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tv   Nightline  ABC  July 16, 2013 12:35am-1:05am EDT

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love is always on my mind ♪ ♪ i'm not gonna fight it i want it all the time ♪ ♪ put it on you like that ♪ ♪ the things i wanna do to you my body's calling you ♪ ♪ your body's my party let's get it started ♪ ♪ your body's my party ♪ it's just me and you ♪ let's make a memory [ cheers and applause ] >> i love you all.
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>> jimmy: her self-titled album comes out july 9th. you can see a bonus song at i want to thank armie hammer, adam carolla, arden hayes. apologies to matt damon. we ran out of time. tomorrow night, michael c. hall, miranda cosgrove and music from zz ward. thank you for watching. "nightline" is next. good night! [ cheers and applause ] tonight on "nightline" -- the family speaks. for the first time since the verdict, george zimmerman's parents speak out about the agony and anguish of their son and what life has been like since the moment he was declared not guilty of murdering trayvon martin. >> is your son a racist? >> tonight, barbara walters' exclusive interview. still packing? zimmerman can get his gun back now.
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and why his lawyers say he needs it now more than ever. and what's next? he walks free, but is he really a free man? amid calls for federal charges and possibly even a civil suit, where is george zimmerman tonight? and can he ever live in peace? >> announcer: this special and can he ever live in peace? >> awhat if there was a new way to deal with money, that focused less on fees and more on, what matters? maybe your bank account is taking too much time, and maybe it's costing too much money. meet bluebird, by american express and walmart. your alternative to checking and debit, it's loaded with features - not fees. because we think your ney should stay where it belongs- with you. the value you expect. the service you deserve. it feels good to bluebird. get it at your local walmart.
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thanks for being with us tonight. 17 months after shooting trayvon martin and three weeks after his murder trial began, george zimmerman is a free man tonight. the gps tracking device gone from his ankle. the gun he used in the shooting his if he wants it back. a jury of six women acquitted zimmerman of murder and manslaughter charges late saturday night in florida. but life is anything but back to normal. first came the protests. and now there could be a civil
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suit and/or a federal case brought by the justice department. the former neighborhood watchman has not spoken yet. but just a short time ago barbara walters sat down exclusively with zimmerman's parents and joins us now with that. barbara? >> well, yes, bill. george zimmerman did not take the stand in this trial. he is in hiding. he has not spoken publicly since his acquittal. but today his parents, robert and gladys zimmerman, talked openly about the polarizing trial for the first time together without sitting in silhouette. they tell me about their fears for their son and for themselves. we begin with the question on many people's minds. >> is your son george a racist? >> absolutely not. he's never been taught to be a racist. >> reporter: that is the question that so many people have been asking since george zimmerman was found not guilty in a trial that riveted and divided the nation. >> we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty. >> reporter: the controversial
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verdict immediately sparked protests. >> no justice! >> no peace! >> no justice! >> no peace! >> reporter: when hundreds gathered in the streets of san francisco, new york, and other cities. >> justice for -- >> trayvon martin! >> we want justice and we want it now! for trayvon martin. we want justice and we want it now for trayvon martin. >> reporter: twitter exploded with 48,000 tweets a minute immediately after the verdict. two days later 6 million tweets and counting have been sent, revealing a deeply conflicted nation. conservative pundit ann coulter came down in support of the verdict, saying "hallelujah." new york giants wide receiver victor cruz tweeted and then deleted. zimmerman doesn't last a year until the hood catches up to him. >> are you concerned for george's safety? >> yes, i do. >> yes? why? what do you think could happen? >> it's a lot of death threats
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you know in the social media. you know, death threats on him. that i'm concerned. not only for georgie but for, you know, the whole family. >> reporter: in such a charged atmosphere even george's parents, robert and gladys zimmerman, have received death threats. >> can you give me some idea of what some of the threats have been? >> everyone with george's dna should be killed. just every kind of horrible thing you can imagine. >> do you have to live in hiding, do you think? >> yes. >> yes? >> yes. >> you don't give friends or family your address? >> no. >> and you're living -- i guess you can't tell me where, then. >> central florida. but -- >> someplace in florida. but where? >> my wife's brothers have no idea where we live or -- >> really? so for you to do this interview
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and show your faces, that takes a lot of courage. >> yes. >> reporter: both parents testified during the trial, stating that the voice heard on the 911 call screaming was their son's. >> do you know whose voice that was screaming in the background? >> yes, sir. >> and whose voice was that? >> my son george. >> and are you certain of that? >> because he's my son. >> absolutely. it's my son george. >> did you feel it was self-defen self-defense? >> yes. >> did you see or think when the incident happened that it was racial? >> absolutely not. >> there are people who say that your son targeted trayvon martin because martin was black. how do you answer them? >> absolutely not. absolutely not. >> tell me more. >> georgie is not racist. we are not racist.
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we don't see colors. i mean, we are colorblind. >> and you yourself, you two are an interracial couple. >> we are a mixed-race couple. george and his wife are a mixed-race couple. my wife's two brothers married outside of their race. three of my four sisters married outside of their race. >> the protests have been mostly framed by the issue of race, as you both know. what do you say to people who are demanding vengeance, especially some people in the black community? >> it is hard to -- it is hard to say what i can tell them. i'm a very religious person. it's nothing i can tell them. but it's something i can do. i can pray for them. >> reporter: but her husband says prayers only go so far in what he sees as a new american culture of hate. >> you served in the army. you were a court magistrate.
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you're a proud american. but you have written a book recently, and you said america has changed. what do you mean? >> i never thought that we would see so much hatred. and the hatred is not brought on by any racial incident. it was brought on by attorneys being totally untruthful, other people involved having a certain narrative, having a certain agenda, and making this situation race-based and a political issue. >> reporter: lost in all the controversy, they say, is the son that they know. >> we've seen him not showing a lot of emotion. but that's not the son you see. describe george to us. >> what you see is a composed person, a composed person. that's what you see. and that's what you will see in all my kids. >> when they are in public, they try and keep their composure.
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but george is the most outgoing, very compassionate person. >> this has been such a difficult time for your family. as parents what would you say to trayvon martin's parents? >> that we are deeply sorry for this tragedy. deeply sorry. we pray for trayvon martin to be in a better place. it's always in our prayers. >> is there a lesson that can come out of all this? >> hopefully. >> and what is the lesson? >> that america should not be divided. that's what i think. >> if he is watching now, what do you want to say to your son? >> that i love him with all my heart. and that i knew that he's a truthful man. that i knew from the beginning that he was saying the truth and
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it was in my heart. and i knew that the truth will come out. i'm sorry that it has to come this way. painful for the whole family. but the truth will set you free. >> and tonight, one young man is dead, the man who shot him is in hiding, and the lives of two families have been destroyed. bill? >> barbara, thanks very much. and coming up, we'll examine whether zimmerman might face a civil suit from trayvon martin's family. what's next for them? and we'll hear from the prosecution. when we come back.
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thanks to an american sanctity for self-defense and a real lack of clear evidence, prosecutors knew that george zimmerman would be a tough man to convict. it took six weeks, a lot of public pressure, and a change in local prosecutors before he was even arrested. but did the prosecution overreach in trying to get a difficult second-degree murder conviction? what do they think of his refusal to take the stand? and why is zimmerman's defense attorney hopeful he gets his gun back asap? abc's matt gutman has been on this story from the start and brings us the latest answers to these questions tonight. >> we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty. >> reporter: those two words breaking george zimmerman's solemnity, forcing that smile inside the courtroom. but outside -- >> murder is a crime! >> reporter: fury and protests across the country. >> we will commit ourselves to
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ending the plague of gun violence on our streets! >> reporter: the reaction to george zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of 17-year-old trayvon martin has been as contentious as the case itself. >> let's talk about ill will. >> reporter: but there's mounting criticism that the prosecution overreached, going for a hard to prove second-degree murder charge doomed to fail. >> we wouldn't have filed it if we didn't believe in it. >> reporter: the former prosecutor spoke exclusively to abc news, offering a narration of what they thought really happened that night, that zimmerman pulled his gun when martin tried to get off of him. >> he got the gun out. >> reporter: and that zimmerman killed him in cold blood. >> nobody just gets a gun out and shoots. it's a very difficult process that even trained police officers, when they're on the ground with a suspect on top of them, they can't get their guns out that quickly. >> i think there was a struggle at some point trayvon became aware of the gun and was backing up and george zimmerman shot him. >> reporter: they insist it's the reason george zimmerman didn't take the stand. >> i choose not to testify, your
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honor. >> i prayed he had the courage to take the stand but as we all know he's got the right ton and he made the decision. >> he was afraid to take the stand? >> the proof is in the pudding. did he take the stand? >> why do you think it was that his stories were so inconsistent? >> because he's lying. >> reporter: the six female jurors who acquitted the former neighborhood watchman have remained silent until tonight. one of them spoke to anderson cooper on cnn. >> i think george zimmerman is a man whose heart was in the right place but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods and wanting to catch these people so badly that he went above and beyond what he really should have done. i think his heart was in the right place. it just went terribly wrong. >> reporter: juror b-37 has also inked a deal with a literary agent and intends to write a book in which the reader will learn why the jurors had no option but to find zimmerman not guilty. tonight, zimmerman is a free man. police have removed the gps tracking device from his ankle.
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and he could even get his gun back, the same kel tec 9 pistol he used to kill trayvon martin. >> should george zimmerman be allowed to carry a weapon? >> he'd better be careful. it better be the right circumstances. >> the law allows an awful lot of people to carry guns. that doesn't mean they all should. >> reporter: but his defense attorney, mark o'mara, says zimmerman needs the weapon now more than ever. >> how do you think he feels about guns now? >> i think he feels truly in his heart that if he did not have that weapon that night he might not be here. >> so do you think he would -- if he could he would carry a gun again? >> yes. even more reason now, isn't there? a lot more people out there that actually hate him. though they shouldn't. >> reporter: anger soaring today at the annual naacp convention being held less than 30 miles from where trayvon martin was killed. >> trayvon martin's killing was nothing more than a modern-day lynching. >> reporter: the convention turning into a referendum on the unarmed teenager's death.
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>> george zimmerman became the judge, the jury, and the executioner of an innocent child. >> reporter: martin family attorney benjamin crump was also there, urging the federal government to take action. >> if we're not vocal and vigilant, then i can tell you trayvon's death will be swept under the rug. >> reporter: however, last july the fbi released documents showing that racial bias was not a factor in the shooting. and today attorney general eric holder didn't promise any specific action. >> i believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised. >> reporter: zimmerman faces the possibility of a civil suit from trayvon martin's family, which his parents are said to be considering. >> i think there may be a number of civil suits. i would be very surprised if any of those civil suits are filed
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against george zimmerman. and we welcome -- >> you'd file them on mr. zimmerman's behalf against others? >> absolutely. >> reporter: despite all the heated emotions this morning trayvon martin's family say they hope the country will collectively find a way to heal and change. >> just remember, trayvon could have been anyone in america's baby. >> reporter: how do you think this would have ended had george zimmerman not had a gun that night? >> i can tell you how it wouldn't have ended. it wouldn't have ended with a dead 17-year-old kid. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm matt gutman in sanford, florida. >> our thanks to matt. and time now for our closing argument. and trending on the web today, five crucial trial moments that may have led to the zimmerman acquittal. which do you think was most important to the jury? our number 1, lead police investigator chris serino was asked by the defense if he believed zimmerman was telling the truth. he said yes. although the judge later told the jury to disregard that answer. there was the moment that renowned forensics expert vincent demayo testified that
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evidence showed martin was leaning over zimmerman when he was shot. and in court on the stand trayvon martin's father seemed so sure that the voice screaming on that 911 call was his son's but on cross-examination admitted that he initially told investigators he couldn't tell if the screams were trayvon's. to hear the other two crucial moments and tell us what you think, you can join our discussion on our facebook page. you'll find us at and of course those weren't the only stories trending today. when we come back, what does dave matthews' song "where are you going" have to do with a broken bicycle and two lucky fans? ♪ where are you going to help with my depression. but sometimes, i still struggled to get going, even get through the day. so i was honest with my doctor. i told her i'd been feeling stuck for a long time. she said that for some people, an antidepressant alone only helps so much and suggested we add abilify (aripiprazole). she said that by taking both, some people had symptom improvement as early as 1 to 2 weeks.
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i wish i'd talked to my doctor sooner. [ female announcer ] abilify is not for everyone. call your doctor if your depression worsens or you have unusual changes in behavior, or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens and young adults. elderly dementia patients taking abilify have an increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor if you have high fever, stiff muscles and confusion to address a possible life-threatening condition. or if you have uncontrollable muscle movements, as these could become permanent. high blood sugar has been reported with abilify and medicines like it and in extreme cases can lead to coma or death. other risks include increased cholesterol, weight gain, decreases in white blood cells, which can be serious, dizziness on standing, seizures, trouble swallowing, and impaired judgment or motor skills. [ sally ] since adding abilify, i feel better. abilify and my antidepressant make a pretty good team. [ female announcer ] ask your doctor about a free trial of abilify and go to details are really important during four course. i want to make sure that everything is perfect. that's why i do what i do.
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and in tonight's "feed frenzy" both a rock star and a literary titan get a taste of what life is like for the rest of us mere mortals. and music fans mourn the passing of a young talent as coroners try to understand exactly what ended his life. a forensic team in vancouver is working on the autopsy of "glee"
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star cory monteith after the 31-year-old actor was found dead this weekend in a hotel there. foul play has been ruled out. the toxicology reports that could determine whether he overdosed are expected in several days. playing finn hudson, the quarterback with the voice of an angel, monteith was a favorite among gleeks, as the show's fans are known. but offscreen he has struggled with addiction for over a decade. just three months ago he voluntarily returned to rehab. with the support of his tv and real-life girlfriend lea michele. it was the curious case of the pseudonymous novel. a crime story called "cuckoo's calling" written by a first-timer was reviewed with the kind of reverence reserved for best-selling veterans. how could this robert galbraith have penned such a brilliant debut, wondered reporters. and after a bit of sleuthing they understood why. robert galbraith is really j.k. rowling, creator of the "harry potter" industrial complex. after being outed rowling said it has been a pure pleasure to


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