March 30th, 2012
07:16 PM ET

Live blog: 'Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America'

CNN's Soledad O'Brien leads a special town hall event about the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin – that has sparked a national dialogue on race, justice and America. Tune in tonight at 8pmET on CNN – and follow the live blog below. We'll include your comments from social media, as well quotes from the show:

Thank you for tuning in tonight – watch it again at 10 p.m. ET as well. And stay tuned to CNN and CNN.com for the latest information on the case.

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8:57 – "[African Americans] have typically had to force prosecutors to do what is right," says Martin.

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8:54 – Soledad O'Brien and the panel are now discussing the Spike Lee RT.

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8:50 – After break, we'll hear from Rev. CL Bryant and also talk about what social media meant to the Trayvon Martin case.

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8:46- "Clothes are not the problem, it's the consciousness," says Roland Martin.

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8:41 – Coming up, we'll discuss the hoodie – Roland Martin joins the panel.

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8:39 – "What measures can be implemented so this isn't a revolving crisis?" asks a member of the studio audience.

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8:36 – "Do you have to be a racist to racially profile somebody?" asks Soledad O'Brien.

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8:30 – Coming up, we'll discuss racial profiling. One of the guests will be Kadiatou Diallo, the mother of Amadou Diallo.

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8:27 – "My prediction is I think he's going to say that Trayvon reached for the gun," says defense attorney Jay Hebert. He was a lawyer in the first "Stand Your Ground" case.

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8:24 – "He did nothing right but wake up early that day," says Sliwa of Zimmerman.

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Watch a preview of Sliwa:

8:20 – Coming up after the break, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. Hear what he thinks about the case...

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8:17 – 'This is an opportunity to really look at what police departments really do,' says HLN host Jane Velez-Mitchell. "Why are they constantly focused on the victim being a black male?"

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8:15 – According to show of hands in audience, almost everyone has already formed an opinion on Zimmerman's innocence or guilt. Have you?

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8:09 – After the commercial break – Jane Velez-Mitchell on George Zimmerman.

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8:07 – "Her parents don't want her involved in this, but she has to by law," says the Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump of Trayvon's girlfriend.

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8:03 – David Mattingly gives us at the facts we know in the case.

8:01 – "Tonight we want to take a hard look at all the aspects of the case," says Soledad O'Brien.

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7:55 – The first guest on "Beyond Trayvon" is Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Trayvon Martin's family. Tune in to see the discussion, including questions from the audience. You can follow the live blog here, use the hashtag #BeyondTrayvon and comment on the Black In America Facebook page.

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soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. marvin cohen

    the people in charge of running the evening patrols are part of the reason for the killing.if zimmerman had patrol lights flashing on top of his car,martin would have know why he was being questioned.

    June 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon_22

      Wow. Did not expect to see a comment that was actually reasonable, and you went as far as proposing a solution!! You sir have earned my respect.

      (in reply to marvin cohen)

      July 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sean walden

    Ooo what if this was a white boy who lost his life. Whould there be more then two days of media coverage? The answer is no. since the obama administraanswerertion would probly not even acknowledge it, now look how many killings are showed on cnn compared to before tryvons untimely deAth. Why is this even an issue. Well, obama needs a foothold for banning gun ownership for usa citizens. That's the only answer I have. Please tell me what you think

    April 2, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      This is a act of terrorism by the black community and the news media. American rights have been violated by terrorists. The fact that black community leaders can go public with threats of death.The FACT that Spike Lee should be arrested for trying to conspire to have Mr. Zimmerman found, to cause harm to him.The FACT the media hid facts and evidence to sway public opinion to incite a riot.IS THIS STILL AMERICA OR A COUNTRY OF TERRORISTS IN ITSELF!

      April 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      The majority of ilegal guns are in the black community

      April 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Antrell Jones

    The fact remains in America that African American males of all ages are endangered for their lives. I'm far from a racist, but it amazes me how there is so much leniency when something is done to our race opposed to any other race. If trayvon was afraid of a man stalking him like prey and shot him would he be home eating his skittles claiming self defense? My condolences go out to the Martin family and I pray for justice. "Any injustice law is NO LAW AT ALL!!"

