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George Zimmerman Verdict Reaction

Aired July 17, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, the uproar keeps mounting over the controversial George Zimmerman not guilty verdict as the backlash grows from that polarizing interview with Juror B-37. Did this mystery juror blame the unarmed teen Trayvon Martin for his own death?

Tonight, two other Florida cases surfacing that critics say could cause even more outrage than the George Zimmerman case.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live.


JUROR B-37, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN MURDER TRIAL: I feel bad that we can`t give them the verdict that they wanted. We thought about it for hours. It just went terribly wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remind you, they`re white.

JUROR B-37: He could have walked his way and gone home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trayvon is not a thug.

JUROR B-37: You can`t charge him with anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They put Trayvon in that casket.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The eye openers are still coming in from Juror B-37. The mystery juror hid in darkness and told Anderson Cooper that Trayvon Martin is at least partially responsible for his own death. Listen to this.


JUROR B-37: I believe he played a huge role in his death. He could have -- when George confronted him and he could have walked away and gone home. He didn`t have to do whatever he did and come back and be in a fight.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the George Zimmerman case could be just the tip of the iceberg down there in hot, hot, hot Florida. We are now learning of at least two other disturbing cases, including a man who shot a teen dead at a gas station after a confrontation over loud music.

And tonight, we will also debate another truly outrageous case in Florida. A mother of three young children right now as we speak, doing 20 years hard time, after she simply fired a warning shot into the wall to escape her allegedly abusive husband. Nobody was hit by the bullet. Nobody was hurt. Yet she was ripped away from her kids, twins and a toddler, and sentenced to two decades behind bars.

Tonight, we ask is there a two tier system of justice at work here? Should outrage be directed at this case?

Plus tonight, very special guest, Omarosa from "Celebrity Apprentice," we all know, well, she`s here to talk about a tragedy in her life. Her own brother`s murder, and she has a whole lot to say about the George Zimmerman case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the board room, Omarosa. Fourteen celebrities, fourteen egos and more drama than --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. What do you think about all these cases? 1-877-586-7297. Straight out to the lion`s den.

Mystery Juror B-37 says Trayvon could have avoided the confrontation had he simply gone home, implying the teenager bears some responsibility for his own death. Let`s debate it, starting with our other very special and exclusive guests, Tichina Arnold from the hit TV show "Martin." We are going to get to her in a second. But we will start with the only and only Wendy Murphy, always front and center.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, Jane, I think she was in artful in what she was saying. It`s not Trayvon`s job to go home, but it is fair to say that had he gone home, he probably wouldn`t have ended up dead. What I wish she would have said is that because he stayed, because he was angry, because he acted on that anger, and became violent toward George Zimmerman, you know, the law allows George Zimmerman to kill in self-defense. I think she should have framed it as -- that he died because he became very violent, not he died because he didn`t go home. I think that`s just ridiculous.

Omarosa Manigault, but we always call you Omarosa, we all know you as the star of "Celebrity Apprentice" and you are a celebrity in your own right. But you are also the victim of a horrific crime. Your precious brother murdered. We can`t get into that case in depth except to say you know what it`s like to lose a loved one.

What do you make of this Juror B-37, and there is your brother and my heart goes out to you, my condolences, Omarosa. What do you make of this Juror B-37 saying that dead teen Trayvon Martin bears some responsibility for his own death?

OMAROSA MANIGAULT, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE: I think it`s absolutely despicable to speak out in such a way without being informed, one. And two, by blaming the victim for what ultimately happened to him. I mean, I listened to her and I got sickened to my stomach because she really didn`t understand the intricacies of the case or understand how people in the public were feeling. High emotions, high drama, and people responding very negatively to everything she said, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank Taaffe, former neighbor of George Zimmerman and friend and supporter, your reaction to what B-37 said, Trayvon Martin being responsible to a certain degree of his own death.

