Zimmerman Trial Commentary WCAU TV 2013 07 14 7AM

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We have more now on the George Zimmerman verdict. He is a free man this morning after a Florida jury found him not guilty in the shooting death of 17 year old Treyvon Martin. Joining me now is attorney Enrique Latoison to help break down this verdict. Good morning Enrique.

Good morning

Enrique, I guess I first want to start on there have been quite a few people, analysts, out there who say that the turning point in the case was the testimony from Treyvon Martin’s friend, the young woman who was the phone with him just moments before he was shot and killed, and that the defense seemed to be affective in knocking down her testimony. What’s your reaction to that? Was that the turning point in this case?

Well, I mean, it was definitely not a good witness for the prosecution. I mean, the evidence came out during her testimony talked about Treyvon Martin potentially making a statement, a racial statement, which kind of led the defense to be able to say that they sizing up Mr. Zimmerman in a negative fashion. She also changed her testimony back and forth. It was inconsistent, got into a lot of sparring battles with the defense and it really took a hurt on her credibility in this case.

What do you think was the most compelling piece of evidence in this case for this jury that they may have considered in their acquittal of George Zimmerman? Was it the 911 call? Was it George Zimmerman’s account to police that was played during the trail?

It definitely had to be the witness from the prosecution, which the prosecution called, which was a neighbor who talked about the fact that he’s seen Treyvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman doing MMA blows on top of his head. That, I think, was the most compelling piece of evidence. The 911 call, which everyone discussed a lot, it was too much inconsistency with different people saying that’s his voice and no one being able to specifically say whose voice it was. But, the blows, the physical contact of Treyvon Martin on top of Mr. Zimmerman, it definitely was real, real bad for the prosecution and real good for the defense.

Enrique, I also want to ask you, of course, race has been a big part of this case but interestingly it was not directly addressed during trial. What kind of impact do you think that had on the jury? Did it have an impact?

I would think that it didn’t have an impact. This had an impact on all of us, all of society, the people the controversial verdict in this case. Everyone is always going to continue to talk about that Mr. Zimmerman should not have followed Treyvon, should not have sized him up, should not have profiles him. Had he not done that, there would never have been an altercation, never would have ended up with a child that’s dead, and that’s why I think right now on there are different people that are protesting this verdict and it’s a very polarizing verdict. And, it all comes down to had he not followed Treyvon Martin, had he not sized up Treyvon Martin and profiled him, this would have never occurred, there would have never have an actual altercation in this case.

Enrique, one final thing. George Zimmerman, of course, has yet to say anything, we may never hear from him but his brother did speak to the press briefly after the verdict was read last night. He said that the family, of course, is relieved but they are concerned for George Zimmerman’s safety and that his brother will constantly have to be looking over his should from here on out. What kind of life can he lead beyond this?

I don’t think he’s going to have a normal life. It goes the same thing for Casey Anthony. We haven’t seen or head from Casey Anthony since her verdict. And, I think you’re going to find the same with George Zimmerman. He’s not going to be a person that’s going to be able to walk down the street and freely be able to integrate back into society. He’s always going to be known about this case and people will always going to have strong opinions on whether or not this was a just verdict or an unjust verdict.

Enrique Latoison, joining us live from our digital operations center. Thanks so much for being with us this morning Enrique.

Thank you for having me.

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