George Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara has appeared on “The View” on ABC News speaking about the high profile case and saying Zimmerman needs his gun now more than ever.
The Irish American lawyer from Queens told ABC News, “'Yes. [There's] even more reason now, isn't there? There are a lot of people out there who actually hate him, though they shouldn't."
He continued, “I think that he feels truly in his heart that if he did not have that weapon that night he might not be here.
"[He] would have continued to get beat even though he was screaming for help."
Zimmerman (29) went free on Saturday after a jury found him not guilty of murder in the case of Trayvon Martin. The 17-year-old African American teen he shot in self defense, in Florida, two years ago. The courts have now removed the defendant’s GPS tracking anklet and he has gone free.
He will also have his gun, a Kel Tec 9 pistol, which was part of the evidence presented during the three week trial, returned to him. Mark O’Mara says Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch member.
Anger over the result of the case was evident across the United States as rallies took place on Saturday and Sunday. In New York thousands of people marched from Union Square to Times Square where the crowds shouted “No justice, no peace!” Hundreds of cops were present but only two men were arrested as bottles were thrown, reports the New York Post.
In Los Angeles protests led to half a dozen arrests, according to the LA Times. The Huffington Post reports that protests took place from “San Francisco to Sanford, Florida; Atlanta to Washington, late Saturday night and Sunday saw people flooding into the streets.”
Among the protests banners were signs that read “Race Kills.”
On Monday, O’Mara, along with Don West, the other defense lawyer, appeared on “The View” and discussed Trayvon Martin’s case as a human rights and race matter.
Since the verdicts the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have publicly called on the Justice Department to begin a federal civil rights prosecution of George Zimmerman. Two petitions with over 600,000 signatures have been posted to the White House’s website.
However O’Mara told The View that the American government has been investigating Zimmerman’s shooting of Martin.
He said, “They interviewed over 45 people to see whether or not George Zimmerman — it’s going to sound strange — acted in a way that violated Trayvon Martin‘s civil rights by shooting him.”
He added, “It has to be based upon some inappropriate reason like a race-based reason. They have done that investigation for over a year and they have not come to any conclusion that there’s any suggestion of a racial component to this.”
O’Mara told guest co-host Dan Abrams, the legal commentator, that he has not been paid. He explained that any funds raised for Zimmerman’s defense funds have gone to paying for experts working on his case.
“The View” host Whoopi Goldberg asked the two lawyers if Zimmerman saw Martin that night “because he was a young black man?”
“I think it played a part, absolutely,” O’Mara responded.
However he clarified, “If they had found any evidence of racism in George’s background, then they would have been able to use that information to say this is the way that George Zimmerman was looking at Trayvon.” He added: “He was looking at Trayvon as a person who was black, but not looking at him solely because he was black.”
When asked if he saw this as a “racial trial” O’Mara said it has “brought to the forefront racial questions that have to be answered in the criminal justice system.”
He added that he believes Zimmerman did not act “at all in a racially-based way.”
Zimmerman could now potentially make a lot of money, including compensation of a lawsuit filed against NBC for allegedly altering a 911 call and from a possible book deal.
However on Monday, just two days after the verdict, Jonathan Bernstein, president of Southern California-based Bernstein Crisis Management Inc, told AP, “I have one short piece of advice for him.
Here’s ABC’s clip of Mark O’Mara on “The View”:
Here’s ABC’s news report following Zimmerman’s release: