On "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) explains why she believes the Trayvon Martin shooting was a hate crime.
Waters was joined by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) responds to criticism that black leaders are exploiting the Trayvon Martin case. He says the country has to address its 'low esteem' for black life.
Can justice be fair? Can justice be blind?
The killing of 17-year-old Florida high school student, Trayvon Martin, has captivated the nation. Over the last few weeks, we've brought you many angles of the story on "Starting Point."
We heard from Trayvon's parents Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, who said they just want justice for their son. We heard from special prosecutor Angela Corey, who said she would investigate every angle in the shooting. Soledad spoke with Rep. Corrine Brown, who says the Justice Department should investigate it as a hate crime.
She also spoke with Joe Oliver, friend of shooter George Zimmerman, who said his friend told him more details about the shooting and alluded to the gun 'going off,' maybe not intentionally. And we looked at the bigger conversation on race and perception in the U.S., and talked about the fear that black men face walking down the street every day.
Trayvon's death has created an undeniable and important dialogue in this country, and now Soledad will bring all these elements together in a town hall on Friday to look at where we go from here.
In the video above, Soledad previews her special "Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America." The special will air Friday at 8pm Eastern on CNN.
Senate chaplain Barry Black tells Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" about the underlying anger felt by African-American males for putting up with racism in U.S. He also explains how the Trayvon Martin story reminded him of experiencing discrimination in his life.
CNN contributor Roland Martin on his conversation with the Trayvon Martin family and Trayvon's school suspension.
What happened the night Trayvon Martin was shot and killed? There's new information painting two very different pictures of the confrontation and the men involved, making the case more complicated by the day.
CNN is learning Trayvon Martin had been suspended from school after marijuana residue was found in his book bag. We're also getting George Zimmerman's account of what happened that night. According to the "Orlando Sentinel," citing a leaked police report, Zimmerman told police he lost sight of Martin and was returning to his SUV when Martin approached him. The two exchanged words, then Martin is accused of punching and climbing on top of Zimmerman, slamming his head into the ground. That account in addition to what neighbors report happening are only complicating the case.
This morning on "Starting Point," Soledad talks with Zimmerman's friend Joe Oliver, who said he recently spoke with Zimmerman who shared more details about what happened that night.
"I spoke with George yesterday as a matter of fact and was able to get some more details about what happened," Oliver says. "The report that was released yesterday is what George told me, what happened, where the report stops he filled in the blanks for me as well. And unfortunately at this time I'm not able to discuss that, but basically it fills in the gap between what happened when Trayvon and George came face-to-face and by the time the gun went off."
That particular line, that the gun "went off" caught panelist Will Cain's ear, who wondered if that meant that Zimmerman would potentially argue that the gun discharged on its own.
Later in the show Soledad talks with Martin case special prosecutor Angela Corey, who is handling the investigation into the shooting. Soledad asks Corey about Oliver's statement and whether investigators are looking into an accidental shooting.
"We look into that in every shooting case," Corey says. "We do extensive investigation and test the firearm for trigger pull, functionality, and everything."
See clips from the interview below.
Joe Oliver, Zimmerman's friend, says that George has been receiving treatment for post traumatic stress and depression.
Joe Oliver, Zimmerman's friend, weighs in on the debate over the potential racial slur in George's 911 phone call.
Joe Oliver, friend of Trayvon Martin shooter, explains why he volunteered to come to Zimmerman's defense.
Special prosecutor Angela Corey explains the latest in the investigation into the Trayvon Martin shooting.
The calls for justice are growing louder after the killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a local neighborhood watch captain.
Strong emotions have taken over the nation, spawning rallies from Los Angeles, to St. Louis, and it came home last night to Sanford, Florida.
Thousands gathered not far from where Trayvon was shot on Feb. 26th, returning home with a bag of candy and an iced tea when he was shot dead. That gathering took place just hours after Sanford's Police Chief temporarily stepped aside, but did not step down.
This morning on "Starting Point" Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) talks about the rallies spreading across the country, and says people need to take this moment of emotion and turn it into something good.
"We need to make this a better country for little black boys," Wilson says.
She also says racial profiling is a reality for many young black men on a daily basis in the U.S.,that that Sanford Police Chief Lee should be fired.
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) says more needs to be done to investigate the Trayvon Martin case.
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and Marc Lamont Hill on the fear African-American boys and men face in the United States.
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) on how racial profiling could be at play in the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Emory University's Dorothy Brown explains the details of critical race theory.
Actor Jay Thomas asks Breitbart's Joel Pollak why the site released a Harvard-era videotape of President Obama.
See more from the segment below.