Transcript for Zimmerman Verdict: Not Guilty
Good morning and welcome to "this ." Breang overnight with the verdict is in. We, the jury, find george zimmerman not guilty. Protests break out after the high stakes trial that gripped the country, as america faces big questions now about race, justice, and gun control. Then new low? The gridlock, the squabbles. These are dark days in the history of the senate. Was it washington's worst week left? To the center of the fight and the closed door meetings. Plus the roundtable on sphis second chance. And the tell all book that has washington talking. Right here on this sunday morning. And we begin with the breaking news overnight. After more than 16 hours of deliberations, a jury of six women delivered the decision, not guilty of murder or manslaughter, zimmerman is a free man. It captivate the nation, and there were protests overnight, but from washington, a muted reaction. Trayvon's mom tweeted this wa her darkest hour, and his father, even though I'm brokenhearted, my faith is unshattered. I will love my baby tray. The senate judiciary committee and the congressional black caucus. Matt gutman has covered this all the way. Good morning, take us inside that courtroom last night. Reporter: Good morning, george. That courtroom was intense. So many eyeballs on it. But it wasn't always this way. It wasn't always headline news. It began as a routine homicide that ignited the national debate about race. The six female jurors filed in, you could see the tension on the prosecutor's face with the defenses face, everybody looked tired. They made a decision not based on race, but about the law. They decided the state didn't have enough evidence to convict them he should be convicted on second degree murder other manslaughter. And just after that, you saw george zimmerman with a muted response. Once he started hugging his family and attorneys, you saw him break a smile there. Now noticeably absent from the courtroom, trayvon martin's parents, george. And the security situation has been so tight, everyone still on high alert? Reporter: Very much so. Especially the family of trayvon martin. There was a reason they weren't in the courtroom. We were told from the sheriff's office that the tenor and the severity of the death threats have increased, and they felt it was safer to keep them away from the courthouse and to bolster their security, not just them, zimmerman and his family also the target of death threats. His attorney said he m be a free man, may have had at ankle bracelet taken off, but he's walking around with a bullet proof vest, and he may have to live in hiding. George. All right, more rea now from benjamin crump, the attorney for trayvon martin's family. Thank you for joining us this morning. We know the family is heartbroken. They are under heavy security. Do they accept the verdict and what do yoeople to know this morning? Well, they are trying make sense of it all, george. They want people to know they're going to continue to fight for the legacy of their son. That he had every right walk home from the 7-eleven and not expect to be profiled and followed by a strange man. They're trying to like many parents, explain to the young people in their family what just happened. What is this about that a child can't have skittles and a can of ice tea and walk home and not have a bullet lodged in his heart and his killer not be held accountable for profiling and following him. That's what they're dealing, and what most parents in america are dealing with. They're still grieving right now. When you say they're going to fight for at legacy, will you be filing a civil lawsuit, and do you want the justice department to have an investigation? Right now they're concentrating on getting through this trying time, george. They have a trayvon martin foundation that they have been working tirelessly on because they know they had no power in the court system. They had to depend completely on the justice system and pray that it would work for them as it worked fbody else. And so the one thing they can control is this foundation. Tracy and sabrina have been trying to do that work so they can make sure there are no other children who get killed as a result of senseless ce. Will they file a lawsuit? They are going to certainly look at that as an option. They deeply want a sense of justice. They deeply don't want their son's death to be in vain.Mean, they are still in disbelief about his death, and now they're in disbelief about this verdict. It's just one of the things they have to deal with. They're in church this morning, praying and trying to turn to god, a higher authority, to make sense of it all. Re you satisfied with how the prosecutors handled the case? Any concern they should have pursued lesser charges as well? Well, george, I think that the prosecutors are very seasoned prosecutors, and they their summations cut right to the heart of the matter what this case was really about. When prosecutor john said if the roles were reversed, and trayvon martin would have followed and profiled and shot george zimmerman in the heart, what would the verdict have been? And that's the question that everybody's asked, and that's why the whole world was watching this case to see if everybody can get equal justice, not just certainly people. And so that's troubling, george. It's interesting you bring that up mark o' mara spoke out on precisely that question. I think that things would have been different if george zimmerman were black for this reason. He never would have been charged with a crime. What is your reaction to that? George, if you go to any courtroom in america on any given day, you will see the number of african-american males being convicted on not much evidence at all. Not that it's right, but you will see that nobody in america worries that black men won't be convicted in court. That is not a big issue. Now, black victims worry about if they are victims to others outside of their community, whether they will be convicted. But I challenge anybody to go to courts all over america, sit in the back and watch how the justice system place out when it comes to black males. No doubt in your mind race was at the center of this trial? Well, I think we would be intellectually dishonest if we don't acknowledge the racial undertones in this case. There was a reason why everybody was watching this case. And they wanted to see if everybody got equal justice. Now, you know, we have to accept the rule of law. There is no guarante of justice. I told trayvon's parents that from the beginning, we have a chance at justice. But we do want people to know that children should be able to live on this earth, walk on this earth, and not feel that they're going to be profiled by what they were or what ethnicity they belong to. And that has to be something we have to progress from. Where do we go from here? Take steps forward to make sure this never happens again, or regress and say the precedent is set where you can shoot little minority boys and nobody be held accountable? Mr. Crump, thank you very much for your time this morning.
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