Fox News
April 04, 2012

Exclusive: George Zimmerman's father defends son in Trayvon Martin shooting

Guests: Robert Zimmerman, attorneys Craig Sooner and Hal Uhrig

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 4, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Much has been debated about that tragic night Trayvon Martin was shot. Here is what we know based on the 911 call that came in that night from George Zimmerman himself.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Sanford Police Department.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: We've had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there's this suspicious guy.

This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around and looking about.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK, and this guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: We've got someone on the way, just let me know if this guy does anything else.

ZIMMERMAN: OK, these (EXPLETIVE) they always get away. (EXPLETIVE) He's running.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: He's running? Which way is he running?

ZIMMERMAN: Down towards the other entrance of the neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK, which entrance is that that he's heading towards?

ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance (EXPLETIVE)

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Are you following him?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: OK. We don't need you to do that.

ZIMMERMAN: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: All right, sir, what is your name?

ZIMMERMAN: George. He ran.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: Now minutes later, Trayvon Martin was dead and a controversy was ignited. Here to give us his son's side of the story is George Zimmerman's father, Robert, and his attorney, Craig Sooner and Hal Uhrig is with us.

Thank you all for being here. Mr. Zimmerman, I know obviously you don't want to be on camera and there is a reason for it. Can you tell our audience why?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S FATHER: Well, we received numerous death threats.

HANNITY: OK. One of the things that's come out of this case is there has been a bounty that has been put on your son's head. You know that famous Hollywood star Spike Lee, Roseanne Barr have tweeted out, at least in the case of Spike Lee what he thought was your son's address.

What has this meant, in that sense, how difficult has that been for your family and do you think this has been a rush to judgment by the media?

ZIMMERMAN: It's absolutely been a rush to judgment.

HANNITY: Yes. Why don't you walk us through because you obviously have spoken to your son. Tell us his side of this story on this night. Tell us what happened.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, it's customary on Sunday night for George to go and do grocery shopping. He had been texting his sister and told her that he was going to go and do grocery shopping. He got in his vehicle to leave the community. He saw somebody that did not live in the community walking behind some townhomes. That small gated community has had a lot of problems with burglaries and people coming into that community to commit crimes. So he thought that it was suspicious.

HANNITY: OK. So and I understand it was raining that night, and when you say that he saw Trayvon Martin walking behind townhomes. Are you saying that he was up-close to where the homes were? Is that why he was suspicious?

ZIMMERMAN: I -- I don't know exactly where Trayvon Martin was walking. I'm not real sure of that.

HANNITY: There have been implications of that been made. One was that on the 911 tape that we just played, that he might have used a racial slur. That has been countered by other people.

Two stories that I recently read, and one is that is it true that your son would tutor African-American and minority children on the weekend. And is it also true that there was a case involving the Sanford police in which a son after police officer hid an African-American homeless man and he spoke out against the policeman. Is that true, too, sir?

ZIMMERMAN: It is true. Concerning the assault on the homeless man, he went around to churches and put flyers on people's cars. He just felt sorry for this homeless man not having anyone to support him. And he --

HANNITY: Has he ever used any racial slur that you know of, sir?

ZIMMERMAN: None whatsoever.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, when the dispatcher said to him on that 911 tape, we don't need you to do that, meaning because he said, yes, I'm following Trayvon Martin.

Did he follow him? Did you ask him if he followed him at that point? And what happened from that point forward? Tell us the rest of the story.

ZIMMERMAN: From where George's vehicle was, there's a sidewalk that goes to the next street over.

HANNITY: OK.

ZIMMERMAN: Off of that sidewalk there's another sidewalk that goes between two rows of townhomes. It's my understanding that Trayvon went between the two rows of townhomes, and George was walking down the main sidewalk to see if he could see where Trayvon was going.

He continued walking down that sidewalk to the next street. He wanted an address. All he could see was the back of the townhomes and he could not see an address. So he asked the dispatcher to have the responding unit call him, and he could tell him the address. So he walked down to the end of the street -- I'm sorry, to the end of the sidewalk to the next street to get an address. He did not know at that time where Trayvon Martin had gone. As he was walking back to his vehicle, there was a sidewalk that goes to his left and Trayvon came from that area where the sidewalks meet. He asked my son if he had a problem, and George said, no, I don't have a problem. Trayvon said, well, you do now. He punched him in the face, broke his nose, knocked him to the sidewalk, and got on him and started beating him.

HANNITY: So he was walking back to the car, is what you are saying. Trayvon confronted him. He reached for his cell phone and Trayvon, this is confirmed -- his nose was broken. Is it true he had lacerations and injuries to the back his head, sir?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir. He did.

HANNITY: OK, and his nose was broken that night, but he denied medical care although he was treated at the scene. Is that true too?

ZIMMERMAN: I believe the medics cleaned him up at the scene. Following that the police took him to the police station for several hours.

HANNITY: All right, walk us through it. First of all, did he stop when the dispatcher said, "stop" and how did we get to the point where the shot was fired. Explain that part of that because that is obviously the key moment in this thing.

ZIMMERMAN: When the dispatcher said we know longer need you to do that, and George acknowledged OK. He no longer knew where Trayvon was. So he continued walking down the sidewalk directly in front of him to the next street to get an address. He got an address. He was walking back to his vehicle. Trayvon came from his left side, asked him did he have a problem. George said no. At that point Trayvon said well you do now. He punched him in the nose, knocked him to the concrete, and started beating him. George was there yelling for help for at least 40 seconds. It's clearly him on the tape. There's absolutely no doubt about who it is. A neighbor came, saw what was happening. Saw George being beaten. Heard George yelling for help and the neighbors said he was calling 911. That's what he went inside and did.

