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Zimmerman Verdict is Personal
Aired July 22, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, George Zimmerman -- Good Samaritan? What did he do now? And why is he suddenly being hailed as a hero? I`ll talk to those who know him.
Plus, is this woman a lying and manipulative murder? The state says yes. The trial of Andrea Sneiderman is about to get under way.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Good evening.
My co-host is attorney and Sirius XM Radio host -- there we are -- Jenny Hutt.
Thank you, Jenny, for joining us this week.
Coming up, we are covering the trial of a suburban mom accused of plotting the murder of her husband, who himself had been shot in front of their son`s daycare. We will hear from someone who actually was an expert witness in that case.
But first, George Zimmerman`s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin, this case has unleashed passions and exposed pain. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We scared if we talk in the public about race, that you all won`t get us.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: What used to be normal for us is much different now.
TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: We were instructed by the courts, that they wouldn`t tolerate any outbursts of any kind. We really felt it would be hard to hold back our emotions.
Either way, the verdict would have come out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a son and he`s 16 years old, you know? And I felt the pain of the parents.
OBAMA: Once the jury has spoken, that`s how our system works.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People that are protesting now, justice for Trayvon meant a guilty verdict for George Zimmerman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The system is obviously racist. And it`s explicitly racist by the way the laws are interpreted.
JAHVARIS FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S BROTHER: I don`t believe he was responsible for what happened to him that night. And that he wasn`t on trial. Zimmerman was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He profiled him with the hoodie and stuff like that as this thug or whatever walking. Yes. But to say that he targeted him because he was black, no.
OBAMA: But, you know, when I talked to Malia and Sasha, and I listened to their friends and I see them interact. They`re better than we are.
PINSKY: Joining us: Lauren Lake, attorney and judge of "Paternity Court", which will be airing this fall. Former prosecutor Loni Coombs, author of "You`re Perfect and Other Lies Parents Tell", Brian Copeland, talk show host on KGO Radio in San Francisco, author of "Not a Genuine Black Man", and Ms. Shahrazad Ali, the author of "Are You Still a Slave?"
George Zimmerman was one of two men -- get this, guys -- who helped rescue a family involved in a car crash. Last week, I wanted you to listen to part of this 911 call.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
OPERATOR: Do they -- does the person need medical attention?
CALLER: Oh, I don`t know, they`re getting them out of the car right now. Oh, they got kids and everything in the car.
CALLER: I don`t know if it`s on fire or -- there`s other people that are helping the people.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: The voice, of course, is not Zimmerman`s. Police say he didn`t witness the crash and that he left after having spoken within deputies.
Lauren, my question to you, he`s being hailed as sort of a hero. Does this whole story surprise you, Lauren?
LAUREN LAKE, ATTORNEY: It doesn`t surprise me. It sounds like some drummed up PR.
And to be very honest, Dr. Drew, if he helped save people`s lives, I`m happy. If he spends the rest of his days helping to save lives because he knows deep down in his heart he took a life unjustifiably, let that be his life`s work. At this point, I don`t think George Zimmerman needs any more PR. I think he needs to go somewhere and be quiet.
PINSKY: But, Brian, he got himself in trouble by intruding into situations he didn`t belong. Did he not learn his lesson? It`s great that he did this and all. I`m just saying, though.
BRIAN COPELAND, RADIO SHOW HOST: Well, here`s my question. And this is the thing everybody`s missing with this story. Now, if George Zimmerman had the strength to help pull four people out of the car, how could he not have the strength to push a 158-pound kid off him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good point, Brian.
PINSKY: Jenny, you seem to want to say something here. Go ahead.
JENNY HUTT, CO-HOST: Yes. Look, guys, the verdict was rendered. Whether we like the verdict or didn`t like the verdict, that was the verdict that was rendered. I wasn`t happy with it.
But to take this circumstance where he clearly helped people and he wasn`t the one who called the TV stations and said, yo, that was me, the guy that helped out. He left.
So I think we can`t malign him for aiding this car crash.
PINSKY: Ms. Ali, I see you winding up for a punch.
SHAHRAZAD ALI, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, this is like the spin cycle. By the end of the year, Zimmerman will be Gandhi. Trayvon will be Nat Turner. And this is how history will be written.
But here`s the point, I can understand people now, they`re going to try to turn him into some kind of hero for that. What about the fact that he was beating up his wife, allegedly molested his 6-year-old niece, and had an altercation with the police. Did we find out if that was true?
PINSKY: OK. I don`t know the details you`re talking about here. I do know the FBI said he was not motivated by racism in 2011. Apparently, he complained about the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a white police officer. There were also accounts that Zimmerman having mentored two African-American young people, children.
In a recent poll, listen to this, Ms. Ali, 39 percent of respondents say he should be slapped with a civil right charge, but 46 percent say no.
Loni, what do you say?
LONI COOMBS, ATTORNEY: Well, I tell you, Dr. Drew, I have prosecuted hate crimes as the head of the hate crimes unit here in Los Angeles County for the district attorney`s office for two years. So I had evaluated hate crimes cases. I`ve filed them. I`ve rejected them. And I`ve actually taken them to trial.
And I`ll tell you, they`re not easy cases to prove. The federal authorities would not only have to prove the charges that the state case failed to prove. But on top of that, they have to be able to prove that the reason that George Zimmerman committed these crimes was because of the victim`s race, because he had some type of bias against him because of his race.
It means the jurors have to get into the mind of the defendant and say I know exactly what he was thinking when he took these actions. It`s a hard burden for jurors to take on, and it takes a lot of evidence to be able to prove that and we know from these reports that were just released, the FBI has been doing investigations, they`ve interviewed a lot of people and they have not come up with any evidence that point to this racial animus on George`s part.
PINSKY: Speaking of allegations, being unable, HLN -- Ms. Ali made a series of allegations a few moments ago that HLN cannot confirm or deny. We don`t have any data on that at the present.
Brian, you had your hand up there.
COPELAND: Yes, this whole thing about how he helped African-American people and mentored kids and spoke up about abuse and these kinds of things, that doesn`t mean that he didn`t have racial misconceptions or perceptions about people. We all have those.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
COPELAND: So this is like the social world --
PINSKY: Brian, I want to stop you right there. You said something very powerful. We all have those. Go a little deeper with that.
COPELAND: Yes, we all have misconceptions about people based upon race, based upon ethnicity, based upon gender.
But the difference is here is that it does not give us a justification to kill them. And we have to be honest with ourselves and look inside of ourselves and admit to ourselves what those prejudices are that we have, and only then can we deal with them, and only then can we begin to heal. The problem is so many folks don`t want to have the conversation.
COPELAND: As I started to say here, with him and the friends he`s had and people he`s mentored, this is like the teacher who works in the inner city who does everything she can to help the African-Americans and gets in an elevator and clutches her purse when one gets on. She`s not racist, but she has misconception.
PINSKY: That`s right. They`re biases. They`re attribution biases. They`re all sorts of things.
Lauren, though, take me home to something you and I talk about in the green room, about how when we`re so uncomfortable. We don`t want to have this conversation. We fall back on the law. The law hasn`t been good to certain populations throughout history necessarily.
LAKE: No, I`m watching many of my colleagues so conveniently hide behind the law and say, well, the law is this. So nothing bad could have happened.
You have to understand as a people, African-Americans have lived historically through laws that have at one time didn`t even count us as whole citizens under the law. There were laws that said we couldn`t learn to read and write. There are oftentimes laws on the books or the way the legal system works that doesn`t treat us equally, where we get the short end of the stick. Unless we --
PINSKY: But, Lauren --
LAKE: Yes. I`m sorry, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: We`ve got to keep having the conversation, don`t we?
LAKE: We have to talk about it. And people want to conveniently hide behind the law, shut it down, and say no more conversation. When this is the conversation we must have. It`s difficult but you have to have the courage to do it.
PINSKY: Jenny, go ahead.
COPELAND: This is an opportunity. This is absolutely an opportunity.
HUTT: Right. I love having this conversation. My whole perspective right now, is at this point, Zimmerman was found not guilty. A lot of us feel that wasn`t a great justice. But focus on the stuff that matters, Dr. Drew, which is what I think you`re trying to do with all the race conversation.
PINSKY: I am trying, but I must tell you that the look -- I don`t know what even to describe the expression on Ms. Ali`s face when Jenny said she wants to have this conversation.
I don`t know what that was, Ms. Ali. What were you thinking?
ALI: Well, I was actually sitting here thinking about you and I. And what a wonderful thing we have done for this country. Because over the past few weeks, you and I have almost single-handedly insisted that we have this conversation.
People are talking different this week than they were talking the past couple weeks around the entire country because of what we`ve said on this show.
PINSKY: Well, Ms. Ali, I hope that is true. What I know to be true is that you say some very extreme things, but then you`re speaking for a population of people who feel like you do, and as such, we`ve got to understand that. I don`t care how outrageous it sounds when it`s delivered. It`s a feeling and we`ve got to take a good, hard look at it. We`re going to keep doing that.
There`s been a lot of what if talk about this verdict. What if Zimmerman was black and Martin was white?
Another eerily similar case may shed -- I don`t know, may give us another perception of this. We`ll talk about that after the break.
And later, talking about the verdict and death threats that perhaps he`s receiving. There he is, after having been an expert witness in the Zimmerman trial. Back in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More blacks are in prison than any other race. We need to be talking about the root problem of what`s causing this. Nobody`s talk about what happened in Chicago last week, 62 people were killed in Chicago last week from Wednesday to Sunday.
ALI: What we should do is to go over some of those other 2,000 murders that have been committed by black men against black men, by the police, against black men and black boys. I think we should study some of those and see which one is the next one that we should address.
COPELAND: If it were reversed where Trayvon had been the shooter and Zimmerman were profiled, I would feel exactly -- although you`re right, I wouldn`t be here, because if this were Trayvon --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn`t be in jail that night.
COPELAND: He would be in jail that night.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
PINSKY: Back with our co-host Jenny Hutt, the panelist still here with me.
Brian Copeland, you wanted to make another point about people who keep bringing up the black on black crime statistics. Go at it.
COPELAND: Yes, well, it`s interesting, because it`s almost like a red herring. We have been talking about that instead of this case.
Well, we have been talking about that. The problem is nobody wanted to hear it until they can use it as a distraction from talking about the Trayvon case.
I`ll give a perfect analogy here and that is you show me a single case of an African-American who killed an African-American who confessed to it, who the police knew that he did it, and then the police waited 45 days to charge him, and then at the end of the day, he walked away and I`ll show you just as much outrage as I am over Trayvon.
PINSKY: Ms. Ali?
ALI: I think the debilitating effects of racism has dissipated our resistance and we`re having a very difficult time handling this, this time, because the job market is low, people are hurting, people have been laid off, they`re losing their houses. And so, for this to come now is almost in our communities like this is just the last straw. We can`t anymore. This is too much pressure.
ALI: Dr. Drew, this was an innocent child. He had Skittles and an iced tea. I know we`ve been through the trial. I know we`ve run amuck through all of the evidence.
But at the end of the day, it was an innocent child, a brown boy. I have a brown boy. For all of the people out here that sympathize and empathize with Trayvon`s parents that it is a possibility on this earth that your child could go to the 7-Eleven and not come home, and for no reason, we must keep this dialogue going, and we must continue this fight.
We cannot stop here. If it`s possible that it happens once, it can happen again. The black on black crime situation, that is an issue, as Brian so eloquently said. If we had more media attention on that, we`d be talking about that. If young black children that go missing got more media attention, we`d all be talking about that.
We do not get the attention that our non-white victims get. It`s just the truth. It feels like this thing, give us the attention.
COOMBS: I absolutely agree that these discussions are extremely important. I think it is an amazing thing that has come out of this trial that so many people are talking and it is continuing on, in fact growing.
I think it`s also important for us all to remember that as we`re having these discussions, we need to encourage people to join in the discussions. I believe that there are lots of people of all genders, races, age that want to join in. And some are afraid to join in, and afraid that they might be prejudged or prejudiced by their comments. They might offend somebody when they don`t want to.
They want to understand, they want to learn. But they`re afraid to speak up because they`re afraid that maybe their people will say, you know what, what you said was prejudice. You don`t get it.
PINSKY: Ms. Ali, what do you say to that?
ALI: Yes, I have a new and refreshing idea.
PINSKY: I`m ready.
ALI: Why don`t we get -- OK -- why don`t we get black men to stop buying sneakers and get black women to stop buying fake hair and we pool our resources and open our own news channel.
Jenny, you have a thought on that?
HUTT: I mean, why does anybody have to stop buying anything that he or she wants to buy? Why do you have to make that a black thing? I have a white 14-year-old son who likes to buy sneakers.
PINSKY: Let me bring something up. A lot of people said if the races were reversed, and let me show you the image that illustrates that. George Zimmerman, black, and Trayvon white would perhaps not have been convicted, or would have been convicted, rather.
There`s actually a 2009 case where an African-American man was acquitted in the shooting of a white 17-year-old. Roderick Scott (ph) said the teen threatened and charged toward him after he caught the teen and two others stealing from neighbors cars.
Brian, so there is a case where it happened and the man was acquitted.
COPELAND: Well, that was New York, you`re talking apples and oranges. Stand your ground as far as I`m aware is not the law in New York.
PINSKY: But it was self-defense in both cases. Lonnie, right? Self- defense in Florida and New York.
COOMBS: In fact, it`s even harder in New York, the case was for the self-defense. If you`re outside of your house, you have to retreat if you can safely before you claim self-defense. This defendant did not retreat. And the victim did not have a gun, and never even touched him before he shot and killed him. He claims self-defense and the jury still found him not guilty.
