Geraldo Rivera visited The O’Reilly Factor last night to discuss the mountain of evidence just released to the public by the prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case. A few days ago, O’Reilly sternly lectured Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Trayvon Martin family, “I think you agree with me, Counselor, no more jumping to conclusions on either side, on either side. Let’s let the justice system play out. That’s the fair thing to do.” But O’Reilly either has a very odd or a very selective sense of what not jumping to conclusions means. Because he had no objection when Rivera declared that “There’s no way you get a Murder Two conviction” for shooter George Zimmerman – and only the mildest objection when Rivera declared that it was perfectly reasonable for Zimmerman to have found Martin menacing based on his “strapping” size, his dark hoodie and, of course, his race.
O’Reilly introduced the segment by describing some of the newly-released evidence: “Two witnesses are supporting George Zimmerman’s contention that he was in a fight with Trayvon Martin” and that Zimmerman “yelled for help 14 times.” O’Reilly said that an autopsy showed traces of marijuana in Martin’s bloodstream. O’Reilly mentioned the marijuana traces at least two more times in the discussion.
But somehow O’Reilly didn’t get around to mentioning this tidbit, reported by AP on FoxNews.com:
The lead investigator in the case wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter in the weeks after the shooting but was overruled… The investigator who called for Zimmerman’s arrest, Christopher Serino, told prosecutors that the fight could have been avoided if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited the arrival of law enforcement. He said Zimmerman, after leaving his vehicle, could have identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and talked to him instead of confronting him. The report was written on March 13, nearly a month before Zimmerman’s eventual arrest.
Nor did O’Reilly get around to this bit of information, as the New York Times reported:
A girl who talked on the phone with Trayvon Martin on the night of Feb. 26 has told a state prosecutor that she heard rising fear in Mr. Martin’s voice that peaked with words like “get off, get off,” right before she lost contact with him and he was shot to death.
In the sworn interview recorded on April 2, which runs more than 22 minutes, the unidentified 16-year-old said Mr. Martin described a man who was “crazy and creepy” and on the phone, watching him from a vehicle before he started to follow him on foot.
Mr. “Let the justice system play out” O’Reilly started by asking Geraldo to roleplay as the prosecutor. “So you find out that Trayvon Martin, the victim, has traces of THC, marijuana, in his bloodstream. Do you do anything with that? Does that mean anything?”
No, said Rivera. “Marijuana stays in your bloodstream a long time,” and he thought it commonly used among 17 year-olds.
But, Rivera continued, “I think what’s far more significant is what Trayvon Martin looked like that night, Bill.”
As he spoke, b-roll footage of a surveillance video from the 7-11 where Martin purchased the now-infamous Skittles and iced tea showed him in a dark hoodie paying at the cash register and then leaving. It’s worth noting that the store clerk did not look frightened or threatened.
“He’s got a dark hoodie on,” O’Reilly noted. “What is the significance of that?”
Aside from the fact that he’s dressed in that thugwear, look at the size of him! He’s not a little kid. He’s 6’2”, he’s a strapping youngster. You can see that if this man, this young man, was a stranger to George Zimmerman – he looks, Trayvon Martin looks just like the people who had been burglarizing and victimizing that neighborhood for the last six months. He was exactly the person that George Zimmerman, the property owner, feared. He looked just like the others.
You can watch the complete surveillance video below, under the video of this interview. If you ask me, he didn't look like he was dressed like a thug. His hood was up, yes, but it was raining.
To his credit, O’Reilly objected to Rivera’s “racial profiling.”
But Rivera was not to be deterred.
Profiling is based on, on a reasonable comparison. It may be profiling, Bill, but if he looks just like everybody else that committed the crimes in my neighborhood, that’s the person I’m going to focus my suspicions on.
O’Reilly didn’t seem too bothered. And I think it’s fair to conclude he’d have been a lot more rattled if a black person said such a thing about a white person. Instead, O’Reilly shrugged it off by saying he was merely playing devil’s advocate “in the sense that I want to know why that is important and you say that supports Zimmerman’s contention that this was a suspicious figure, Trayvon Martin. OK.”
I almost forgot… there was one other thing O’Reilly never mentioned: The newly released-material includes interviews with two Zimmerman acquaintances who painted him as a racist. One of them was described by AP/Fox with the following:
“I don’t at all know who this kid was or anything else. But I know George, and I know that he does not like black people. He would start something. He’s very confrontational. It’s in his blood. We’ll just say that,” the unidentified woman says in an audio recording.
O’Reilly moved on. “So they have two witnesses that back up Zimmerman saying there was a fight, alright. Well, Angela Corey (the Florida special prosecutor) must have known about that before she decided to charge Zimmerman and now that looks like exculpatory evidence.” O’Reilly’s point was to question why, then, Zimmerman had been charged with second-degree murder when so much evidence pointed the other way.
"I have no doubt in my mind but that the special prosecutor in this case, Angela Corey, over-charged George Zimmerman – not based on the evidence but based on the enormous pressure she was under from every civil rights activist in this country, up to and including the President of the United States. There’s no Murder Two here.”
Rivera went on to say that while he felt “awful for the parents of Trayvon Martin,” the “tragedy” was that “both these guys were trying to do the right thing.”
O’Reilly at least said he wasn’t sure that Zimmerman was “trying to do the right thing” - based on his failure to heed the police’s admonition to stop following Martin and that “he might have been looking for action,” given his record of “always calling 911” and wanting to be “Inspector Clouseau.” But O’Reilly also suggested that Martin, too, was at fault because “you gotta have two guys to fight” and had one of them walked away, Martin would have been alive.
Now, I don’t want to jump to conclusions, either. But isn’t it possible that Martin was merely fighting back against some real or perceived threat?
Rivera finally acknowledged that he was certain Zimmerman provoked the confrontation. But, he added, “There’s no way you get a Murder Two conviction.”
“We don’t want to try the case on television and we’re not,” O’Reilly assured us. Then he went on to question why the state was “sabotaging their own case” with the evidence they released.
It’s not on the video, but as the segment ended, O’Reilly urged viewers to vote in a poll on his website asking if Zimmerman will be convicted of second-degree murder.
I don’t know about you but I’m very glad the case is not being tried on The O’Reilly Factor. I can only imagine what would be said if it were.
Interview video below via Media Matters.
OK, Jerry; we’ll keep that in mind the next time we see you — or you and BillO together — sporting a hoodie . . .
NOTE TO GERALDO
We challenge you to wear a dark hoody and roam in a predominantly white neighborhood at night.
From what I understand when the story first came out and went viral Zimmerman showed no wounds at all,something happened here that needs more explaining.I truly believe that zimmerman went after Trayvon because he thought Trayvon was black after all wearing a Hoodie is the sign you’re up to no good,of course only in the minds of racists and the shit leaking minds of the Biles of this world.
In the mean time the young black kid is unjustifiable dead and the perpetrator will walk free.
This country is full of hatefilled and racist people ,not a good look for this country.
Vigilante Zimmerman stalked Trayvon, provoked a confrontation and then shot him to death.
Judge Whorealdo may excuse Zimmerman’s criminal conduct, but I don’t.
Killer O’Reilly Once Said
I don’t want anything bad to happen, but there’s a doctor named Tiller and I’m calling him a Baby Killer! Now don’t get riled up folks!
A scuffle is absolutlely no reason to shoot an unarmed person. Period.