Fox News host Geraldo Rivera got into a heated exchange with a guest after the Zimmerman jury published its verdict in a Central Florida courtroom late Saturday night. While the guest claimed that race entered into both the incident and the verdict, Rivera argued that it was just an “awful” set of circumstances that led to the death of Trayvon Martin.
For months, Rivera has predicted that Zimmerman would be acquitted, calling it “the opposite of the O.J. Simpson case.” Immediately following the verdict, Rivera tweeted an “I told you so” to his followers, together with a warning to politicians:
The Zimmerman acquittal was expected by all who follow me. What we need now is to tell politicians to keep hands off the justice system.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) July 14, 2013
Later on he invited Fox News contributor Ted Williams and former DC homicide detective Rod Wheeler as guests.
When asked whether the Justice Department should look into charges, Williams responded that although they perhaps should, ultimately, “the jury has spoken.”
Wheeler was more upset and indicated that race was a huge factor.
“Michael Vic was convicted of killing a dog, and he did three years in jail, but then you got a guy named Zimmerman who can shoot an African-American child and he walks free,” he said according to the video.
Rivera fired back that Zimmerman was simply making his neighborhood watch patrol when he ran into Martin, a “stranger in the community.” Although the death was tragic, “sometimes awful things happen to nice people.” The best thing people can do is to learn from the experience and to “tell our children to avoid these kinds of confrontations.”
“We cannot profile,” Wheeler insisted. “Your own son told you that.” Williams jumped into the fray also, insisting that had Martin fled instead of confronting Zimmerman made no “practical sense.”
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