HANNITY: How do you know, sir, that that was your son on the 911 tape? I know there's been conflicting reports about this.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, when I first heard -- first, I heard the Martin family say that that was their son, and I thought, well, they are a grieving family and maybe the tapes were not too good. But then when I heard the actual recording, me, my family, friends, everybody knows absolutely that's George.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: We continue with George Zimmerman's father, Robert, his attorneys, Craig Sooner and Hal Uhrig is with us.

Mr. Zimmerman, let me go back. Obviously, you are telling the story of your son and none of us were there and I know people are trying to put this together. But I would argue there's been a rush to judgment.

By that the president has weighed into this. We know that members of Congress have used terms like Trayvon was hunted like a rabid dog, racial profiling was involved in the case, that was Bobby Rush. Reverend Jesse Jackson, he killed an unarmed 17-year-old kid and then, quote, "walks away." This is racial profiling and lies. You know, so many things have been said that he was executed for WWBGC, walking while black in a gated community.

What do you say to the president? What do you say to these members of Congress? What do you say to all these activists and people who have, quote, "rushed to judgment" here?

ZIMMERMAN: I just believe it's very sad that so many people are not telling the truth on purpose for their own agenda. I really thought that we had gotten past a lot of racial problems.

HANNITY: You said about the president, you didn't see so much hate. You didn't expect or foresaw so much hate coming from the president or members of Congress. What did you mean by that, sir?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, immediately the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, I don't know how many agencies and organizations were calling for the arrest of George.

HANNITY: They are still calling for it.

ZIMMERMAN: And 95 percent of the facts -- yes and 95 percent of the facts of that been verified by Sanford, the city of Sanford, they said that George's story is consistent with every eyewitness account and every piece of evidence they have.

HANNITY: All right, let me go to the attorneys here, Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig. Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us. Appreciate you being here tonight.

Let me talk about the eyewitness in this case. Because wasn't that eyewitness available from that first night and didn't he say that he saw Trayvon beating on George Zimmerman?

HAL UHRIG, ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: I'll let Mr. Sonner start with that one.

CRAIG SONNER, ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: Well, as far as, you know, those were the reports that came out. You know, a lot of information on this case was released from the beginning. No one is going back and saying, well, what do we know?

Because I believe Trayvon Martin's father, I saw an interview that was dated some time back, and he relayed what the police had told him. We've heard several accounts by Mr. Zimmerman and George's brother, and those all line up the same way. There are police reports. There's evidence that has been released that shows a story of George Zimmerman acting in self-defense. And how the other -- how these other things, how these other conclusions is drawn is really a mystery as to how the media could put that kind of a spin on a story. And first and foremost, there is really -- none of this evidence that's been released so far would even be admissible in court yet. There will be evidence in this case that will be admissible in court and we need to wait until that comes out instead of rushing to judgment.

HANNITY: Well, one of the things is, you know, I think the most important thing is that this eyewitness does exist. It seems to have been ignored. Then you have the doctoring of tapes by NBC News and then you have ABC News making a conclusion about the videotape.

Let me ask you this question. I have been told, and there's a lot of rumors, that there is more evidence that is out there that has not come out. Can you tell me, can either one of you attorneys confirm that for us?

SONNER: Well, there's -- the police have done an extensive investigation. I know that. There is more evidence that will come out. I'm not at liberty to discuss that because --

HANNITY: How big an impact would that have on the case then?

SONNER: I believe there's enough physical evidence to draw the conclusion that everything that has been said in these -- that we've learned so far, that George Zimmerman was acting in self-defense that night, is all going to match up. It's all going to be confirmed by physical evidence.

UHRIG: Sean, if this case --

HANNITY: Go ahead.

UHRIG: If this case comes down to a case of the law and the facts, then George Zimmerman is going to be justified in what he did. Unfortunately, it's been turned into something it was never intended to be.

On the morning of February 26th, we had a peaceful town where people went to church and sat together in multi-racial congregations, they stood in line in the grocery store and we didn't have a town of unrest because of race relations. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton brought that to town. They turned it into a racial event when it never ever was one. Once all the evidence is out and you understand how the law works and what the facts are, this is a pretty clear case.

HANNITY: And I go back, Mr. Zimmerman does not have any history of racism that we know of. He doesn't -- he did tutor minority children. He did, in fact, stick up more a minority that was hit outside that bar incident?

UHRIG: All of that is true. When you have the conclusions that are drawn, these rallies are the loudest voices and supposedly the most intelligent voices. They are coming to conclusions that are absolutely unsupported by history or fact.

HANNITY: All right, last question. What about the bounty that has been put on Mr. Zimmerman by the new Black Panther Party. I haven't seen any evidence that that person has been arrested. Are you demanding the arrest of the new Black Panther Party member that put that bunt at the out there?

SONNER: You know, I think none of us were appointed to be roving attorney generals so that's not my job to do that. I would hope some justice would be brought. I'm not going to stand here and say you should go and arrest him.

I think the law enforcement community is competent to know their job and know what they need to do. So I think they are breaking the law and eventually law enforcement will get them for doing the wrong that they are doing.

HANNITY: Gentlemen, thank you for being with us. I urge everybody, in the media and those who have not heard all the facts yet, we want to get to the truth. And in time, I hope we will, Mr. Zimmerman, thank you so much for telling your story tonight. We appreciate you being with us and your attorneys. Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

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