COPELAND: But he was still -- the kids he had this altercation with were stealing. So it seems to me since they were in the act of committing a crime, that it`s more reasonable to say. I was afraid than just seeing a kid walk down the street. See what I`m saying.
PINSKY: Got it. I see what you`re saying.
Now, Ms. Ali, on Friday, President Obama made a statement about Trayvon Martin. Amongst his comments, Trayvon could have been him 35 years ago. He also spoke about the experience of having been followed while shopping in a store.
Ms. Ali, what did you make of the president`s comments?
ALI: Well, I think, as I said, the things we have been discussing, although some people say they`re over the top, they have spread like wildfire around this country. And I think even he heard some things about it. And so what`s happening is what I told you in the beginning. Now black men are coming out and acknowledging and confessing and trying to purge, and that`s the one good thing this show has done.
I`m not just speaking for me. And not saying that black people are monolithic. But there are a lot of people who hear what I`m saying and this has been their experience here in America. And so I`m allowing them to purge through me. This is really helping society by me telling you all the truth about how we really feel about y`all.
COPELAND: Well, I think that`s part of the outrage. Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago. I`ve got stories of having undercover police officers --
ALI: He could be you today.
COPELAND: -- point guns at my head for the crime of walking down the street in broad daylight. You think about gosh, I could have been killed and he would have been able to get away with it by simply saying he was afraid, because of preconceived notions --
PINSKY: Got it.
COPELAND: -- on the face of crime to a lot of whites is young, black and male.
PINSKY: Lauren, I`m against the clock. Finish me up.
LAKE: I just have to say this, Dr. Drew. And I want all of the intellectuals out there to get off of their luxury recliners, where if you don`t have to deal with this every day because you have that sense of entitlement. You already have the privilege to be able to go back to your golf courses and go back to your malls and just live life normally, know that there are people out here like us that have children, that we must deal with this, or it could be our child. Be with us. Understand our point.
PINSKY: Thank you, panel. Thank you.
Next, when she last joined us, that was last week, Ms. Ali spoke passionately about a warning she gave her own son. It troubled me all weekend. We`ll look closely at it. She`s back to address that warning and where it comes from.
And later, with the start of the Andrea Sneiderman trial just days away, I will speak to an expert witness who actually testified murder trial, after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI: Let me give you clear. This is clear what I tell my little son -- listen, I want you to be careful. There are some white men, not all of them, but there`s some white men that want to kill you and stomp your life out like they did your forefathers. So, you have to be careful of the white police, the white storekeeper, the white businessman, the white everybody, because they hate you.
PINSKY: Ms. Ali, do you think there are people that believe like you?
ALI: For sure.
PINSKY: To me, that makes me deeply wounded and sad and we need to keep addressing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Yes, it bothered me all week. Welcome back.
Jenny Hutt, I think you`ll agree, get under your skin a little bit too?
HUTT: Yes, well, it`s totally upsetting, but I`ve got to tell you. She`s really not wrong. She did say not all white people.
And unfortunately, Dr. Drew, there are some white people who do want some black people dead. It`s a horrible disgusting thing.
PINSKY: I want to talk to her about it in more detail.
Joining us and still with us, Brian Copeland and Ms. Ali. And joining us, Frank Taaffe, of course, George Zimmerman`s friend and vocal supporter. Also joined by criminologist and attorney Casey Jordan.
Panel, I want you to hang tight for a second. I want to speak to Ms. Ali for a second on my own here. You pull us. There she is. There`s my friend.
Ms. Ali, that really bothered me that`s weekend. Now, you can understand why that would affect me, right?
PINSKY: OK. Do you still believe it? Do you regret having said that?
ALI: Well, I didn`t think about it all weekend, you did. Yes, I still believe that.
PINSKY: I want to make sure.
OK. But here`s the deal. Here`s my thing -- if I were to come at you and say that`s crazy, that`s as racist as anything anybody ever said, if I were to just go head-long at you with those kind of statements, would that change anything?
ALI: What it would tell me is that white people want to discuss race in this country but you want to discuss it on your terms and you can`t tell us what our pain is and how to express it. We have to do that ourselves.
PINSKY: I`m so glad you said it that way, because that`s what I believe. Frank, I want you to be quiet for a second. Frank is almost bleeding into my head here. I hear him in the background, Ms. Ali. Maybe I`m hallucinating. Frank, hang on a second.
And, Frank, I`m going to Casey first, because I want her to listen to this. Ms. Ali, I want her backup with me.
Ms. Ali, you said something very important, because what you`re really talking about, I`ve said this several times and this is what I want people to frame their conversation, because it`s a place we can all talk about this, is that this is pain you carry in your heart from generations of trauma. Ultimately, that`s what this is.
PINSKY: And if all of us allow those traumas to color how we see other people, we aren`t ever going to get anywhere, any of us, do you agree with that?
ALI: You know what we need? Do you know what we need? We need, as black people, some behavior cognitive therapy. We need to be able to connect the thoughts and the feelings and the behavior. And see how this depression has turned us into such self-destructive behavior on ourselves.
We need that kind of help. And y`all not going to give us that kind of help because it costs too much money and that`s a one-on-one therapy and we just can`t get that.
PINSKY: Well, I think -- while I don`t disagree with all that, and, Casey, I`m going to have you on this in a second, too. I think there`s something more macro that you and I can do, which is to talk about the pain and reframe the pain.
ALI: Oh, yes.
PINSKY: And acknowledge that it`s there. Rather than it being, we all hunkering down our defensive postures, let`s talk about this. You would agree with that at least.
Casey Jordan, you ring in on this.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, yes. The conversation is important. And my problem with what Ms. Ali said was that in one breath, she talked about there are white people out there, and she goes not all, but some, and then, you know, the white storekeeper, the white police, and then the white everybody. And once again, we`re all lumped together.
And that is the problem. We`ve got the quit the "us versus them." It is just counterproductive. It`s not going to get us anywhere.
PINSKY: Let me show you --
JORDAN: We`re having this conversation.
PINSKY: Yes, I agree.
JORDAN: Go ahead.
PINSKY: Let me show you a twitter that popped up along those same lines. Here it is, Dr. Drew, it`s coming up hopefully. "I`ve realized a lot of my black friends hate white people. Do they hate me?" I`m sorry, Ms. Ali. It`s not going not come up.
But the fact is that people -- they`re hurt by that comment of hatred and pain.
COPELAND: That comment, as far as I`m concerned, is too far over the top. However, as the father of two African-American boys, one three days younger than Trayvon, we have to sit down with our sons and have a conversation that I call the black man talk about how to behave if they are stopped in their cars.
ALI: That`s right.
COPELAND: Because we don`t want to be an accident. I have to tell my boys that you say "yes, sir" and "no, sir." You don`t argue because they`re afraid of you already. You keep your hands on the wheel where you can be seen.
COPELAND: Hang on a second. If I can finish, it`s farther than that. You know what, frank? You are a racist bully and you`re not going to bully me.
FRANK TAAFFE, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FRIEND: Every parent tells them. You know what, Ms. Ali --
COPELAND: No, no, no.
PINSKY: One at a time, guys.
TAAFFE: You`re angry at the black man --
COPELAND: I am not going to be shouted down and bullied by you, Frank.
TAAFFE: -- white woman --
PINSKY: Frank, I`ve got to turn your mic off. You`re screaming. I turned Frank`s Mic off. Brian, you get the same privilege for just a second here. Miss Ali, what`s going on there?
SHAHRAZAD ALI, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this is a very touchy subject. We have a lot of feelings, as I`ve mentioned to you before. It`s not about hate. I don`t hate anybody. And you don`t have to worry about my people hating you. They love White people. The majority of my people, Black people, they love White people. They can`t get enough of you. So, it`s not that that`s kind of hate. Most of my people don`t even know the condition they in themselves.
PINSKY: Now hold on -- Frank, I`m going to go -- then Brian, you`ll get to respond to Frank. Frank, please, OK, give me your opinion.
PINSKY: Just put your opinion in a way I can understand it and hear it. So, please. Go ahead, go.
FRANK TAAFFE, ZIMMERMAN DEFENDER: I promise.
PINSKY: All right.
TAAFFE: The problem is this, that -- and I concur with Miss Ali about this slavery thing. You know, Whitey, us, we`ve been -- we`ve been had a little bit of slavery, too, back in 1964 or 1965, the President Johnson signed an executive order, it was called affirmative action.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Are you kidding me?
TAAFFE: And you want to talk about slavery? Whitey, like me had to endure affirmative action. We gave that to you all. Education, government.
PINSKY: Point made. Brian, respond. Brian, go ahead.
BRIAN COPELAND, RADIO SHOW HOST: It`s like every word that comes out of his mouth is like a turd falling in my drink. I don`t understand why he`s allowed to go on like he does. If I can finish what I was saying was that it`s beyond common respect. It`s to keep your hands where they can be seen. You have to move very slowly, because they`re so -- you know, if you`re getting your wallet, you`ve got to tell them.
I`m getting my wallet and move slowly, these kinds of things, because there are too many cemeteries that are filled with the bodies of young Black men who were killed because a police officer was afraid. People were shot 50 times while reaching for their wallet because they were afraid. And that`s what`s --
PINSKY: OK. Hold on. Casey, make sense of all this for me. I`m really against the clock. Just give me a couple of seconds. Please, help.