FRANK TAAFFE, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FORMER NEIGHBOR: I concur with her. That was Mark O`Mara`s contention from the beginning that Trayvon Martin was responsible for his own death. And let`s not forget the facts and the evidence in this case. Clearly, it showed that Trayvon was the aggressor. Because as we know, George received those wounds on the back of his head, clearly, unequivocally, based on the evidence, Trayvon Martin was the aggressor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tichina Arnold, thank you for joining us exclusively tonight. You are very well known from the hit TV show "Martin." Your hearing this B-37 say that Trayvon Martin was responsible, in part, for his own death. That he was the aggressor, and she points to these injuries that we`re seeing. You just heard Frank Taaffe, friend and supporter of George Zimmerman saying basically, yes. What say you?

TICHINA ARNOLD, ACTRESS: What say I is a lot of stuff, Jane. You know where I come from. I come from a place where this whole Trayvon Martin issue, I`m sick and tired of being sick and tired. And enough is enough. You know, I`ve always been an activist in the sense of the media, social media outlet. I say what I feel and I mean what I say. And I mean what I type. There was no reason for George Zimmerman to get out of his car. So this should not have --

TAAFFE: No, no.

ARNOLD: Excuse me, I`m speaking. We should not even be here today. Had George Zimmerman not gotten out of his car. He should have gotten --

TAAFFE: And if Trayvon --

ARNOLD: When he got out of the car, he changed the scope of things and you know there`s a careful balance. With this Stand Your Ground law, and I keep telling everybody, you have to be mindful of midterm elections and -- it`s OK, you don`t have to be in politics, but pay attention. You don`t have to be a politician, but pay attention to these laws that are not conducive to your life. These laws, we just -- you know, this Stand Your Ground law just really woke a lot of people up. It woke me up as a mother. It woke me up as an African-American mother. It woke me up --

TAAFFE: Jane, can I address that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Frank?

TAAFFE: Jane, here in the state of Florida, the Stand Your Ground defense is used nearly double the rate by African-Americans than other ethnic groups in the state. And guess what? They have a higher percentage of winning. So it behooves these groups to --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know about your statistics.

TAAFFE: It`s a fact.


ARNOLD: And what black man do you know that can even get a license? They`re locking up young black men for --

TAAFFE: These are based on facts that were released by the state of Florida and were recorded on CNN today.

ARNOLD: That means nothing to me. It means nothing to me.

TAAFFE: It means everything. You want to change the law --

ARNOLD: The laws --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time. I hope that`s not vodka you`re drinking, Wendy Murphy. Let me jump in, because you made a point and I have a case that disputes your point. And this case has my blood boiling.

As the outrage over George Zimmerman`s acquittal stays front and center, there is a much more, in my opinion, much more outrageous case in Florida, Marissa Alexander. This woman you are looking at here. And African-American mother of three young children is right now, as we speak, as we are sitting around and enjoying our lives, she`s doing 20 years hard time in prison for merely firing a warning shot at her allegedly abusive husband, who was out on patrol, after being arrested for allegedly abusing her, he comes at her. She claims he threatened to kill her. She fires a shot in self-defense. The bullet doesn`t hit nibble. It goes into the wall. Nobody was hurt. She tried to use Florida`s Stand Your Ground law. She was rejected. She was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced for 20 years. The jury deliberated, you want to guess how long they deliberated before sending this woman, a mother of three to prison for two decades, 12 minutes.

Listen to Marisa describe this incident.


MARISSA ALEXANDER, CONVICTED 20 YEARS IN PRISON: He managed to get the door open and he strangled me. He put his hands around my neck. I thought that I was going to have to protect myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Were you thinking you might have to shoot anymore

ALEXANDER: Yes, I did, if it came to that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What if you had gone around him to go out the door, your life would have been easier today if you did that.

ALEXANDER: But the law says I don`t have to. This is my life I`m fighting for. This is my life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the lion`s den.

Kelly, former prosecutor out of Chicago. If there is a cause that everybody I think could agree on is that this woman, for firing a shot into a wall that didn`t even hit anybody shouldn`t be doing 20 years in Florida.

ARNOLD: Twenty years! She`s been taken away from her children trying to protect her children.

TAAFFE: She was given a plea deal by Angela Corey.

ARNOLD: We all know the laws are imbalanced.


OK. Evangeline and then we are going to go -- Evangeline.

EVANGELINE GOMEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The issue here is that there is a law in the state of Florida where there`s a 10-20 mandatory sentence. The judge here found because her children were present, one, there were children that were present, and the --

ARNOLD: That she was trying to protect.

GOMEZ: Let me finish please, thank you. Number two, the issue for the judge was that they felt she could have left the scene, as the reporter had said. You could have walked out but she didn`t. Now, this -- the shows you the inherent flaw that they have in the law, 20 years mandatory is absolutely absurd.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not going to be able to sleep tonight. There`s many times I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the terrible things going on in our world. This is one of them that is going to wake me up in the middle of the night. She has 11-year-old twins that`s were 11 when she went to prison, as well as another little child with a man. And God--

GOMEZ: And a restraining order.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kelly, 30 seconds, tell me -- I would think this would be an easy one for everyone to jump on board and there wouldn`t be such division.

KELLY: I agree with you. I think everyone should be behind her. I think the fact had proven out that the man that testified against her changed his story. He was on parole. He was an aggressor. She didn`t shoot at him and she probably wishes she would have shot him. She might had got a lighter sentence. It`s ridiculous. And this law in Florida is problematic, and she suffers, her children suffer and now they don`t have a parent that was looking out for him, because who is to say they wouldn`t have been hurt in the process, as well?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll continue the debate on the other side. We`re just getting started. Very passionate right now, and there`s good reason for it. But, more on the other side and we`re taking your calls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looks black.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see what he was wearing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, dark hoodie like a gray hoodie.

JOHN GUY, ASSISTANT STATE PROSECUTOR: (Bleep) punks, these (bleep), they always get away. Those were the words in that grown man`s mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he`s yelling help?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George, what is your last name?




CROWD: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Protests, coast to coast, over the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder case. And of course, surveys show that there`s a lot of division in some surveys it`s 50/50 approximately with the margin of error, people who think that was a good verdict and people who think that was an unfair verdict.

So tonight, we`re looking at another case that maybe more people can agree on, because this one seems to be a lot more clear cut. This mother, Marisa Alexander, she is an African-American mom in Florida. She says she fired a warning shot because her husband, who is allegedly abusive, had threaten to kill her, was coming after her. And he had just been arrested for abusing her before. Listen to this.


ALEXANDER: He choked me, he pushed me forcibly into the tub. He pushed me so hard into the closet that I hit my head against the wall and I passed out for a second.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: After the incident, the husband says quote "if my kids weren`t there, I probably would have tried to take the gun from her. I probably would have put my hand on her." When asked what he meant by that, he said probably hit her. I got five baby mommas and I put my hands on every last one of them except for one.

He later changed his story saying no, I didn`t threaten my wife and he was pleading for his life when she pulled the gun out. To add insult to injury, that husband now has custody of the woman`s daughter because she`s behind bars doing 20 years hard time for merely firing a shot. This is the husband, OK? He`s now saying yes, I begged and pleaded for my life.

However, she didn`t hit him. She fired a warning shot into a wall. She tried to use Stand Your Ground. It was rejected and she`s now doing 20 years hard time.

God, let me throw it to Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor. I think this is an outrage that we can hopefully all agree on that that`s an outrageous amount of time for not even hitting somebody.

MURPHY: Yes. This case makes me crazy, and I think one of the themes here is talk about the hierarchy of social power as reflected in the way the criminal justice system functions, fairly or unfairly, black women are way below black men. And this case is an illustration of that.

This is an outrage. I mean, not only did she not hurt anyone, and I don`t even care if Stand Your Ground doesn`t apply. Angela Corey said, well, she didn`t have any injuries or her injuries were minor. OK, fine. So, it technically might not apply. What about the fact that she was in a battered woman in the home with a major league batter, abuser who admitted as much had just given birth nine days earlier to a premature baby, and after shooting the warning shot, didn`t shoot it again. In other words, clearly she wasn`t trying to hurt anybody, 20 years! It`s outrageous!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. Here`s the thing I want to jump in on with Omarosa. Why not jump on this case? I mean, look, there`s a lot of nuances on the George Zimmerman case. And reasonable people can agree to disagree on that case. But this one seemed a lot more clear cut, something that everybody can united behind so it raise people together in outrage rather than dividing them.

