The Joyner Morning Show talks with the Trayvon Martin family attorney Ben Crump about the George Zimmerman verdict, gives an update on Trayvon Martin’s parents and details the possibility of the Department of Justice pursuing a civil rights case against Zimmerman.
Read the full interview below.
TOM JOYNER: …This is Ben Crump, the attorney for Trayvon’s family. How are you doing?
ATTORNEY BEN CRUMP: I’m hanging in there, and thank you for taking us early. For you, Sybil and Jay this was a tough, tough verdict for Trayvon and Trayvon’s family.
TOM JOYNER: How’s the family doing?
SYBIL WILKES : How is Mrs. Fulton and Mr. Martin
TOM JOYNER: Yeah, how are they doing?
ATTORNEY BEN CRUMP: You know, Tom, I want to let you all and the Black America Web family know that Sybrina and Tracy are just incredible individuals. After they were devastated and heartbroken by this verdict they cried, they prayed, they went to church. And when she got out of church she called me, she said, Attorney Crump, I will not let this verdict define Trayvon.
We all will define Trayvon’s legacy. And I just was blown away. Her reverence, her dignity and grace, she never said anything bad about the killer. She always said that we have to let Trayvon rest in peace, so we must be peaceful, and we can protest, we don’t have to agree with this verdict, but we must be peaceful. And the last thing she said, we got to roll up our sleeves now because even though we’ve come a long way, Tom, she said that we got a long way to go to make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else’s child, especially with this verdict.
TOM JOYNER: So we were talking just a minute ago and … we … the panel here, the panel of experts (laugh) …
SYBIL WILKES : That we are in our heads.
TOM JOYNER: In our heads.
SYBIL WILKES : Only in our heads.
TOM JOYNER: We think, we think that the prosecution did a very bad job. Where do you think the prosecution messed up in getting a conviction for Zimmerman?
ATTORNEY BEN CRUMP: Well, Tom and Sybil, a lot of lawyers have a lot of different styles. I have different styles from the prosecutors, but I thought they brought it together in the closing summations where they made the point with the point with prosecutor John Guy saying if the roles were reversed – and this is the heart of the matter in this case, this is why everybody was watching this – if the roles were reversed and if Trayvon would’ve followed and pursued and then killed an unarmed George Zimmerman, what would your verdict be? And so I thought he brought it home.
With that being said we have to accept the rule of law, and we can disagree with the verdict, because I strongly disagree with this verdict, but we want to accept the rule of law, we will now go forward, another thing Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin said we got to use whatever negative feelings we have and make them positive. And how we make it positive? We start protesting, let the Department of Justice know that it’s not going away. That there is a civil right violation question here. Can you profile young black males just because there was a prior burglary in your neighborhood? Is that an indictment on every black teenager?
SYBIL WILKES : We’re talking to Ben Crump who is the attorney for the Martin family. And Ben, they’re talking about the civil suit and how you will pursue that. But how do you do that and not come up against double jeopardy?
ATTORNEY BEN CRUMP: Well civil justice is different from criminal justice is a different standard. This Stand Your Ground law creeps back in and the reason it creeps back in is because it allows for immunity to a civil suit monetary damages against George Zimmerman, but we’re working on that. And I want to say this, Sybil. We are encouraged. We are working with Reverend Sharpton and Martin Luther King, III. We want everybody, especially you Tom, and Jay and Sybil, to come to the 50th anniversary of the great march on Washington in Washington, D.C. on August 24th because Reverend Sharpton and Martin Luther King, III have said that they’re going to use the Justice For Trayvon Martin and Unknown Trayvons as a focal point at that great centennial, uh 50th anniversary and the Department of Justice, as you know, is right in the, backyard of the Washington Mall.
SYBIL WILKES : We’re going to be there with you.
TOM JOYNER: Reverend Al was just on saying that he was mobilizing all the ministers around the country.
SYBIL WILKES : For this weekend.
TOM JOYNER: For this weekend. For the march …
ATTORNEY BEN CRUMP: And we know nobody like you, Tom, can get the people out.