JORDAN: I`m going to tell you that one of the most important experiences that I had growing up was going to a magnet school where I, as a White person, was in the minority. And you can learn racism and you can unlearn racism. The answer is to lead by example and raise your children not to be racist. It really does come down to that.
PINSKY: Next, the key defense --
ALI: You all have had 440 years to stop practicing racism and you haven`t stopped yet.
PINSKY: Hold on. Hey there, buddy. Everybody`s mics off. Everybody`s mics off. Next, the defense witness in the Zimmerman trial is here exclusively to talk about the not guilty verdict.
And later, the start of the Andrea Sneiderman trial is just days away. I`ll speak to an expert who testified in the murder trial of her boss. Back after this.
VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Coming up at the top of the hour on "HLN After Dark," a lot of folks are talking about that tragedy in Texas at the theme park, I`m not one to go on roller coaster, so you`re not going to catch me on one of those.
RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: Yes, neither am I. But that`s why we`re asking the bold question, our thrill rides unsafe? We`ve got our in-studio jury ready to decide that question tonight. Lots to talk about Vinnie.
POLITAN: Yes, a lot. I wonder how many thrill-seekers we have on our jury here tonight. We`ll find out top of the hour, "HLN After Dark."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you think that you being a witness in this case might do your company some good, that is you`d get your name out there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no question that anybody that`s seen anything about this case would be aware of the fact that it`s getting media coverage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Welcome back. Co-host, Jenny Hutt, joins me. Also, Dennis Root, he was a key defense witness in the Zimmerman trial. He had been grilled by the state there. But jurors apparently agreed with his opinion that Zimmerman was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin. He is with us tonight in his first interview since the verdict was rendered.
Back with us as well, Frank Taaffe, Casey Jordan, and Brian Copeland. First up, Dennis, thoughts on the verdict?
DENNIS ROOT, KEY DEFENSE WITNESS: I was very satisfied with the verdict. I really thought that the jury took the time to review the information, base their decision on the evidence, and even though it`s probably very difficult for them, I was glad to see that emotion wasn`t part of making their decision.
PINSKY: And Dennis, does Zimmerman`s rescue of the family in the SUV recently surprise you?
ROOT: Not based on what I`ve heard about him. You know, things that I`ve heard about his ability to want to become involved, his ability to want to help and so forth. That doesn`t surprise me because that seems to be a consensus of many people, the type of person that Mr. Zimmerman is.
PINSKY: Now, I would live to give my panel a chance to ask Dennis questions. Casey, do you have something for Dennis?
JORDAN: Well, I`m very curious, Dennis, and I understand you`re a witness for the defense. Do you not interpret Zimmerman`s following Trayvon -- it sort of turns the tables. Why are you convinced that Trayvon Martin didn`t exercise self-defense against Zimmerman? I mean, after all, he`s dead so we`ll never know the truth, but isn`t that possible?
ROOT: Well, I base everything off of the physical evidence and the statements made by the other people that were witnesses or through the 911 calls. You know, we can go back and look at all the variations of what could have happened prior to the shooting. The questions that came up, why didn`t Mr. Martin make it home. If he was running home from point A to point B, how come in that amount of time he couldn`t make it?
You know, we can draw some of our own conclusions based off our own inferences, but I have to base my own opinions off of the facts that I see as presented through the case.
PINSKY: Frank, I wonder if you have a question.
TAAFFE: Dennis, you were awesome. You hit the ball out of the park, and it`s been my contention since day one that Trayvon had plenty of time to get home and come back and be the aggressor in that situation. And my hat`s off to you for standing up to the state and speaking the truth. Awesome job.
JENNY HUTT, ATTORNEY: But Frank, if you`re going to say that Trayvon had plenty of time to go home and not be -- George Zimmerman had plenty of time to not get out of his car. So --
COPELAND: That`s right.
TAAFFE: You know what, let`s not beat that animal to death. There`s no law to get out of the truck, he was simply -
HUTT: There`s no reason to.
TAAFFE: Well, you know, the jury has spoken. The verdict is in. Not guilty.
PINSKY: I want to give Brian a chance before I have to go to break. I`m up against the clock. Brian.
COPELAND: My question for Mr. Root is that in light of the attention, the media attention that this case has and in light of the fact that there`s so much vitriol that has involved, my understanding that there`s vitriol and threats coming in your direction, do you have any regrets about involving yourself in this case?
PINSKY: Great question.
ROOT: Regrets, no. I`m dedicated to finding the truth. I really pride myself on maintaining a neutral position and looking at everything the best that I can, and I did exactly what I said I would do, and I reviewed it the best that I could, so I don`t have any regrets in that way.