MANIGAULT: Well, because -- there are two things, Jane. First of all, I want to make a clarification. People keep saying why didn`t she leave? She had children in this room and she did not want to leave them behind. And so, the idea that she would run out and just save herself and not be concerned about her kids is just a flawed idea.

Number two, the prosecutor said well, she shot where the children were, she shot above their heads. I think that if you look at the facts of this case, she had a disservice done to her and there is a duality in our justice system, particularly with black women as was pointed out by Wendy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tichina, why not rally around this cause as opposed to George Zimmerman who actually had injuries? You know, it just seems more clear cut.

ARNOLD: Jane, when I speak, and you can look on my twitter account, when I speak of Trayvon Martin, I don`t only speak of him. When I say his name and I speak his name, I speak of the countless others who have been convicted of this Stand Your Ground law.

TAAFFE: Your guys are way off base.

ARNOLD: Excuse me, I`m speaking. Now I`m speaking. What I`m trying to say is, I will always, and my disclaimer is, I am a black female, so- called celebrity living in America, OK? And that`s where I`m speaking from. We have two different languages. So sir, you and I speak two completely different languages. That Stand Your Ground law has to go away. And this is why I tell people you don`t have to be a politician, but you need to pay attention.


MANIGAULT: Stand your ground and minimum sentencing, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, a brief rebuttal.

TAAFFE: I got this. This case is not even congruent with the Zimmerman case. This has to do, and it`s very compelling here in this state with mandatory minimums. The self-defense case was thrown out by the judge because it does not even bear any resemblance to it. She shot a gun. Here in this state, it`s 10-20-life. It has nothing to do with Stand Your Ground or self-defense defense. The reason being is it has everything to do with the mandatory sentencing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Florida has a (INAUDIBLE) attitude toward guns, On the one hand, they have a Stand Your Ground law that says you can carry a weapon and you can Stand Your Ground in a public place. On the other hand, they have this use a gun and you`re done law that puts people like this behind bars for decades. More debate on the other side.


GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ACQUITTED IN KILLING TRAYVON MARTIN: He said, you`re going to die, mother (bleep). And he reached -- I felt his arm going down my side. And I grabbed it and I grabbed my firearm and I shot him.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find George Zimmerman not guilty.

ANGELA COREY, STATE ATTORNEY: This case was incomplete at best. At the time it was assigned to us.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, STATE PROSECUTOR: They didn`t have DNA, they didn`t have all that stuff.

COREY: And please make sure you know what you`re talking about.

DE AL RIONDA: We don`t get to pick our witnesses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t have any knowledge of that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you listening?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Protests coast to coast on the heels of the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict, as well as another irritably similar case that is sparking outrage, as well. This one also, where else, in Florida. 46-year-old Michael Dunn accused of first degree murder after he shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

Dunn told cops it started at a gas station when he asked the 17-year- old who was in the sunglasses, now deceased, he asked that 17-year-old and three of his friends who were parked in a car next to him, turn down your music. He claims he heard threats from those teenagers and he claims he saw what he thought was a gun. Here`s what his former lawyer said.


ROBIN LEMONDIS, MICHAEL DUNN`S FORMER ATTORNEY: He was threatened. He was threatened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: In what way specifically?

LEMONDIS: With a firearm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Tell us what was said.

LEMONDIS: Kill that mother (bleep). That mother (bleep) dead, you dead, mother (bleep). And he sees that much of a shotgun coming up over the rim of the SUV, which is up higher than his Jetta. And all he sees are heavily tinted front windows that are up and the back windows that are down and the car has at least four black men in it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dunn says he feared for his own safety, so he grabbed his gun, reportedly firing nearly ten shots into the teenager`s car. The problem, is cops found no gun inside that car. He is behind bars without bail awaiting trial on first degree murder. He claims self-defense.

Straight out to the lion`s den. Let`s debate this one.

