of the stick in -- in our justice system.
BLITZER: Is, uh, you were there when Eric Holder, the attorney general of the United States, spoke out today on the Zimmerman trial and the verdict.
Do you have confidence that Eric Holder, as attorney general, will do the right thing?
KING: I -- I have confidence that he will certainly do his best. I do. Um, but for me, I think this is a -- this is a call for all of us. I mean, our president has spoken. The Justice Department is doing their part. But at the end of the day, presidents come and go. Attorney generals come and go. But we, as a people, still remain. And we are the ones that are going to have, uh, really engage in these discussions in our local communities.
BLITZER: The Trayvon Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, uh, Tweeted that, uh, he said you Tweeted him that this was, in his words, or maybe your words, "the defining moment for the status of my father's dream." He quoted you as Tweeting that.
BLITZER: "The defining moment for the status of my father's dream."
I wonder if you would explain --
KING: Well, actually, I said --
BLITZER: -- what you meant by that.
KING: -- I -- I said a defining moment, because you -- we're in the 50th anniversary year of his "I Have A Dream" speech. Um, and depending on how we handle, um, is going to determine how much progress we've made. If we ignore, um, what has happened, because regardless of whether, uh, troll spoke and the jury has spoken, people have very heartfelt feelings about what has taken place. And some people do perceive this as a -- as a racial issue and -- and rightfully so.
Um, and if we just kind of brush it under the rug, spend a week on it and move on, then we've done a disservice to his dream, because we are not at a post-racial society. We're not at the place where people are judging us by the color -- content of our character and not the color of our skin.
And so I think it's defining and also, in -- in that vein, but also in whether or not we will have, um, decent, uh, and an ordered (ph) dialogue and discussion to really look at what we need to do to prevent these kind of things and even change some of these laws.
But more importantly, this is a time where we must understand our role and responsibility as a citizen is to be more vigilant.
BLITZER: Dr. Bernice King, thanks so much for joining us.
KING: Thank you.
BLITZER: Up next, what may be ahead for George Zimmerman based on what other high-profile defendants went through after their acquittals.
Plus, why the NTSB is getting rid of an intern. And a TV station may be in some serious legal trouble, all because of what happened after the Asiana crash.
BLITZER: George Zimmerman's attorney says he's in hiding, at least for now. But life after being acquitted doesn't amount to much of a life, at least for a lot of folks out there. CNN's David Mattingly takes a closer look now at what could be next for George Zimmerman as a free man and the challenges that may lie ahead.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's been in hiding for over a year, daring to venture out only in disguise and wearing body armor. Since killing Trayvon Martin, life for George Zimmerman is filled with isolation and caution.
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There are a lot of people who think George killed Trayvon for racial reasons even though nothing supports that. And if they feel that anger enough they could react violently.
MATTINGLY: There have been tweets, e-mails and letters wishing him bodily harm or death. Now that George Zimmerman is free, it's almost certain he won't be able to go back to the life he had before. Pursuing a career in law enforcement.
MIKE PAUL, REPUTATION MANAGEMENT COUNSELOR: That is the absolute worst thing you can do. It might be your old passion, my advice would be you need to find a new passion. And it needs to be helping people in a very different way. A way that is much more compassionate. Not just involving law enforcement.
MATTINGLY: For a view of live after acquittal, Zimmerman may need to look no further than Casey Anthony. The hated young mother found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. She has since lived in hiding and in financial ruin. Cheney Mason was her defense attorney.
CHENEY MASON, CASEY ANTHONY DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And you never know who the nuts are and where they are. There are still people that threatened me.
MATTINGLY (on camera): It sounds like there are some very severe consequences for being found guilty in a court of public opinion.
MASON: There are. But you don't have Jell-O and cheese sandwiches in jail.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): It may not be hopeless for Zimmerman. He continues to have strong support from his immediate family. Part of his defense is being paid for by thousands of dollars donated by the public. But even here there could be problems.
GENE GRABOWSKI, CRISIS PUBLIC RELATION MANAGER: He's got to be careful to avoid the appearance of creating more divisions by accepting money or support openly from groups that maybe would create more friction because of the -- you know, the tenor of this case. He's got to be very careful about who he associates with afterwards, even if they are offering financial support. MATTINGLY: And shortly after his dramatic acquittal, George Zimmerman's first steps back into private life were hidden from cameras and public view. His destination, his plans, a closely- guarded secret.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN JR., BROTHER OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: He has always feared for his safety. We have always feared for his safety and our safety as a family. Clearly, you know, he's a free man in the eyes of the court, but he's going to be looking around his shoulder for the rest of his life.
MATTINGLY: David Mattingly, CNN, Sanford, Florida.
BLITZER: And just ahead, why a story about the Asiana plane crash got a government intern and a California TV station in big trouble.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: Egyptian security forces tear gassing protesters in Cairo right now.