PINSKY: Thank you, Dennis. Thank you, panel.
Switching gears next. Did this suburban mom orchestrate her husband`s murder? The "Behavior Bureau" puts Andrea Sneiderman under the microscope.
And later, Charles Barkley, that`s right, the NBA great, explains why he agrees with the Zimmerman verdict. Back after this.
PINSKY: Welcome back. Co-host is Jenny Hutt, of course. And, we are talking about Andrea Sneiderman, she is the suburban mom accused of plotting the murder of her own husband through her boss, who was also her alleged lover, and he was bipolar and manic allegedly. Take a look at this tape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This case appears to be a cold and calculated murder.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neuman drove to done what he prepped and fatally shot Rusty Sneiderman who had just dropped off his son at preschool.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The victim was shot multiple times, what appears to be point-blank range.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The triggerman, Hemy Neuman is already serving his sentence for the shooting. He was Andrea`s boss.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gun in this case was in Hemy`s hand, but the trigger, I respectfully suggest, was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors say Andrea Sneiderman conspired with her lover and boss, Hemy Neuman, to kill her husband.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t care if there were no affair. There was no affair. Who kills someone else`s husband?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state of Georgia will try to prove Andrea Sneiderman was behind the murder of her husband, Rusty, the father of her two young kids.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seems kind of ridiculous, right? The theory that my boss would kill my husband.
PINSKY: The trial is just days away. Sneiderman faces 16 counts, including felony murder. She has pled not guilty, denies having had an affair with her boss, Hemy Neuman. And tonight, our Atlanta affiliate is reporting that prosecutors may, in fact, drop the murder charge due to lack of sufficient evidence.
Let`s bring in the "Behavior Bureau," Jenny. Back with us, Casey Jordan. Joining us, psychotherapist and HLN contributor, Tiffanie Davis Henry, clinical and forensic psychologist, Cheryl Arutt, and forensic psychiatrist, Tracey Marks.
Tracey -- Dr. Marks had testified for the defense during Hemy Neuman`s trial last year. Ad Tracey, what did you make of the relationship between Hemy and Andrea? Was this an affair? Was it sexual? Or was this all in the mind of the manic guy?
DR. TRACEY MARKS, CLINICAL & FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: I think they definitely had an affair. I think -- and that`s not only going by what he said, but also, it`s all in the e-mails, in the corroborative information that was in the discovery. And even people`s observations of them grinding on the dance floor and kissing and all that. That`s an affair.
HUTT: Yes. By the way, according to the reports that I read, there were hundreds of e-mails with pictures of her children being sent to him. Unless, he was getting something from this, he`s not looking at her kids.
PINSKY: But Casey, he was acutely manic, he was psychotic, he had all these crazy visions about the children being his. What do we make of all this?
JORDAN: Why would she want to be involved with such a man and get foot massages from him and change her hotel room bed from two beds to one bed? She ate it up. And she -- you know, you have to understand that an affair can be sexual without being physical. It can be all in the mind, it can be all emotional.
The question is, how much did she know and did she lead him on? And when she said, oh Hemy, I will never leave my husband, was that a suggestion to a man that she could read like a book and go kill her husband because she wasn`t going to leave him.
PINSKY: And Cheryl, Casey puts it right smack where I`d like this conversation to go, which is when you have bad boundaries with someone with mental health issues, meaning, we have a manic guy, we have a woman who is gratified by all his sexual advances, thinks it`s cute or clever, it sort of engages in a weird sexual exchange of e-mails and texts, you end up in a bad place, Cheryl.
CHERYL ARUTT, PSY.D., CLINICAL & FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: I couldn`t agree with you more, Dr. Drew. Bad boundaries and mental health issues is a recipe for disaster. But what was Hemy Neuman`s vulnerability really? Was it that he was actually bipolar manic or was it that he just was wild about Andrea Sneiderman? I don`t really know.
Dr. Marks, I`m so curious about how a guy who was bipolar managed to live this many years without anybody noticing, and his hallucinations, command hallucinations seem more like what I usually see with schizophrenia. I`m kind of so surprised at the timing of all of this. I`m so interested in hearing how this guy got diagnosed as this and whether he really has it.
PINSKY: Let`s hear her answer. Tracey, go ahead.
MARKS: Well, my opinion was that he had presented more of a hypomania or bipolar 2 presentation that percolated over the years that didn`t explode to this point until 2010. As far as command hallucinations, actually, it wasn`t my opinion that his hearing, this voice, this angel was a command, an actual hallucination. I think it was more a figment of his imagination, kind of a defense mechanism that that`s how he packaged it. It`s a voice when really it`s his own thought.