ARNOLD: Jane, Jane, listen, this is what I told my twitter followers and my Instagram followers. I had to apologize, because enough is enough. It`s time for celebrities, it`s time for people that are in public offices to take a stand and not worry about what`s happening, what paycheck they`re going to get or be politically correct. Wrong is wrong, and these laws do not work.

MURPHY: Can I just say one thing --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second, Wendy Murphy. Wendy.

MURPHY: I just want to respond to this idea that we should be all condemning Stand Your Ground laws. First of all, they do serve an important purpose. More than half the states have them. They can`t always stupid. They`ve been moving in that direction for a while for a good reason. Let me just finish.

ARNOLD: What is a good reason?

MURPHY: One of the reasons I like Stand Your Ground laws, in general, is that I represent victimized women and children. And when they are sexually attacked, they stand no chance of --

ARNOLD: A lot of good that law did --

MURPHY: I`m not done!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Order in the lion`s den.

I want to bring in John Phillips, family attorney or the family of the 17-year-old Jordan Davis who was gunned down over that incident that started with loud music. I mean, unbelievable.

MURPHY: Unbelievable is right.

ARNOLD: It is ridiculous.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s -- hold on a second. So John Phillips, the family of the teen who was killed said this is not a racial incident. They made a very big point of saying that.

JOHN PHILLIPS, ATTORNEY: No. We have a unique opportunity with Jordan Davis` case to actually rally the entire country around an evil, evil man. Now, whether Michael Dunn was a bigot, is Michael Dunn is his issue, but you know, this family does not want to wind up with Trayvon Martin II from the perspective of divide thing country.

TAAFFE: It isn`t going to happen, John.

PHILLIPS: No. Frank, it`s not. It is not. Because what Michael Dunn did --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, let him finish. Go ahead, John.

PHILLIPS: What Michael Dunn was completely different, he fired ten shots. There wasn`t a feather or a hire on Michael Dunn`s head that was touched. And you know, we want to see Angela Corey and Angela Corey`s team actually, you know, wind up --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, let him finish. Go ahead, John.

PHILIPS: What Michael Dunn was completely different, he fired ten shots. There wasn`t a feather on or a hair on Michael Dunn`s head that was touched.

You know, we want to see Angela Corey and Angela Corey`s team actually, you know, wind up with one that the public feels good about this time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Frank, briefly I want to give you a chance to weigh in since you were jumping in there.

TAAFFE: You know, I have reviewed this case and I concur with John. This is clearly a case that this man was a bigot. George Zimmerman was not a bigot or a racist. So we`re not going to go down that road again. But I do side with John on this, and I would not defend that man, Michael Dunn, at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. Go ahead.

PHILIPS: Ok, Frank. Will you follow me and agree that Michael Dunn`s situation now mandates reasonable gun laws? Because what Michael Dunn was doing was entirely within the rights as a concealed weapons holder.


PHILIPS: You know we have to find some method of compromise.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first of all let me say this. We reached out to the attorney for Michael Dunn today. He gave us a statement. We`re going to show you that on the other side. And also we`re going to debate this.

I worry that they`re going to say we lost Zimmerman, so let`s get Michael Dunn. What`s the reaction to that? On the other side.


ROBERT ZIMMERMAN JR., BROTHER OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I don`t know that he`ll carry a gun. But he has more reason to now than before because there are so many more people who want him dead.

CROWD: Not one more. Not one more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did this man kill him?

CROWD: Trayvon today --




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, find George Zimmerman not guilty.

ANGELA COREY, STATE ATTORNEY: This case was incomplete at best at the time it was assigned to us.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: They didn`t have the DNA. They didn`t have all that stuff.

COREY: Criticize us but make sure it`s constructive and please make sure you know what you`re talking about.

DE LA RIONDA: You know, we don`t get to pick our witnesses.

SHIPING BAO, MEDICAL EXAMINER: I do not have any memory of the day of (inaudible).



VELEZ-MITCHELL: More protests and more backlash to the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case. Juror number B37, that mystery juror that said more controversial things just released more interviews, interview segments from her. We`re going to play some of those for you.

