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George Zimmerman Trial Continues; Supreme Court Guts Voting Rights Act; Paula Deen's Sons Speak Out

Aired June 25, 2013 - 15:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Here we are in hour two. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Top of the hour, we begin with dramatic testimony unfolding today in this courtroom in Sanford, Florida, on day two of the long awaited George Zimmerman murder trial.

Testimony has shifted to the night Trayvon Martin was shot and the first people who were on that scene. Right now the court is in just a short recess, but before that, a crime scene technician took the stand and she showed evidence, including a gun from that night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that a composite exhibit? That is. It contains multiple items?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And are the items listed on the packaging itself?

SMITH: Yes, they are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what items came from the packaging?

SMITH: A red lighter, a (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. And is this the lighter that was originally in that package?

SMITH: Yes, it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. And the photo button, is that the same?

SMITH: Yes, it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. The package of Skittles?

SMITH: Yes, it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the headphones?




BALDWIN: Earlier this afternoon, Sergeant Anthony Raimondo also took the stand. He was a patrol sergeant the night Trayvon Martin was shot. And this officer says he arrived on the scene within five minutes after getting the call that shots were fired.


JOHN GUY, FLORIDA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Did you hear anything when you were performing CPR on Trayvon Martin?


GUY: What was that?

RAIMONDO: Bubbling sounds, sir.

GUY: And what did those bubbling sounds indicate to you?

RAIMONDO: It meant that either air was getting into or escaping from the chest in a manner that it was not supposed to, sir.

GUY: All right. And what did do you upon hearing those bubbling sounds from Trayvon Martin's chest?

RAIMONDO: I called out to the crowd that was gathering nearby and I asked for Saran wrap and Vaseline, sir.

GUY: And what would be the purpose of Saran wrap and Vaseline?

RAIMONDO: I was going to try to seal the chest wound, sir.

GUY: Did anybody respond to your request?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.


BALDWIN: Let's go to Sanford now to CNN's Martin Savidge outside that courthouse.

And, Martin, let's just begin with what we just heard. That was that that officer who first arrived on the scene and just talking to some of the experts, Martin, it seems like from the perspective of the state, you have these six jurors, these female stories, and they know the story, but now it's becoming real.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. That's exactly right, Brooke.

And that's the intent here of the state. Up until now, we have heard names. We see George Zimmerman, of course, this the defendant in the case, going in and out. But Trayvon Martin is a name, a 17-year-old. And, of course, all of us who have followed the story as reporters, we have seen images of him. But for the jury, this was the first time they actually see him in the trial setting, and in this particular case, what they saw was the body of a teenager.

And the pictures were very disturbing, including one that shows the bullet hole, the wound that ended up taking his life. So, lot of this stuff very disturbing, and then that very powerful testimony you were talking about from that first-responder as he tries to revive the young boy and everything he said really captured the attention of the courtroom. Here's some more.


GUY: Did you see any movement from Trayvon Martin's body as you approached him?

RAIMONDO: No, sir, I did not.

GUY: Did you hear any sounds coming from Trayvon Martin when you approached him?

RAIMONDO: No, sir, I did not.

GUY: Did you attempt to see tray if Trayvon Martin was still alive?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir.

GUY: How did do you that?

RAIMONDO: I attempted to get his pulse, sir.

GUY: And where did you attempt to take his pulse from?

RAIMONDO: On his neck, sir.

GUY: Have you had training in that?

RAIMONDO: Yes, sir, I have.


RAIMONDO: With the assistance of Officer Ayala (ph), I rolled Mr. Martin's body over onto his back. Generally, from I would describe it as west to east or maybe it's easiest to say, sir, that I rolled him onto his left shoulder and onto his back.


SAVIDGE: The lifesaving measures, the attempts, they could not have worked because it was later found out that Trayvon Martin had been shot once in the heart as a result of George Zimmerman firing, he says, in self-defense because the teen attacked him.

But I watched. Tracy Martin, I couldn't see. That is Trayvon Martin's father, but Sybrina Fulton, I did see. She very stoically, just straightforward, looking and listening to this, but you can only imagine the pain inside.

BALDWIN: Yes, can't imagine. Can't imagine. And then you have the crime technician, this woman, who has been on the stand. I know court's in recess right now. But just, Martin, talk about the pieces of evidence.

You know, if you have been following this case, you have heard about the Skittles bag, the iced tea, the headphones, and now again here they are in court.

SAVIDGE: They are. And, again, you're right. This strikes that human chord. It's kind of like the inventory that's taken of this teenager's life of what is found, the simple items in his pockets.

And you mentioned the can -- the soft drink. You also talk about the headphones. You talk about a picture button. You talk about a red cigarette lighter, so all of these things, and yet, of course, very powerful because you know that the teenager is never going to be alive again.

And the question is was his death self-defense, as George Zimmerman is maintaining, or is it perhaps murder, as the state's trying to imply? So that was the state basically showing the evidence, the chain of command, how it was carefully protected. That is going to come into greater play further on down in this trial.

BALDWIN: OK. Martin Savidge, thank you so much for us in Sanford, Florida. We will be following it in the coming days and weeks here as this trial plays out.

Meantime tonight, tune in to CNN for "Self-Defense or Murder?: The George Zimmerman Trial." Anderson Cooper breaks down the twists and the turns during this one-hour special. Again, that's tonight 10:00 Eastern here on CNN.

And now to the search for Edward Snowden, arguably the world's most wanted man. And right now he's in no man's land in Russia. Snowden is in what is described as the transit zone at the Sheremetyevo in Moscow, this according to the president of Russia himself, to Vladimir Putin.

That's where Snowden landed after flying from Hong Kong, the city he initially escaped to. Passengers reportedly spotted him on the flight Sunday, but somehow Snowden never made it to terminal F as the others had. So where has he been? Where has he spent his time ever since he arrived in that airport? Russia's president isn't being specific, but Putin told this to reporters today -- quote -- "Mr. Snowden is a free man. The faster he chooses his ultimate destination point, the better for us and for him."

Also, I can tell you within just this past hour, the White House has asked that Russia expel Snowden. A spokeswoman says -- quote -- "We agree with President Putin that we do not want this issue to negatively impact our bilateral relations. While we do not have an extradition treaty with Russia, there's nonetheless a clear legal basis to expel Mr. Snowden based on the status of his travel documents and the pending charges against him."

Let's go to CNN's John Defterios at the Moscow airport. And, John, since you're there in the airport, presumably under the same roof as Ed Snowden, talk to us just about the lay of the land there and this transit area. Where is that?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. In fact, Brooke, we're right in the transit zone.

There's kind of three areas to it. You talked about section F, where Mr. Snowden did not show up. We're right in the heart of it, in E, and then it loops around to D. It's fair to say he has not been spotted. And that's not a surprise if you know the Russian secret services.

I would imagine in that transfer from Hong Kong into Russia, they didn't want him circulating around the airport here. There was discussion that he went into the transit hotel, which is only about 50 yards away from us here. We talked to the management. They said he's never checked in, nor has anybody else that has supported him.

What has happened here in the 16 hours that we have been on the ground is that President Putin broke that code of silence. This was being handled by the foreign minister, Mr. Lavrov, before, but as the intrigue kind of escalated here, President Putin thought it important that he kind of lay down his version of events. Let's listen to what he had to say.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Snowden is still in the transit area as a transit passenger. Our special services never worked with Snowden and are not working with him today.


DEFTERIOS: So President Putin making those comments, interesting, Brooke, while he was at a bilateral visit to Finland. Again, the U.S. did weigh in, asking for the Russian government to push him out on a plane to Washington.

That's still not clear at this juncture. One other thing we do know here earlier in the day that Mr. Snowden did not board the plane for Havana that was going to be leaving at 2:00 in the afternoon here in Moscow. That is Flight 150. It was believed he was going to be on that flight the day before. There was an empty seat. We watched all the passengers go on today and watched the plane pull out and he was not on that flight.

BALDWIN: John Defterios, I know you're watching and I know we have folks in Cuba are watching as well. John, thank you so much for us in Moscow.


BALDWIN: In Washington today, after nearly half-a-century, the U.S. Supreme Court pulled the plug on the federal supervision of nine mostly Southern states whose record on race relations were deemed a threat to minority voting rights.

So, under the landmark Voting Rights Act, changes to voting laws in the affected states required advance approval by the Department of Justice, but not anymore. Chief Justice John Roberts today summarized his opinion in these four telling words. Read them with me. "Our country has changed."

Attorney General, though, Eric Holder says, yes, it has, but not enough.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: These problems have not been consigned to history. They continue to exist. Their effects are real. They are of today, not yesterday. And they corrode the foundations of our democracy.


BALDWIN: I want to bring in Gloria Borger, our chief political analyst, because, Gloria, practically speaking, I know when you look at this, there's Section 2. People have been talking about 4 and 5. Practically speaking, what does this do to the Voting Rights Act, which really was the lynchpin of the '60s civil rights legislation?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, it goes to the central provision of this Voting Rights Act, which says that these -- that this group of states, you know, that this law is outmoded essentially and that these group of states who had to go to the Justice Department for permission to essentially move a voting booth no longer have to do that.

And that's what Eric Holder is talking about. What Justice Roberts said is, look, the problem is not the idea that these states might have to go to the feds. The problem is that the standard is completely outmoded and outdated. And so what the chief justice is saying is you don't necessarily have to throw away the formula. You have to fix the formula to bring it up to date, because you have to acknowledge, he believes, that there's been progress on voting rights in this country over the last 40 years. So he says fix it.

BALDWIN: OK. So but separate from fixing the formula, you still have the Justice Department -- obviously, they're still there.


BALDWIN: It can still go out, sue states, sue counties, whoever might infringe on minority voting, correct?

BORGER: Right. Right. But that's after the fact. OK? It's not preventing the problem. It's saying there's a problem, so you're going there after the fact.


BORGER: But, you know, there's another door that Roberts left open and that is to the Congress, and he said to the Congress, OK, you can, if you want, fix the formula, rewrite this.

The problem is, of course, as you and I and everyone knows, that Congress can't agree on what day it is, much less fixing a formula over something as controversial as this. You know, every time they have reauthorized this act, it's been overwhelming. The votes have been overwhelming. Nobody wanted to vote against it, right? Of course.

But now when you're going to have to get into the nitty-gritty details, it's going to be a lot more complex and a lot more difficult, but he did throw the ball back in Congress' court.

BALDWIN: Well, I talked to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton last hour.

BORGER: Right.

BALDWIN: She says she accepts the challenge. We will see if her colleagues do as well.

Gloria Borger...


BORGER: Right. And it will be a political football. Watch it in the midterm elections.

BALDWIN: No doubt. No doubt. Gloria, thank you so much.


BALDWIN: Coming up next, a violent home invasion that was caught on camera. Just a warning, this is tough to watch. But a mom wants you to see this. Look at this. Here she is. In fact, you hear her screams. She says she didn't fight back to protect her young daughter, who watched helplessly. The young daughter there on the left side of the screen sitting on the sofa didn't move. Did mom do the right thing? We will talk to an expert coming up.


BALDWIN: I know. Sorry. I'm talking to Mike Brooks, who you're about to hear from in a minute. I can't get enough of this here.

You're about to see a story. It's tough to watch. This home surveillance camera captures this brutal home invasion in New Jersey. The victim and her 3-year-old daughter sitting there in this living room watching cartoons when this intruder broke in and attacked the woman while her child just sat there, watched helplessly.

John Klekamp of News 12 New Jersey has the disturbing details. And just, again, the images are tough to watch.


JOHN KLEKAMP, NEWS 12 REPORTER (voice-over): An alarm company was installing a security system at the victim's home on Cypress (ph) Street this afternoon, a totally understandable reaction after this.

Around 10:30 Friday morning, the young mother of two was attacked by an intruder who did not care that she was unarmed and putting up no resistance, or that her little girl was in the room watching her mother struggling with a stranger who kicked his way inside. During the assault, she made a conscious decision to take whatever the intruder dished out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I knew that if I started screaming, my daughter would, too, and I was afraid that she would get hurt. I took it. I didn't cry the entire time.

KLEKAMP: The nanny-cam on the mantle captured the whole thing, brutal punches and vicious kicks that sent her flying. At one point, he places her in a choke hold and slams her to the floor. Then he drags her away. You can heard the dread in her voice. "Oh, no," she says, before he shoves her down the stairs.

It is video that sickens everyone who sees it, veteran cops and of course the victim's husband.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in the room with about seven officers and we were all just speechless. It was like an out-of-body experience.

KLEKAMP: And yet, as hard as it is to watch, the couple says they want people to see it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They need to help us get him off the streets. He's not just a burglar. You know, he's violent.


BALDWIN: Absolutely horrible. That was John Klekamp from our affiliate News 12 reporting.

I want to bring in HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks, who I know is just -- I was -- I'm gripping my chair because I'm furious at this man for her. But the fact that she chooses to fight back -- he gets her in the choke hold. Did she do the right thing?

MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: She said she didn't fight back because she was afraid for her daughter, Brooke.

But she maybe -- I always say and self-defense experts will say, look, if you think you're in fear of your life, fight back. This could be the last thing you ever do.


BROOKS: But she decided to go ahead and do it her way. And that worked.

BALDWIN: He's dragging her back and forth.

BROOKS: But you look at the vicious blows this guy was giving her, you can -- hitting her -- and then throwing her down the stairs. She's very lucky. But I guarantee you one thing. This isn't the first time this guy has done this kind of thing and it most likely will not be the last if we don't get him off the street.

BALDWIN: What do you think of the nanny-cams?

BROOKS: I think it's great. I think it's fantastic.

If I could have a camera on every corner and in every house in the United States, yes, there's privacy issues, but I'll tell you what. This camera, if she had not had that camera, would we be any closer to catching the guy? Absolutely not.

And now we see she has an alarm system going in. And they say that he kicked his way in. And that's something else. Even in my neighborhood here in Atlanta, a lot of people are reinforcing their doors. There's a lot of things you can do to make your house a little safer. We always say you're never going to make your house burglar- proof or robbery-proof, but it just makes it a harder target.

BALDWIN: It's incredible, though. When you watch the footage and you know that there's this little girl sitting on the sofa and thank God he never approached her, never laid a finger on her, for whatever reason, thank goodness for her. But did the mother do the right thing? I guess -- I don't know. A motherly instinct would be to just stay away from my child in the midst of the melee.

BROOKS: Right.


BROOKS: There's nothing etched in stone when it comes to personal protection like this.


BROOKS: As I said, a lot of people say, well, fight back, because it may have well been the last thing she had done.


BROOKS: She decided to go ahead and just let him do what he had to do so he would leave. And I tell you, her decision, it seemed like it was the right one in this particular case, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Unbelievable.

BROOKS: It really is unbelievable. I was talking to an Atlanta detective downstairs when I went down to get lunch after you sent me this.


BROOKS: I was looking on this. And I was telling him about it. And he says -- he was going right then to take a look. I told him it was just incredible that this woman survived.

BALDWIN: Thank goodness.

BROOKS: Absolutely.

BALDWIN: Mike Brooks, thank you so much, as always.

BROOKS: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Just in now to us here at CNN, we're learning that one of the world's biggest music stars is in trouble with the law again, this guy. This time, though, this involves a hit-and-run. We're live in Los Angeles talking Chris Brown coming up next.

Plus, Paula Deen's sons spoke exclusively to CNN about charges of racism against their mother. We will tell you how they respond to Deen's own words.


BALDWIN: Just into CNN, singer Chris Brown in trouble again. This time, it involves a hit-and-run.

Let's go straight to Los Angeles to Marc Istook with more on this.

Marc, what do you know?

MARC ISTOOK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, singer Chris Brown is in the news again and not for the reasons he wants to be. He's been charged with two misdemeanor counts for -- one for hit-and-run and one for driving without a license, and this is all according to the L.A. city attorney's office.

And those charges were filed this morning and they stem from a minor auto accident that occurred back in May. Now, of course, Brown is currently on felony probation for assaulting his then girlfriend Rihanna back in 2009. And he's set to be arraigned on these new charges on July 15, and he faces up to a year in jail if convicted.

Now, we have reached out to reps for Chris Brown for comment, but in the meantime, Brown has been active on social media. He's been tweeting like crazy in the last hour. Here's a sample. He said: "It's not a hit-and-run if you get out of the car, exchange information, who has no damage to either cars. This is really ridiculous."

And he also tweeted that he has a valid license and it gave the woman the right info. She saw cameras and wanted to make a scene, so, maybe a case of he said/she said. And we will see what the L.A. city attorney's office has to say.

BALDWIN: It's amazing this day and age what happens on Twitter and what is in the news.

Marc Istook in L.A., Marc, thank you so much.

Coming up next, also in the news here, Paula Deen under fire for admitting she has used the N-word in her lifetime. But her two sons, they're coming to her defense, talking exclusively with us at CNN. They have some stinging criticism for anyone who is questioning their mother.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm disgusted by the entire thing because it began as extortion and it has become character assassination.


BALDWIN: Next, we will share more on that exclusive interview. Plus, we will have candid conversation about what makes a racist in 2013.

Don't miss this.


BALDWIN: We're near the bottom of the hour. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Extortion and character assassination, that's what Paula Deen's sons are calling these accusations flying against their mother here in the fallout over her admission that she used the N-word in her past. Today, they spoke exclusively on CNN's "NEW DAY." Here they were.


JAMIE DEEN, PAULA DEEN'S SON: My mother would never teach Bobby and I anything other -- we're obviously a product of our environment. We care very much about our community. I'm raising two boys right now. This is ridiculous. It's completely absurd to think that there is an environment of racism in our business.

It's really disrespectful to the people we work with. We have strong educated men and women of character that have been with us for five, 10, 15, 20 years. To think they would allow themselves to be in this position is simply bologna. It's ridiculous.

Bobby and I are here today not to stem the tide for endorsements or any of those things. We're here to speak out for our mother's character and to say that our mother is a -- truly wonderful people that is inclusive of all people, and spends a lot of her time and energies to help those people that are challenged.

Twenty-five years ago, when we started our business, we had nothing, and now we've -- given the opportunity to help nonprofits across this whole country, and it means a tremendous amount to us.