PINSKY: These are very subtle, interesting distinctions. I see Casey nodding your head very vigorously. Tiffanie, I want to go to you on this relationship when I have to take a break, so hold your thoughts, everybody. If you out there have a question for the "Behavior Bureau," go ahead and give us a tweet @DrewHLN #behaviorbureau. Be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a man who was sleeping in my backyard. He`s running, I think he has a gun in his back pocket. And now, he`s running away. I don`t know who the hell he is and I don`t want him by my house. He`s wearing a hat, ear mask, black mustache.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with the "Behavior Bureau." My co-host Jenny Hutt. Eight days before his murder, Rusty Sneiderman made that 911 call. Newman had been camped out outside their house in a disguise waiting to ambush him with a gun. Tiffanie, what are your thoughts on this relationship?
TIFFANIE DAVIS HENRY, PH.D., PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, you know what? One of the things that I think is really key here is that we oftentimes -- well, in this case, we don`t know a lot about Andrea`s relationship with her husband. Everything that I`ve read has been about her relationship with Hemy Neuman, the convicted murderer, but not about her husband.
One thing we always do in cases like this is we assume monogamy. We assume that Andrea`s relationship with her husband was one of monogamy. Perhaps, Dr. Drew. I`m just going to throw out this monkey wrench. What if she had an open relationship with her husband so she wasn`t being manipulative?
She wasn`t this person who had, you know, shaky boundaries. Maybe he had given her permission to have a relationship outside of their marriage.
PINSKY: That`s always a possibility, but Casey, I would still say that`s very shaky boundaries and to define shaky boundaries. And I wonder if we`ve got another sort of Jodi Arias style personality here, namely, borderline process going on. What do you think, Casey?
JORDAN: Yes, I`m going to go with you on that. When this case first broke, I had that gut feeling about Andrea. I was like, you know, this is related in some way to the wife. And a former student of mine, a good friend of mine who knows Andrea personally, called me up and said you are absolutely wrong. There is no way Andrea`s having an affair (ph) on her husband.
She wanted to straighten me out and make sure I didn`t say anything like that on TV again. And now, we know she was having this, at least, an emotional, I think physical affair with him. And some people have double lives, kind of like Jodi Arias. I mean, so yes, I think she definitely has that fractured personality.
PINSKY: Right. And Cheryl, that`s that flipping and flopping. I like my husband in certain contexts, I don`t like him in others. I like the manic guy in some contexts but only when he`s useful to me, right?
ARUTT: Yes, that`s the split. It`s an all or nothing, and it`s a love/hate. And if that`s the case, then, you know, this could very easily have those kinds of similarities. You`re right.
PINSKY: Tracey, do you agree? You`ve been down in the trenches with this a little bit.
MARKS: Yes. I think the back and forth was intentional and manipulative. I don`t think that that was an aspect of, say, an unstable personality. I think she just know exactly what she was doing.
MARKS: And it worked out to advantage.
HUTT: I just have a couple of things to say. One, I happen to agree with you, Dr. Drew, the boundaries of the whole like open relationship thing. That certainly wouldn`t work in my house. And two --
HUTT: My question is -- it just wouldn`t. Did she not know that that was Hemy who was at her house with the gun when Rusty called 911? Like how at that point wasn`t he taken --
PINSKY: We`ll have to hold that, because we`ll continue to cover this case. We`ll address those sorts of issues in upcoming shows.
Next up -- thank you, panel -- NBA great, Charles Barkley, talks about racism, the media, and why he agrees with the Zimmerman verdict. Back after this.
PINSKY: I`m back with my co-host, Jenny Hutt. Former NBA great, Charles Barkley, has his own opinion about the Zimmerman case. Here he is on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Just on the evidence alone, I think the verdict was fair. Just on the evidence. He was wrong for racial profiling Trayvon Martin. I paid close attention to the trial. I don`t go by sound bytes and all this other stuff that you hear on the side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Jenny, what do you think about Mr. Barkley`s opinions?
HUTT: Listen, I appreciate his opinion. I think you and I have discussed this. A bunch of the people on the panels have discussed this. The verdict was the verdict because of insufficient evidence to prove, otherwise. The prosecution --
PINSKY: I`ve got to say -- I`ve got to say, don`t you wonder if the prosecution had been able to paint a better story about Trayvon, actually, told a story that people could understand, that maybe would be a way of -- I don`t know, I just sort of wonder about that.
HUTT: Listen, that would have been great, Dr. Drew, but I think that the story wasn`t what mattered, unfortunately. The story is this was a kid walking home.
PINSKY: Got to go. Thank you, Jenny. Thank you all for watching. And we`ll see you next time, of course. And "HLN After Dark" starts right now.