Why racial tensions persist after Zimmerman trial verdict

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 16, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: As you just saw, things got very heated Friday night, right here in this very studio with our audience of legal law enforcement and political experts, who waited for the verdict in the Zimmerman murder trial. Little did we know the defendant would be found not guilty just over 24 hours after our well, let's just say, passionate meeting.

Now, since that time, we have watched as Americans have reacted to that controversial conclusion. Some have applauded the result, others have called for violence, taken to the streets and vowed to continue to prosecute the man who six jurors declared innocent of all charges.

And that brings us to tonight. Over the course of the next hour, members of last week's audience as well as some new faces will be here in studio to react to George Zimmerman's acquittal.

Welcome all of you, how are you?


All right. How many of you predicted what happened accurately? How many got it wrong? Peter Johnson, you said hung. But you said you thought it should be acquittal.

PETER JOHNSON, JR., FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, I believe it should have been acquittal. The evidence was 100 percent, we have an acquittal. But I thought based on the emotionalism and some of the racial politics that we're seeing this week, in the wake of the verdict, that it could be a hung jury, yes.


JOHNSON: Absolutely.

BO DIETL, FORMER NYC DETECTIVE: Is that the way we try people in public opinion or should it be on the evidence that's presented? And that's exactly what's happening now, when you have an attorney general in the United States of America, interviewing people today on a phone conversation, Sean, talking about evidence that we can get. Anything you have negative about Zimmerman, bring it forward, that's baloney.

HANNITY: How many disagree with the idea that Eric Holder, Justice Department, should look for civil rights violations, show of hands. How many think he should go -- one, two, three? Tamara Holder, why?

TAMARA HOLDER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, because he, George Zimmerman had a pattern in practice of being afraid, being afraid of black men. All of his calls were about black suspicious men --


HOLDER: Whoa! All of his calls to the police were about -- excuse me.


HANNITY: Hold on, we need to get a mic over here.

All right. Can you give any evidence from the case, any evidence at all that George Zimmerman had any racial antipathy towards Trayvon Martin.

HOLDER: Evidence from the case? Absolutely not. But you just asked about the Justice Department looking into information, and they can look into information that was no explained or represented in the trial.



HANNITY: Hold on.

HOLDER: I'm speaking legally here, not politically.

HANNITY: Does this fit the profile of a person with racial animus, a guy that he took a black woman to his prom. He mentored black children with the program, after the program concluded he also continued mentoring them, brought minority children into his home and then stood up for a black homeless man against the Sanford police. Does that fit the profile of a man that's racist?

HOLDER: It may or may not. It may or may not.

HANNITY: It doesn't. No, it doesn't.

HOLDER: But it's not the job of all of us to do that, it's the Justice Department's job --

HANNITY: OK. Right up there. Yes?

EVANGELINE GOMEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did we see any testimony from any types of witnesses? Remember, the prosecution went out and interviewed tons of people. Did anybody get on the stand and said, you know, what? He made a racist comment once. He acted in a racist way.

HANNITY: Let me go to Mercedes. Mercedes is right over here.

MERCEDES COLWIN, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: The defense actually interviewed and wanted to see if there was any racial animus because he could have been charged with a bias cramp and there was no evidence of bias.

HANNITY: Nothing.

COLWIN: That's why --

DIETL: It was investigated by the FBI, and there was no bias in this case, so why do we have to make it up now?

HANNITY: One at a time, go ahead, right here.

MATT SEMINO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Few were political play by Eric Holder, people are upset, there's passions out there, he's responding, he's responding to the NAACP, he really wants to make a statement, but there's no evidence there. They're going to find in this investigation, there are no evidences.

KISHA HEBBON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I agree, and I think our federal government owe our country at least an investigation. And as I stated last --

HANNITY: We've already had the investigation. What -- wait a minute, hang on, 47 people they interviewed, nobody found -- the FBI did not find any racial animus. Is this not, at this point does it not then become a witch hunt?

