Saturday, July 20, 2013

Anderson Cooper talks to Trayvon Martin's parents after Zimmerman acquitted (videos, transcripts)

On July 18, 2013, Trayvon Martin's parents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton broke their silence after the man who admitted to killing their son was acquitted. George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, leaving the Martin family in heartbreak as they continue to seek justice for their 17-year-old son.
Zimmerman shot Martin in the heart after saying he followed the teen he suspected of committing a crime. Zimmerman claimed Martin surprised him then beat his head against concrete, forcing him to shoot in self-defense. The state of Florida said that Zimmerman pursued Martin, putting into motion a series of events that culminated in a physical struggle between the two. They disagreed that Zimmerman needed to use deadly force to end the conflict.

You may watch the full video from Anderson Cooper's interview with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton as well as read the full transcript below.

Trayvon Martin's parents and his brother Jahvaris Fulton spoke to Dr. Drew. You may watch that video interview here.



 




ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Interview with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton

Aired July 18, 2013 - 20:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.

Tonight, a mother and father who lost a son.

At the end of the day for Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of Trayvon Martin, it is just that simple and just that sad.

The jury's decision may add to the burden. A country taking up a vital debate in their son's name may ease it a little. None of it changes the ache of absence that won't go away, the ache that all parents feel after losing a child.

Few parents, though, see their child described as a predator by some or adopted as a martyr by others or have some people define him to fit their agenda, whatever that agenda may be.

So tonight, as we talk about all the greater implications of the death of Trayvon Martin, we don't want to lose sight of the simple fact that a mother and a father have lost a son.

Joining me now is Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin and family attorney, Benjamin Crump.

Thank you very much for -- for being with us.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: First of all, how -- how are you holding up?

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: It's very difficult, but I'm just taking one day at a time. It's very difficult.

COOPER: Tracy, for you?

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FATHER: It's tough. We're just trying to stay strong. We understand that we have to stay strong for each other, our families. And we'll continue to take it one day at a time.

COOPER: You were there in the trial every day. And at times, you had to leave because -- because some of the testimony was too hard to hear.

But were there days where you just thought, I can't -- I can't go there today or I mean I can't do this? FULTON: No, I never thought that, um, every morning I got up with Trayvon in mind. And I said, I have to do this, I have to go, I have to just withstand just the -- just the trial process.

So I made myself go. It was no doubt in my mind that I needed to be there.

There were times, not necessarily the testimony, but a lot more the pictures for me, the 911 call, where it just seemed so final. The pictures that the medical examiners, the pictures at the site, those things were more hurtful to me.

And sometimes I could sit through it. And at times, I just needed to just go by myself and just say a prayer and ask God to strengthen me, because it was very difficult.

COOPER: What did you -- what did you hope the message of you both being there for your son during that trial -- did you hope that it would send a message to the jury?

Did you hope that it would send a message to all those who were watching?

FULTON: The most important purpose was to give Trayvon a voice, because he's not here to say anything for himself. So we thought in our minds that we needed to be there to represent him, to show a face with Trayvon Martin's name, OK, these are the parents and this is the family. These are the attorneys.

So we -- we just felt that it was important that will be there just to represent him.

COOPER: And were there times sitting there hearing other people talk about your son, whether they were friends of your son or people who didn't know him or people adver -- you know, for the defense, were there times where you just thought that I don't know who they're talking about, that is not -- that's not my son?

MARTIN: Definitely. There was a lot of times during the court proceedings that we said to ourselves that that wasn't the Trayvon that we raised, that wasn't the Trayvon that we knew and that we loved. And we felt as though they were just mischaracterizing him. And we know that wasn't the Trayvon that we raised.

COOPER: Were there, to be in a courtroom with the man who killed your son, did he ever say anything to you or look at you or was there ever any kind of eye contact exchanged?

MARTIN: Never. We refrained from even looking his way. We didn't want our emotions to run high, because we knew that our son's legacy was lying -- is lying in our hands. We are the face of Trayvon. The juries -- that courtroom, we needed to be in the courtroom to let the court see that we were Trayvon. He wasn't there to defend himself, to tell his side of the story.

