Attorney for the defendant George Zimmerman, Mark O’Mara says that even if his client is acquitted in the trial for the shooting of Trayvon Martin he “will never be safe”.
Speaking to CNN’s Piers Morgan on Monday night as the defense team lead by O’Mara begins to call witnesses, the Irish American attorney expressed his “concern” for his client’s safety.
On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin (17) was shot and killed by George Zimmerman (then 26) in a suburb of Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman’s defense is arguing that their client shot in self defense.
Morgan said, “If George Zimmerman is acquitted, completely acquitted, not found guilty of second-degree murder, no lesser charge of manslaughter, and walks free, having killed somebody we know after the event was an unarmed young teenager, there is a concern that this will create a lot of ill feeling, particularly in the black community around America. There may possibly be riots. You will have read the same warnings about this.”
He asked O’Mara, “How concerned are you about that and about the safety of your client should he be declared an innocent man?"
O’Mara responded, “Well, first of all, my client will never be safe because there are a percentage of the population who are angry, they're upset and they may well take it out on him. So he'll never be safe.”
The attorney said he hoped that system would work and both sides, by the end of the trial, will have put forward a good case.
He said, “Everything that should get out to this jury has been out, and quite honestly, a lot of what doesn't necessarily need to get out to the jury has been kept from them. And if they decide on the facts of the case, we as a society, black, white, everybody need to look at this case and say, justice was in fact accomplished here because a fair trial was held.”
However he also noted that some would continue to stay angry and would refuse to see the evidence.
Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard asked if the media was to blame for the hate directed at Zimmerman.
He asked, "If Zimmerman really can't be safe if acquitted, or if some harm were to befall him afterwards, wouldn't all of these media members and outlets be to blame for their shameful coverage of this matter?"
Last year Zimmerman sued NBC over audio of a 911 call they used that was edited to make him appear racist. Social media sites also feature threats to Zimmerman such as the “KillZimmerman” Twitter account, which has been deleted.
Threats against Zimmerman have reached such a high level that his family wrote to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People saying that if he was harmed his blood would be on their hands.
On Tuesday in court the defense witness forensic pathologist Vincent Di Maio testified that the evidence supports Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was on top of him when the shot, which claimed the teenager’s life, was fired.
Here’s the video of Piers Morgan speaking to Mark O’Mara on CNN: