Al Sharpton challenged George Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara in lengthy interview on Friday night.
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Sharpton asked O’Mara how Zimmerman could claim self-defense, saying that it was Zimmerman who pursued Trayvon Martin with a gun. O’Mara replied that there was no evidence to support that Zimmerman continued to pursue Martin after calling 911, or that it was Zimmerman who initiated a physical confrontation.
Sharpton pressed O’Mara on the issue, saying that experts have said that the screams for help in the background of a 911 call belonged to Martin. O’Mara said that other experts have said the voice is not easily identifiable.
Sharpton was unswayed by O’Mara’s argument. Later, when O’Mara stressed that police need to have “probable cause” before making an arrest, Sharpton responded:
“The probable cause is that you have the dead body of an unarmed person and there was no crime and there was no reason the police could determine at the scene. That’s probable cause. Otherwise, anyone in this country could be shot and killed and the police could just decide in the police station, ‘We’ll decide whether they go or not.’ That’s a dangerous precedent, wouldn’t you think so Attorney O’Mara?”
Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, an unarmed 17-year old, in February. Martin’s death and the local police’s initial handling of the case prompted outrage across the country, including from Sharpton himself. He got involved in the case, and has been an advocate for Martin’s family.
“We are tired of going to jail for nothing and others going home for something,” he said at a rally in March. “Zimmerman should have been arrested that night … you cannot defend yourself against a pack of Skittles and iced tea.”
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