We couldn't tell his story, but we wanted to assure them that we were there 110 percent for him.

COOPER: When I talked to Daryl Parks one day, one of our attorneys, and he said that you all had talked ahead of time about not being there on the day the verdict came down.

Why did you not want to be there on that day?

And how did you actually hear about the verdict?

FULTON: We didn't want to be there because we were told by the court system that there were -- you couldn't do any outbursts. You couldn't say anything. You couldn't have any reaction. And we thought that was going to be pretty difficult for us either way.

Through our attorneys' advice, they told us -- they suggested to us that we not be there. And we kind of weighed both sides and said maybe this is not a good thing for us to be there, because either way, we -- how could you be quiet?

How could you not say anything?

How could you not show any emotions?

So I think by us not being there, it took the sting out of people seeing us react to it, because it literally broke us down.

COOPER: When you heard the verdict on television...

FULTON: Yes.

COOPER: -- you broke down?

FULTON: Yes.

COOPER: How could you not, I guess?

Did it come as a total shock?

I mean there were, you know, some legal analysts who were watching the trial that felt the prosecution wasn't presenting the case like some of the analysts wanted them to present it or felt that they could have presented it.

Did it -- did it come as just a complete shock?

FULTON: It came as a complete shock for me. And the reason I say that is because I just look at people as people. And I thought for sure that the jury looked at Trayvon as an average teenager that was minding his own business, that wasn't committing any crime, that was coming home from the store and were feet away from where he was actually going.

And I just believed that they realized that. But when I heard the verdict, I kind of understand the disconnect in that maybe they didn't see Trayvon as their son. They didn't see Trayvon as a teenager. They didn't see Trayvon as just a human being that was minding his own business.

COOPER: When it was six women selected, most of them, I think -- or nearly all of them mothers, you felt the fact that they are mothers, they might understand some of your pain, they might understand what it's like to have a son, is that that you're saying?

FULTON: Well, I just looked at them as people. I'm not particularly saying that because they were mothers I assumed that they would say that he was guilty. But I just thought the human side of them, the human side of them would say, listen, this was a kid. This guy made a mistake. This wasn't a burglar.

And just for them to suggest that, uh, that he was a burglar or that by any means he was doing -- committing any crime, it's just not true. It's absolutely not true.

COOPER: When Mark Geragos, one of our legal analysts, he said that when the jury was selected, he felt the trial was over then because of the makeup of the jury.

Did you have any concerns, Tracy, about the makeup of the jury, the six, you know, no African-Americans on the jury?

There have been studies in -- by economists in Florida -- I looked at studies, one study from 2000 and 2010 that all white juries convict black defendants 16 percent more often than a white defendant. And if there's just one African-American on that jury, it's about equal then, that that discrepancy goes down.

Did you have any concerns along those lines?

MARTIN: I didn't have any concerns about it because we thought that there was enough evidence there, no matter who was on that jury, to convict him of second degree murder.

And when you think about it, I think that they just took into account what George Zimmerman said was the truth. Trayvon wasn't here to tell his story.

But the mindset of that juror, they -- some of them had their minds made up no matter what story was told.

COOPER: Ben?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: I'll say, we have always said this was going to be a litmus test on how far we had come in equal justice, because you wanted to believe no matter who's on a jury, that the victim, whoever they may be, could get a fair trial. And we were hoping for that.

But as Mr. Martin was alluding to, they never saw Trayvon's perspective. They never looked at it. When you listen to the person you interviewed, they always looked at it from the adult perspective. They never looked at it from a child's perspective, trying to get home, running. If you went with the objective evidence, in that Trayvon was defending his life. He went to his grave not knowing who this creepy strange man was.

COOPER: We've got to take a quick break.

When we come back, I want to talk more about what the jury perceived. As you know, I interviewed Juror B-37. I'm going to play just a few of the things that she said and have you respond to them.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back. We're talking tonight with Trayvon Martin's parents about the son they knew. Juror B37, when she spoke exclusively on 360, says she had a clear picture of George Zimmerman from the trial but only a hazy one of Trayvon Martin.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: You call George Zimmerman George. Do you feel like you know him?

JUROR B37, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: I do. I feel like I know everybody.

COOPER: You called Trayvon, Trayvon as well.

JUROR B37: I did. Trayvon wasn't as well known by us because there wasn't as much said about him. All we really heard about Trayvon was the phone call that he had and the evidence they had found on him. We basically had no information what kind of a boy Trayvon was, what he did. We knew where he went to school and that was pretty much about it, and he lived in Miami. That's pretty much all the information we knew about him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I'm back now with Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton, their family attorney Benjamin Crump. When you hear that this juror and I'm assuming most of the other jurors, didn't really feel like they knew your son. At the end of hearing all this evidence, that's got to be difficult to hear.

FULTON: I think they knew Trayvon was 17 years old. They heard that during the trial. It's a lot of things that were not said about Trayvon during the trial. But you -- they knew that he was a teenager. They knew that he was on his way home. They knew that he had went to the store. They knew that he ran. They knew that he felt that George Zimmerman was creepy. So there are some things they did know about Trayvon.

They may -- didn't understand why he didn't go home, well, if someone is following me in a vehicle and following me on foot, I wouldn't go home either. So there are some things that they know about teenagers in general even without specifically saying, well, Trayvon was a little playful. Trayvon likes to be around kids. Trayvon is more affection. Even if they didn't know that, they knew that Trayvon was a teenager. They knew that Trayvon had just turned 17, he was 16 years and 21 days, and that was stated by the prosecution at the trial. So they knew exactly how old he was.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: So you felt they knew enough in --

FULTON: I felt they knew enough.

COOPER: Related to this crime.

FULTON: I felt that they knew enough. They knew that he had gone to the store. They knew that he had purchased some items from the store, which was the drink and candy. How much do you need to know?

COOPER: Ben, do you think it would have made a difference if the jury, I don't know, if sympathized is the right word or felt that they connected with him. Clearly, she feels she knew what was in George Zimmerman's heart because at one point she actually said that in the interview, you know, his heart was in the right place.

CRUMP: Right.

COOPER: It seems like she didn't understand or know she felt enough about Trayvon Martin.

CRUMP: Well, I've heard Sunny Hostin and Mark Geragos on your show and how they talk about looking through their prism, trying to see how they evaluate people. The thing that was so troubling when I watched that interview was how she said in their community, they, and she almost said like they were from a different world. And that's what you hope wouldn't happen, but unfortunately with that verdict, it suggests that they were from a different world because -- as Sybrina has said, if this was their child, if this was one of their children, five of them had children, what would they say about their child running from a strange person and then minutes later there is a bullet in his heart?

Do you think they would see the acts of the adult as being culpable or as they did in your interview and say it was Trayvon's fault for not getting home?

COOPER: Well, in fact, the -- what you mentioned, what the juror said, I want to play that for our viewers because it was in relation to Rachel Jeantel, who's Trayvon's friend who testified and again, this juror didn't feel that she connected, I guess, with -- with that witness, and Rachel was one of the few witnesses who was a friend of Trayvon Martin who could talk about him and talk about what they were talking about on the phone in those final moments.

Let's just play what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: So that term creepy ass cracker that Rachel Jeantel said Trayvon had used, you're saying that's simply how Trayvon and Rachel talk to each other?

JUROR B37: Sure, that's the way they talk.

COOPER: And did you see that as a negative statement or a racial statement as the defense suggested?

JUROR B37: I don't think it's really racial. I think it's just everyday life, the type of life that they live and how they are living in the environment that they are living in.

COOPER: So you didn't find her credible as a witness?

JUROR B37: No.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: I got an enormous amount of tweets from viewers who watched that interview and said and overwhelming, they were -- the people who were tweeting me were saying that there were an awful lot of theys in that statement. They, they, and the viewers weren't sure whether she was referencing they, Trayvon and Rachel Jeantel, or they, African Americans, in general. I'm wondering as you hear that what do you think?

FULTON: I think it speaks for itself. She's -- she definitely has a disconnect. She's not saying that's the way teenagers talk in our community. She's saying in their community that's how they talk.

COOPER: Different from her community.

FULTON: Different from her community, so she makes sure that it was a separate community that she was speaking about.

COOPER: There's one other thing that she said, they clear -- and you referenced this. The state -- the jury, she, clearly bought the defense's argument about what happened. I asked her about that animation that the defense put on in their closing argument and she said she believes that was pretty accurate, and even though no one actually finally saw what was happening, that was just based on the defense's.

So she bought into the idea that Trayvon Martin threw the first punch. I just want to listen a little bit what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUROR B37: I think the roles changed. I think -- I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn't have been there, but Trayvon decided that he wasn't going to let him scare him and get the one-over -- up on him or something, and I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him.

COOPER: Do you think Trayvon Martin played a role in his own death, that this wasn't just something that happened to him, this is something he also --

JUROR B37: Oh, I believe he played a huge role in his death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Does it surprise you how much the jury seemed to agree with the defense's version of events?

MARTIN: My answer to that would be what if it was their child that was murdered, that was shot in the heart? Would they feel as though it was their child's blame -- to blame for their death? I think that was a very insensitive statement coming from her, but then again, we see that she likes separating herself by saying they, they, they, so from the beginning of the trial, she had her mind made up.

COOPER: You believe she had her mind made up from the beginning of the trial?

MARTIN: No doubt. No doubt.

COOPER: And when you -- I think a lot of people are surprised that once this trial is done, George Zimmerman obviously is a free man, he gets his gun back. When you heard that, what did you think?

MARTIN: That's troubling.

COOPER: Did you know that was going to happen? I didn't even think about that.

MARTIN: I didn't know it was going to happen, but that's very troubling. And it's troubling because he made a statement that -- to Hannity that if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn't change anything. So coupling that with the fact that he's receiving a firearm back, that's very troublesome.

COOPER: You know, in the wake of this, Ben, the other day it was on a town hall we did on race and justice in this country, and there was a man named Charles Blow, who is a columnist for the "New York Times," and one of the things he said to me the other day and it really stuck in my mind ever since is -- he's African-American, he has teenage sons -- and he said, you know, I've always told my sons, don't run when the police are around because you don't want to be viewed as suspicious. But now I feel like I have to tell them, well, don't walk too slow because -- and Charles Blow asked the question, what is the speed with which an African-American male should walk so as to not be suspicious? And to have to have that conversation with your child I just found stunning.

When we come back, we're going to talk a little bit about what people should tell their kids now, and what you would recommend people tell their kids now about something like that. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: As we were talking about before the break, the killing of Trayvon Martin has made a difficult parental conversation even harder as African-American parents try to figure out what to tell their kids about encounters with strangers and the police. And the fact that I even have to say it's African-American parents who have to have that conversation with their child, as opposed to Caucasian parents is a pretty startling thought. My parents never had that conversation with me about interacting with the police, but every African-American person I know, every African-American dad I know has had that conversation with their son. Attorney General Eric Holder talked about it in a speech at the NAACP just the other day. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Trayvon Martin's death last spring caused me to sit down to have a conversation with my own 15- year-old son, like my dad did with me. This was a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down. But as a father who loves his son and who is more knowing in the ways of the world, I had to do this to protect my boy. I am his father, and it is my responsibility not to burden him with the baggage of eras long gone, but to make him aware of the world that he must still confront.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: We've also been discussing what parents tell their kids about Trayvon Martin here on this program with educator Geoffrey Canada from the Harlem Children Zone and CNN contributor and "New York Times" op-ed columnist, Charles Blow. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES BLOW, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I used to tell my boys, you know, don't run, because they may think you are suspicious. Well, actually, now I have to say don't walk slowly, because that also means that you may be suspicious.

We have to figure out what is the pace for which a black man can walk in America and be beyond suspicion. That is a crazy conversation to have.

GEOFFREY CANADA, EDUCATOR: There is a whole group of folks sitting here saying, so what do we do about this? How do we prepare kids to say to them, to grow them up to be a man, but under these circumstances you have to act like it's 50 years ago, right? That's not where we want to go in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Back again with Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton and Benjamin Crump.

The idea that -- Charles Blow's question of what is the pace with which an African-American man can walk is just a stunning one to me. I mean, I've been thinking about it every day since he said it. Is this a conversation you had with Trayvon, you've had with your other son?

MARTIN: Yes, definitely. By us living in a diverse community, diversified community, we really don't have to have the conversation where you have to be afraid of every different race, because they go to school, they grew up going to school with other nationalities, so the conversation that you have -- that we have is, you know, we try to prepare them to become teenagers, to become upstanding citizens, and how to conduct themselves out in public.

But when you have a situation such as an unarmed teen getting shot in the heart for doing absolutely nothing, you know, you have to -- you have to say to yourself, what is it that I can tell my child now? What kind of conversation do I tell him as far as going outside and conducting himself?

COOPER: And it's not just about police, it's about unidentified neighborhood watch people or unidentified security guards. What do you tell parents? What would you tell parents out there?

FULTON: That's a very difficult subject for me, because my older son, he likes to go out with his friends. He likes to go to the movies and things like that. I'm very afraid right now, because I have no clue what to tell him. I have no clue if I should tell him to run or walk, if I should tell him to defend himself or just lay there. I have no clue what to tell him. And that's some of the conversations that we need to have and also about the laws. We need to deal with the laws, as well, because my son was unarmed and the person that shot and killed him got away with murder.

CRUMP: Anderson, if I can say, it does lead to a larger conversation. Part of the -- a big part of law is notice. I think with the tragedy of Trayvon Martin's shooting has put all America on notice. And so what are we going to do about it now? Because once you have noticed, you have a duty. You have a responsibility.

Are policemen going to do better? Are neighborhood watch going to do better? But more important, is our society going to do better? Are we going to progress from this where it doesn't happen again because Sybrina and Tracy both have said, we can't bring Trayvon back but we're now worried about the next Trayvon unknown.

COOPER: Well, what -- I mean, you have teenage sons, what do you tell them? Have you had that conversation?

CRUMP: I've had that conversation and we continue to have that conversation. Sunny Hostin said something I thought profound, that was just profound when she said her son said, what did Trayvon do wrong? Why was he afraid of Trayvon? And that's what I tell my boys, it's so hard to be yourself because everybody looks at you through their eyes, and I -- I remember telling them if the police stop them, you tell the police I'm putting my hands up, sir, and you have to say that because when it's us, and I do a lot of civil rights, our children get killed in some of the most unbelievable ways.

And when little black and brown boys get killed, it's almost a cliche. Nobody says a word. When we started Trayvon's case we couldn't get anybody to cover the story at all. And we didn't even have -- we weren't talking about race because we thought it was outrageous when you had a neighborhood watch volunteer with a gun kill an unarmed child and so --

COOPER: It's interesting, though, because I mean, I do think, especially in white communities, there is this inherent sense of white privilege that the police are there to help you and, you know, talking to Jeffrey Cannon just the other day and talking to you, that assumption is not there in the African-American community, in many parts of the African-American community.

CRUMP: Absolutely and the conversation evolves. And as Sybrina says we have to take a negative and find something positive about it. We have to ask our Department of Justice can little black and brown boys walk down the street and not have private citizens with guns profile and follow them and confront them because we need to know what the law is because we got to know what to tell our children, and if that is not the law, then the killer of Trayvon Martin should be held accountable for violating his civil rights.

Because he had every legal right to walk down that neighborhood sidewalk and not be profiled and confronted.

COOPER: And yet, as you know, the Juror B37 and I'm assuming the other jurors as well didn't discuss race in the jury room. According to Juror B37. I want to play something she said. She clearly does not believe that race played any role in the profiling of Trayvon Martin at any level in this case. Let's play that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Do you feel that George Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin? Do you think race played a role in his decision, his view of Trayvon Martin as suspicious?

JUROR B37: I don't think he did. I think the circumstances caused George to think that he might be a robber or trying to do something bad in the neighborhood because of all that had gone on previously. There were -- there were unbelievable number of robberies in the neighborhood.

COOPER: So you don't believe race played a role in this case?

JUROR B37: I don't think it did. I think if -- if there was another person, Spanish, white, Asian, if they came in the same situation they were Trayvon was, I think George would have reacted the exact same way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: What do you think of that?

FULTON: I think that's a joke. Because he clearly said in the 911 calls that it was a black teenager, an African-American teenager, so that was the profile. That was the person that he was looking for because that was the person or people that were breaking in in the area. Unfortunately, Trayvon was not one of those people. Trayvon had every right to be in that community. Trayvon had every right to go to the store and come back in peace and safe. So I think that's really a joke. I don't understand why she wouldn't see that, but then again, there's the disconnect. There's definitely a disconnect.

CRUMP: And Anderson, I was going to simply say that now -- you don't have to deal with the issue. And that's the troubling part. And you have to look at the defense strategy. They put the witness up who said her house had been burglarized and so it all -- it was almost suggested that the neighborhood watch had a right to stop every black teenager who walked in his neighborhood and are we going to now indict people based on the acts of a few? Are we going to say the whole black male race can be profiled or if you have a white male do something, are we now going to say you can indict them?

Because -- it's really different when you have a Caucasian do something. Nobody says, that's how all them are.

COOPER: Do you think that -- and I don't want to put you on the spot about prosecution and stuff because I know you're thankful that it was brought to trial, but do you think race was not mentioned in this trial and prosecutors went out of their way to say race was not part of this. Do you think that was a mistake? Do you think that was just a strategy? What do you make of that, Ben?

CRUMP: Well, Anderson, I've always thought, and we do thank Angela Corey's office for bringing the case because most prosecutors wouldn't have brought the case, and I thought they got right to the heart of the matter as I've often said. But lawyers have different strategies. They did not want to get into the divisive issue of race. In fact, it was the defense who brought up race and they responded.

And it's interesting now because in the civil rights violation case, we do get to look directly at race which was not addressed in the state case, so it's somewhere where they minute for bad and minute for good, nobody can say we addressed race in the trial and so there should be something that the Department of Justice can look at with fresh eyes.

COOPER: When Mark O'Mara said after the trial was done in the press conference, he said that if George Zimmerman had been black, had been African-American, this would have never been brought to trial. Do you think if George Zimmerman had been black he would have been allowed to go free that night after shooting somebody?

CRUMP: Absolutely not. That's ridiculous. You can go to any courtroom in America, Anderson, and don't take my word for it. Just go sit in the back of any courtroom in America and watch how justices dispensed when it comes to young black males as compared to others in the courtroom. And I believe if the roles were reversed and Trayvon Martin shot George Zimmerman, he would have been arrested right there on the spot, hour one, minute one, second one if he wasn't shot.

Because when a black man has a gun, it's a different ball game. George Zimmerman had a gun and we saw how he was in the police station, it was almost as if not only did he profile Trayvon Martin but the police profiled him, too. They always took his perspective, never once seemed like did anybody take the dead kid on the ground's perspective.

COOPER: There is another case right now, a woman named Marissa Alexander, in Florida who her husband was abusive to her, has a long history of domestic abuse. She shot a warning shot, argued Stand Your Ground, she got sent to jail after the jury deliberated for 15 minutes, 16 minutes, she got sent to jail for 20 years, for firing -- 12 minutes, excuse me, for 20 years for firing a warning shot. They didn't grant her Stand Your Ground.

CRUMP: And that's why the town hall meeting that you had, Anderson, on your show was so important because we have to talk about these things because when certain people in the community keep saying there's so much inequity in the way the justice system treats us you say, we stop believing.

COOPER: It's interesting though, I do think in -- especially in a lot of communities, a lot of white communities, people kind of roll their eyes and think you know what, we have moved beyond this and it's -- you know, it's unfortunate that this conversation is often one sided. It's often coming from African-Americans. It's not a conversation that's engaged with multiple communities it seems to me.

CRUMP: And that's the beauty of Sybrina and Tracy, and the dignity at which they present themselves on behalf of their son because it's making us have to have this conversation, hopefully as a society. Now some people (INAUDIBLE) say we can think of reasons why we're not going to talk about it. We're just going to blame the victim, let's blame Trayvon, then we don't have to deal with it.