And we`ve got another case out of Florida that some say could be the next George Zimmerman-style controversial mega trial and involves another 17-year-old African-American male, shot by an older male. Now, this one is Jordan Davis, 17, and he was shot by Michael Dunn, 46 years old. And Michael Dunn says he fired in self-defense.

It all started when they were at a gas station, and the teens were allegedly playing loud music in their car. Michael Dunn says turn it down, and the next thing you know, there`s a confrontation, and he claims he was threatened. He claims he saw a gun. He fired approximately ten shots, killing the 17-year-old teenager. No gun was ever found.

Now we reached out to shooter Michael Dunn`s defense attorney and he told us, quote, "Any person who believes that this case was about shooting a teenager over loud music or even insinuates this fallacy has either no knowledge of all the facts involved, or are clearly trying to sensationalize this case for political purposes only."

Now, of course, critics are claiming that racism is at the heart of both incidents -- Trayvon`s and Jordan Davis. But guess what? In this latest case, the teenage victim`s father, Jordan Davis` father, does not believe that.


RON DAVIS, FATHER OF JORDAN DAVIS: He just happened to be an African- American child and a non-African-American person that pulled the trigger. I think that`s the only comparison. But I don`t think the reason is the same. I think the reason for this gentleman was just strictly anger and having the availability of a weapon.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to "The Lion`s Den". Omarosa, is the racial makeup a coincidence or do you believe that race plays a factor in this case?

OMAROSA MANIGAULT, REALITY TV STAR: First of all, race always plays a factor in our judicial system. I just spent the last year and a half -- almost two years -- fighting with my brother`s trial, trying to bring his murderer to justice. And I have to tell you that you don`t realize that there are all these salient points that people make, the decisions that they make and how they proceed come from their racial biases -- whether they`re aware of them or not.

And so when people look at this case, this white man confronted with four African-American men in a truck, of course he`s making decisions based on race and race alone because they didn`t have a weapon --

F1: Why can`t it just be based on a gun?

TAAFFE: I have one for you, Omarosa.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second. Hold on. Hold on.

MANIGAULT: Frank, let me just tell you something, when a white man can shoot four people without worrying about whether or not they`re going to hurt him -- he worried about his life because they were four African- American men. That`s why.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Evangeline Gomez. Evangeline, you`re usually very, very talkative but you haven`t be able to get a word edgewise tonight.

GOMEZ: Look, what matters here is like the rap music -- if they would have been playing Pearl Jam, would it have been better for him? His reaction really was not rational at all, it wasn`t reasonable at all.

TAAFFE: But here`s the thing. Here`s the thing.


GOMEZ: Got a gun --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, let`s see the panel for a second.

MANIGAULT: He shot ten times.

GOMEZ: That`s an element of premeditation as far as I`m concerned. Of course, I don`t know all the facts, but based on what I`m hearing right now, it really sounds like a strong case for first degree.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. John Philips, the attorney -- hold on. Hold on. John Philips --

PHILIPS: It is a strong case for first degree.


PHILIPS: It is a strong case for first degree but here`s the thing. If we get caught on this rabbit trail of race, we don`t address the bigger problem, which is where guns are in this country. And Michael Dunn being a legal gun owner and being able to shoot and kill.

And not only that -- Jane, I hadn`t gotten to the worst part of the story. Michael Dunn then got in his car, ordered pizza, spent a night in a hotel and didn`t even call the police, ever.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kelly Saindon, former prosecutor out of Chicago, in the bright red outfit, weigh in here because here`s the thing that kind of knocked me off my chair practically. The attorney for Michael Dunn says, "I worry they`re going to say we lost Zimmerman, to let`s get Michael Dunn. And special prosecutor Angela Corey is involved in this case as well. That`s pretty shocking.

KELLY SAINDON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know that is always -- that is always a consideration but you have to think about it. I mean right now prosecution in Florida doesn`t look good.

Casey Anthony, in a lot of people`s opinion, got away with murder. Right now lots of people say Zimmerman got away with murder. So they need to make an example. They need to prove that when they`re prosecuting cases they know what they`re doing. They need a victory. So they may very well make an example out of him.