HEBBON: No, it's not, because there's a further investigation. Obviously, they're not going to say, OK, we concluded this first investigation, because look at what this case has done to our country. It's divided our races unnecessarily.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They can investigate but they're not going to find anything.

TOM RUSKIN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: You are a prosecutor who opened his case by saying, this is not a case of racism, this is after their full investigation by the state, by the local police and by the FBI. How do you now then turn around and say, this is a Justice Department case? It's OK for the Justice Department to open the case, I don't think the Justice Department case should go anywhere.

HANNITY: I'll add one piece to that as we go to Jehmu over here for a second. The Trayvon Martin family said this case is not about race. So why then go after him after a 16-month investigation already by Eric Holder?

JEHMU GREENE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think people have to understand there is a difference between racism and racial bias. It may not be a case of racism, but racial bias, because of how we are trained, our visual culture, it is a part of our human nature. I am biased, you are biased, she is biased, everyone in this room is biased, and George Zimmerman, racially profiled him. You can racially profile someone and not be a racist. This country has come a long way in fighting racism, but we have not addressed our implicit --


DIETL: I am not biased. What about black on black crime? How about the kids that are being killed in our inner cities? Where is everybody -- why don't you get your civil rights people with the black on black? What about the black on black crime? What about the black on black crime?

HANNITY: Hold on. Hang on. Hang on.

Let me slow down. Hang on a second.

GREENE: -- let's get our president to address it and fight against it.


HANNITY: There is a bigger question here, and I think you both touched on something. How many children in Chicago, black children have died --

DIETL: And where is everybody --

HANNITY: Just since the verdict? Will we ever know their name? Will America -- hang on a second. Right here. Yes.

DIETL: And where's Sharpton opening his mouth?


REBECCA ROSE WOODLAND, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This is the problem. The media -- certain aspects of the media have created him to be a racist. When that tape was doctored, he didn't say I see a black man, he responded to the 911 operator who said, white, black or Hispanic. He didn't define Trayvon.

HANNITY: Well, the media wanted this to be --

WOODLAND: That's the problem here.

HANNITY: All right. Judge Alex. They wanted this from the beginning, didn't they, to be white on black? And now, George Zimmerman became a white Hispanic, a self-proclaimed Hispanic.

JUDGE ALEX FERRER, HOST, "JUDGE ALEX": Well, I'm going to touch that because I thought I was white, and everyone is correcting me I'm Hispanic. So, I can't be white. I don't know white-Hispanics and black-Hispanics so, I really -- I know I'm a mutt, I just don't know what mutt I am.

But as far as the race issue, I have no problem with them looking at this as a potential race problem at the beginning. It would be ignorant for us to say older white males shoots a young unarmed black teen, it can't be racism. Of course there's racism out there. But once they investigated, once they realized that this is was --

HANNITY: Sixteen months already.

FERRER: They investigated, everybody has said, the police investigated, FBI issued a 12-page report saying, we've interviewed 30 something witnesses, this is not a racial issue. The prosecutor said, this is not a racial issue. I don't know how under the statutes they have, 1983 won't apply, the feds can't use that, because he wasn't acting under color of law. So, they have to use the hate crime law, the hate crime law requires that the killing be motivated by race or color. Not only do they not have that, they have the exact opposite as far as evidence. And how do they get around the fact that when the black panthers were deterring people from voting, they didn't pursue that.

HANNITY: OK. All right. Let's go to de Deneen Borelli back there, Deneen.

DENEEN BORELLI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Tom and I were at the NAACP Convention.

HANNITY: Tom is your husband next to you?

BORELLI: Yes. We were there the last couple days. And I have to say that most of the speakers there were really whipping up racial tension. They mentioned Trayvon Martin, they mentioned the demand for an investigation. And when you inject race into any conversation, it's an emotional issue. They are ignoring the facts that we have a decision, we have a ruling, it's been laid down. But they're still trying to drag out this incident. And you also have Al Sharpton who was calling for these marches and riots across the country. What is that going to do for our society? Absolutely nothing.

HANNITY: Nothing. It's dividing us.

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