But if you look at it as a parent who cares about children and the young people, you say we can't have this happen to another young person and I think that's what they --

COOPER: Yes. We're going to take one more break and I just want to talk a little bit about the legacy and some of the work that you both are doing to keep Trayvon memories -- Trayvon's memory alive and also to try to change some laws. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We're back now with Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton and family attorney, Benjamin Crump.

I -- I don't want to say anything good can come out of this, because I don't believe anything good can come out of this, but what do you want to happen now?

I know you started the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

What are you hoping -- what change do you hope to affect?

FULTON: Well, the change that we hope to affect is with the laws. We want to make sure that any teenager that's walking down the street can feel safe, that they won't be killed and that they will make it home safely.

Another thing we hope to accomplish through the Foundation is to connect families that are victims of senseless gun violence.

So we, through our Foundation, we will be reaching out to other families that are hurting just like we are hurting. We want to connect with them. We want to empower them. We want to help them motivate themselves and encourage themselves and so that they can move on and have productive lives, because this takes a lot out of you.

COOPER: You must feel connected to so many others who have lost their children.

FULTON: Yes, we do. We do. And through the Foundation, also, through changing the laws, we want to have a mentoring program. We're going to have different pastors like come on the line, on our conference call, and pray for these families just to strengthen them...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

FULTON: -- because, you know, these times are very difficult. And you're hurting and you have no idea what to do.

We also want to connect them with at least legal advice to give them some sort of direction.

We had Parks and Crump. And I thank God for them. But some people have no clue what to do when something happens to, you know, somebody in their family. They have no clue what to do.

We just had good direction. We were able to, you know, move on from what was happening through the Parks and Crump team.

COOPER: Do you believe the system works?

I mean haven't -- you -- you've had this horrific experience. You've seen the justice system up close.

Do you believe it works?

MARTIN: Well, we have faith in the system. But it's -- it also goes back to what your -- what you have to work with. And for me in our case, we just feel as though that the state did all that they could do with what they had.

Had it been investigated properly from the beginning, it would have been more overwhelming evidence.

Do the system work?

It didn't work for us.

But we -- we remain prayerful that the system, through this injustice, that we can build some type of -- we can close that gap and hopefully that the system can start working for everyone equally. COOPER: And you're hoping civil rights charges are filed, obviously?

MARTIN: Yes, but a bigger message, Anderson. The precedence is a terrible one that this case sets, that you can be the aggressor, you can initiate the confrontation. All the evidence say Trayvon was running away, but yet minutes later, he's shot in the heart. His killer said I was standing my ground and he gets to walk away free.

Now, the next young minority kid who's killed, what do you think they're going to do?

What do you think the killer is going to say?

COOPER: Have you -- your -- you have strong faith and from day one, you've talked about that.

Has there been any moment in all of this where you've doubted your faith, that's made you question it?

FULTON: Never. Never. The only thing I question is why we were selected as opposed to another family. But I've gotten over those questions. I've gotten over that. And I feel that he selected the right family. God wanted us to be the spokesperson.

So we just are being obedient to what we need to do and what God is telling us to do and what he's leading us to do.

So hopefully, we can find some positive, some bright side out of all of this.

COOPER: Well, your strength is amazing throughout all this and in the face of this. And it continues to be.

Thank you very much for talking to us tonight.

I appreciate it.

MARTIN: Thank you.

FULTON: Thank you.

COOPER: Thank you very much.

CRUMP: Anderson, thank you.

COOPER: Thank you, as well.

We're going to take a quick break.

We want to speak to our legal analysts, get some reaction from our panel, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Before the break, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton mentioned a foundation set up in their son's name. It's the TrayvonMartinFoundation, one word, .org. Trayvonmartinfoundation.org. Again that's address. Trayvonmartinfoundation.org. I'm going to tweet that out and put it on our Web site, as well.

I want to get reaction from our legal panel, Sunny Hostin, Jeffrey Toobin, both former federal prosecutors, Mark Geragos, criminal defense attorney and co-author of the book, "Mistrial."

Just, Mark, your thoughts on the conversation?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I watch these things and I -- from others cases. I never understand how people, you know, having a son about the same age, I just don't understand how anybody ever deals with this, so I mean, it's just tough to follow, it's tough to comment on. You just don't -- as a parent, to me, it's just unimaginable and I'm happy, I guess, if happy is the right word, that they are channeling it into a foundation and I think that's a great thing.

I just don't know how else you cope with things like this. I mean, the trial aside, the loss of a kid, of your kid, I just think I don't know how a parent ever gets over that.

COOPER: Sunny?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, what I think is remarkable is that we see what a remarkable family this is. This is a family of grace and dignity and a faith and that was apparent throughout the trial, it's apparent now. I think what was interesting is that they still believe in the justice system. They say that the justice system may not have worked for them but they still believe in it, and I think that's a message to everyone.

But I wonder at this point, what does justice look like to them going forward? Will they get justice through the federal government? Will they get justice through their foundation? I think now we have to redefine what justice is.

COOPER: I thought it was interesting also Sybrina Fulton saying that, you know, that the jury knew enough of the important things about their son to reach a verdict, and clearly, the jury that I've talked to felt she didn't have a connection or understanding of -- of him as much as she did George Zimmerman.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I -- the rules of evidence are about a very specific thing. The courtroom, that's not how human beings interact in a normal way. When we ask what people are like, and you know, when we saw Rachel Jeantel being interviewed by Piers Morgan a couple of nights ago, we said, wow, this is a completely full different person, and that's how it always works in trials, that you get a very narrow slice of the facts presented in a courtroom, but people who actually know the people involved, always say gosh, but it's so limited. It's so incomplete.

HOSTIN: I think what -- although I think there was a missed opportunity here for the prosecution because -- GERAGOS: Hello?

HOSTIN: Because --

GERAGOS: Whoa.

HOSTIN: Because the --

GERAGOS: Hello? That's you?

HOSTIN: Yes, because you know as a prosecutor, you always put the victim in the courtroom. You always breathe life into the victim, you always show the jury who the victim is and they did not --

GERAGOS: Without being -- without being sarcastic, is that criticism of the prosecution coming from Sunny?

HOSTIN: It is. It is.

COOPER: But, Mark, do you still you believe that this case was over? And I talked about this with the -- with the family, you still believe this case was over when the jury was selected.

GERAGOS: Absolutely. You know what I had forgotten which I have not mentioned but talking with O'Mara and West yesterday, that the prosecution used one of their preemptory charges on an African- American, that supports my theory, Jeff is going to cackle here in a second. It supports my theory that they threw the case. I mean, the idea that you would --

HOSTIN: That's not accurate.

GERAGOS: Did they use a preemptory challenge on an African- American?

HOSTIN: You can't say they threw the case, Mark. That's ridiculous.

GERAGOS: Well, I just -- can I ask one question? Will you answer this for me?

HOSTIN: No.

GERAGOS: You won't answer?

HOSTIN: No.

GERAGOS: They used a preemptory challenge on African-American. Their pretext was that he was a FOX News watcher. If that is true, then that supports my theory and I know everybody says it's fanciful that they just threw the case.

TOOBIN: Well, I don't think they threw the case. But one of the problems I have with these discussions about, you know, race and juries is that it leads to the assumption that every black person holds exactly the same views about everything -- (CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: Maybe the prosecution was right to -- you know, Clarence Thomas --

GERAGOS: Can I tell you something?

TOOBIN: -- is a black person as well as Thurgood Marshall was a black person even though they disagreed about absolutely everything.

GERAGOS: Can I tell you something? Anderson brought up yesterday, I believe, a very good study that was done.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: That is a very good study.

HOSTIN: Yes.

COOPER: The presence of one African-American juror makes a difference in terms of how they --

GERAGOS: Right.

HOSTIN: That's right.

GERAGOS: You can talk about Clarence Thomas or anybody else. What happens, though, is that if you're in a jury room and there is six people, if you're in any room, there is six people and there is a presence of one African-American, somebody is going to give voice to the idea that Rachel Jeantel is not as -- you know, this word has been unrelatable as I think --

(CROSSTALK)

HOSTIN: See, that horrifies me, though.

GERAGOS: I know it horrifies you. But you're --

HOSTIN: I reject the notion. I reject that notion.

COOPER: We got -- we got to wrap it up. That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" is coming up right after the break.

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