I don`t know enough about the facts specifically. It sounds like a first degree case to me. But I definitely think the prosecutor`s office has egg on their face right now, because they tried to make a political statement and they didn`t succeed. And Casey Anthony, that was just embarrassment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Wendy Murphy?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Can I just be so bold as to say that it`s not a coincidence that Angela "overcharger" Corey is attached to all of these cases. It may not be an overcharge here -- I`ll concede that I agree with people. It seems like an intentional killing.

But she overcharged George Zimmerman. She overcharged the case involving Marissa and she incites people. She is a horrible government official. She was praying with the family. She called Zimmerman a murderer after he was acquitted.

TAAFFE: I agree.

MURPHY: She`s the government. She`s behaving like an --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, we have to say we contacted her office and we did not get a response today but she`s invited on our show any time. Our debate continues on the other side -- so much to talk about.

So much to talk about, I keep thinking about that woman behind bars for 20 years because she defended herself against her allegedly abusive husband by simply shooting into the wall -- didn`t hit anybody. More when we come back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he look hurt to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t see him. I don`t want to go out there. I don`t know what`s going on.

They`re sending.

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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, what is your --



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Did you cry in that jury room?

JUROR B37: I cried after the verdict. I didn`t cry out when they were reading the verdict out in the jury room. Because we were all crying before we went in.

COOPER: What do you mean you were crying before you went in?

JUROR B37: Well, we were in a separate room when the foreman handed the bailiff our verdict. And we were crying back there before we went into the jury room, so they gave us about 20 minutes to try and get everything together.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is mystery Juror B37 talking to Anderson Cooper. She`s emotional there and she said she -- her heart went out to the family of Trayvon Martin, but then when it got down to the evidence, this mystery juror said after looking at all the evidence, she was convinced Trayvon started the fight and threw the first punch. Listen to what she told Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: Do you think Trayvon Martin threw the first punch?

JUROR B37: I think he did.

COOPER: What makes you think that?

JUROR B37: Because of the evidence on the T or on the sidewalk, where George says he was punched. There was evidence of his flashlight and keys, there and then a little bit further down there was a flashlight that he was carrying. And I think that`s where Trayvon hit him. And I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s go out to "The Lion`s Den". Now she pointed to George Zimmerman`s injuries. We`ve seen those pictures so many times -- but we could show them to you again if you want to see them there -- the bloody nose that looks somewhat fractured and the cuts to the back of the head. And she said that that was very influential in leading her to believe that he was acting in self-defense.

Kelly Saindon, former prosecutor -- you`re a former prosecutor. Do you think that the prosecution in this case did enough to explain those injuries? Do you think that they maybe should have co-opted them right from the start and acknowledged that there was a tussle? They only seemed to get to that toward the end of the case.

SAINDON: I think you`re right, they should have led with that. They should have had a viable scenario and stuck with it. There were too many questions that they left the jury, which did equate to reasonable doubt, because the jury said not guilty.

They should have said here`s what we believe happened. They should have had one version of events, turned it around and said listen, this is somebody who got punched in the nose, his head was beat on the sidewalk. I don`t care what anyone tells you. Look at this picture. What would you do? If you`re armed, you have the right to be armed and the law said you can protect yourself if you`re in fear. What would you do?

The prosecution should have went with that and said hey, listen, now you`re in this fight, turn it around and make Zimmerman the aggressor so that now Trayvon is fighting for his life. But they didn`t do it.

MURPHY: There was no evidence of that.

GOMEZ: It wouldn`t have made any sense.


MURPHY: You can`t make stuff up when you`re the prosecution.

SAINDON: You put together the facts and you make a salient story. That`s what you do.

TAAFFE: You make a cartoon. You can make a cartoon like the defense did.

GOMEZ: There was no evidence to support it.

SAINDON: I disagree. I disagree.

GOMEZ: There`s no evidence to support that. No evidence --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, order in "The Lion`s Den". Omarosa, let me ask you this, toward the end of the case, they seemed to acknowledge that Trayvon could have been on top. In fact, they got on top of a dummy purporting to be Trayvon himself. Now what I think they should have said right at the start, the prosecution, when there`s a tussle, people roll around. When they roll around, one person is on top one second, another person is on top the other second.

And so you`re going to hear from both sides that some are going to see Trayvon on top, some are going to see Zimmerman on top. That`s because they were having a tussle and rolling around. They seemed to get to that toward the end. Do you think they should have done that right from the start?

MANIGAULT: Jane, absolutely. They should have established that there was a confrontation and that these two ended up rolling around. Let me just tell you, this confrontation would have never happened if George Zimmerman had not gotten out of his car and disobeyed what the 911 operator said and follow -- Frank, you can make expressions all you want. But when it becomes a crime walking down the street with ice tea and Skittles, it`s a problem.

TAAFFE: Man, why don`t you get off that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let her finish.

TAAFFE: Why don`t you get back? Why don`t you stay in your car?

MANIGAULT: No, you know what, Frank. I`m not going to get off of it because Trayvon would still be here if he had stayed in his car.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, stop, please.

MANIGAULT: If you had not stalked this kid, he would still be alive.

TAAFFE: He never stalked him. Wrong word, wrong word.

MANIGAULT: He did stalk him. When he was told not to follow him, he was a stalker, he profiled him and he (inaudible)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frank, we`re going to get to you on the other side. I have a thought too and I know Wendy does too. Everybody has a thought, on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to John Philips who is an attorney out of Jacksonville, Florida representing another 17-year-old African-American teenager who has been killed, his family. You know, this Juror B37 said we want to find him guilty of something but the way we read the law we couldn`t -- she`s talking about George Zimmerman.

John Philips do you think there`s a problem with the law because Omarosa just said he shouldn`t have gotten out of the carry and followed him? But is there a law against getting out of the car and following him?

PHILIPS: There is a problem with the law. There was a problem with, you know, with all respect to John Guy and Bernie, there was a problem with -- you know when you`re doing a closing argument you build a house and you start with the foundation and that foundation was manslaughter here. And manslaughter is simply pulling a trigger with intent. That`s where they should have started and built from there all the way up to Murder 2 but they didn`t.

TAAFFE: John, it was self-defense.

GOMEZ: There was -- yes, there was nothing.

TAAFFE: They never disproved self-defense, John.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Evangeline Gomez.

GOMEZ: Yes. I mean in this situation -- look ever since this trial occurred, everybody thinks they`re a juror. They think they were there. They don`t know any of the facts. They didn`t pay attention. They read headlines and they`ve drawn conclusions where they shouldn`t have drawn conclusions.

There was a jury. That`s what our legal system is predicated on. They heard the facts and they made a decision. We need to move on.

And in regard to -- he followed the instructions of a nonemergency operator.


MANIGAULT: It`s not going to move on Jane. Before you say move on, our community is not moving on. The African-American community is not going to move on. There is going to be rallies and protests --

TAAFFE: We did after O.J. so what`s the deal?

MANIGAULT: And they`re going to keep pushing. When people say move on, it appalls me.

SAINDON: Taxpayer dollars --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are a lot of issues here. Hold on a second.

MANIGAULT: There is a young boy who is dead, a family who is grieving. Don`t say just move on as if there is not an issue here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Come on.

MANIGAULT: And so we fight for all of the Trayvons.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Order in "The Lion`s Den". Thank you Omarosa. Wendy -- go ahead.

MURPHY: Not every death is worth a social movement. I respect how people feel. I`m not black. I`ll never be black. I don`t know that feeling. If they want to have movement I think that`s acceptable as long as it leads to peaceful and important and productive conversations. I think tome of what we`re talking about is just basic fear and disrespect. George felt disrespected, Trayvon felt disrespected. They both felt fearful.

And that`s where I think we should start having this conversation. It`s not about murder. It is not about guns.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are out on time. But on that note we must come together, we must have dialogue. That`s what makes this country great that we can have these discussions. You can`t have a discussion like this in some parts of the world.

More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank my panel in "The Lion`s Den", a fantastic panel for participating in this important discussion. We are going to stay on top of the two new cases that we brought you tonight, very important, bring you updates on those cases out of Florida.

Thanks for joining us.

Nancy Grace up next.