Let's go to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh. There are demonstrations pro and anti-Mohamed Morsy.
Nick, you're in the middle of all that tear gas. What's going on? You're joining us on the phone.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Wolf, I have (INAUDIBLE) where we are. But we are around the square in central Cairo here and we're witnessing a lengthy standoff between pro-Morsy protesters and the police. Now let me explain some protesters where on the October 6th Bridge crossing over the square. There seems to have been a (INAUDIBLE) back and forth with police who fired tear gas at them and then the protesters are returning with rocks.
And it crossed over the bridge to the other side of this and it appeared to be a quite different atmosphere there with a different crowd there, possibly anti-Morsy supporting and cheering the police along.
What's important the most is on top of this bridge we also see some people (INAUDIBLE) who appeared to be throwing (INAUDIBLE) back at the pro-Morsy protesters. I'm on a side street now where there appears there's the arrival of some police further down. And the protesters where we are, now throwing rocks in that general direction. But this is the worst scuffle, tension you might even call it, clashes, that we've seen for days now here.
And of course let me give you the context. It comes after a weekend of heavy government activity to appoint a cabinet, to get the foreign relations team, its vice president of internal affairs and foreign minister ready to receive Deputy Secretary of State William Burn. The premier today met with the interim prime minister. He met with General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief of staff and defense minister here.
Certainly these are the scenes I'm sure that neither side wanted to be accompanying (INAUDIBLE). We don't really know how this began. We've heard from eyewitnesses and various media reports that the bridge and the roads were blocked by protesters, but of course it will take some further investigation to get to the bottom of that.
As it currently stands we are seeing I'd say thousands of protesters, predominantly where I'm standing pro-Morsy. They have broken up the pavement and using the rocks to throw at the police. There's substantial tear gas in the air. I see one man limping, injured. Definitely a tense atmosphere. And the question I think is when perhaps do the army or police lose their patience and fire tear gas at this crowd that's throwing rocks at them and (INAUDIBLE).
BLITZER: We see that tear gas. We see the smoke. That's a dangerous, dangerous situation.
Nick, be careful over there.
Nick Paton Walsh right in the middle of the activity. And the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is in Cairo right now meeting with high-ranking Egyptian officials. We'll stay on top of this story.
Coming up, a very different kind of story. We're going live to London where the royal baby is keeping everyone waiting.
BLITZER: New developments today in a bizarre side story in the recent Asiana Airlines crash that has nothing to do with the crash itself. What caused the crash, but with a mocking list of racist names broadcast by a California TV station.
CNN's Kyung Lah is joining us now from Los Angeles with more on what happened. A very bizarre story.
Kyung, explain what happened.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very bizarre, indeed. And it just keeps getting more strange. First the NTSB summer intern, the NTSB is confirming to CNN, being let go, losing his or her volunteer summer job. And Asiana says it is now preparing to file a lawsuit against a California TV station for inadvertently airing what appears to be just a random joke.
Here's the statement that we got from Asiana Airlines. The airline saying, quote, "After a legal review, the company decided to file a lawsuit against the network because it was their report that resulted in damaging the company's image."
Now KTVU did apologize for airing the offensive remarks. Asiana, despite the fact that they're in the middle of this very large plane investigation, three people who have died, three young people who have died, trying to help all the injured, Asiana says it is moving forward with this lawsuit.
What is happening here is that this is a company, a Korean-based company that has global aspirations. It truly does feel that its reputation is being harmed because these comments are being perpetuated on the Web, and really, Wolf, what's happening is that these are quite juvenile comments. I mean, one of the names that was released, KTVU reporting that these are pilot names that were released. One of them was "Sum Ting Wong."
I mean, that's something you really hear on a playground. What may be happening at Asiana is that it is certainly feeling that it has this visceral reaction to this. And so this is all happening in the background. Again, a very strange sideshow to this entire investigation -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Kyung Lah reporting on it for us. Thanks very much, Kyung.
When we come back, the guessing game in Great Britain and beyond. When will the royal baby make his or her appearance?
BLITZER: There is plenty of anticipating in Great Britain today, but not the news everyone's watching for.
CNN royal correspondent Max Foster has the latest on the wait for the royal baby.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, after a huge amount of buildup to this story, of course, we do finally seem to be in the latter stages, at least. The only official word we had about the due date was mid-July. We're now into that period. I've also been told that Prince William has been given the next few days off work, so he seems to be braced for the big moment as well.
Certainly the world's media are ready. If you look at the pack of journalists and camera men outside the hospital, every part of the world is represented here. All the U.S. networks, for example. Even Polish networks. Five Polish networks have been here recording pieces, building up to this part of the fairytale.
A fairytale that started with a commoner meeting a prince, getting married, and of course the next big step in that story is when they have a baby. All we need now is the baby to appear on the steps behind me.
Max Foster, CNN, London.