    April 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      Let's also look at how many violent and crimes black males with illegal guns commit. Could that possibly be the source of the problem. Or at least be a contributing factor??? Let's be real.

      April 2, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rashid Johnson

    The injustice is in fact race-coded; the killing of an innocent, unarmed child is cruel and senseless, at best. Justice must prevail in this case.

    April 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SGT Wilk

    This happened in a gated community? Why was the young man inside a gated community he did NOT live in? Would the Black Community be howling for an arrest if Trayvon was white and shot by a black man?

    April 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. david

    mr duke, i agree with you, the destruction of this nation is at the hands of the white guilt monster called "black victimology", the act of blacks on others and no responsiblity for their actons. white guilt let this happen.

    March 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. david

    cant you people see that all blacks are innocent? doesnt matter what the situation, its the white man that has done this to them, they cant help themselves. see how ignorant that thinking is? personal responsiblitly is too much for many to understand, its easier to behave wildly and let the damage happen. raise your children with respect of others and property and this would be a better country. i want to move from this cesspool called america, its embarrassing that blacks are the victims in everything. funny how they are the 50% prison population and only 12% of the us population. what a self destructive race. i grew up in a clean neighborhood in los angeles until busing came to town, then it was a ghetto in about 5 years. moved again and the same thing happened.facts only facts.

    March 31, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • jane

      If only people were as smart as you David, but in the words of Ron White "You can't fix stupid!!!"

      March 31, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. anon_22

    Totally agree with you...

    March 31, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. anon_22

    What amazes me about this conversation is how there's so many ppl here condemning either Zimmerman or Martin, and when being put in their shoes they would have behaved the same way:
    1- GZ thought this kid was some kind of thug/burglar or whatever and decided to follow him. Called the cops and everything, but didn't really accept the possibility that this kid may be one of his NEIGHBORS!!
    2- TM thought this other guy was some kind of psycho that was trying to hurt him, and didn't even consider the possibility that this guy may just be the neighborhood watch guy that was patrolling his GATED neighborhood!! He freaked out and (rather than calling the cops, trying to figure out who the guy was or something) he immediately started fleeing and later attacked GZ.
    Thus, they BOTH judged, condemned and proceeded to attempt to execute the other based on pretty trivial evidence!! AND A LOT OF PPL POSTING HERE ARE DOING THE SAME THING!!!

    March 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • david

      the difference here is that i am willing to contribute to zimmermans defense. have you lived with blacks? have you seen them destroy your beautiful neighborhood? , have you been a victim of their rage and hate? no you have not. not until you experience their true hate of others in person you have no right to an opinion. live with them for a few years in their neighborhood, you cant because they will kill you. if you are black, you cant comprehend this posting.

      March 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • jane

        AMEN!!!!! I couldn't have said it any better!!!!!!

        March 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • MM

        You are right. I am one of "them". And I can't comprehend this posting. "Blacks" destroy your neighborhood, hence you should assume that all "blacks" are going to destroy your neighbourhood and hunt all blacks and shoot them. I say this all the time, and people say that I'm crazy and things are better now. MLK was wrong. Integration is a bad idea. Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey were right. Black people should be as separate from white people as possible. It was wrong to force integration, it only works if everyone on both sides want to be integrated. I really can't understand black people who want to integrate with white people.

        March 31, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tommy

    Jesse and Al, show me the money.

    March 31, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mary

    i feel its totaly wrong for zimmerman to act as he did for no visible reason. trayvon was just trying to get home why didnt they do a backround check on zimmerman just because his dad is a retired judge thats why he is getting away with everything.

    March 31, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tommy

    Wawswa always crying like spoiled children that don't het their way.

    March 31, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jane

    CNN needs to update the pictures they are sharing......Perhaps pictures of him at 17 and not 0-13........

    March 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jane

    Black people have all the same rights as ANYONE else, if not MORE........I think it's a little unfair that Blacks can have an ALL black college yet whites can't have ALL white colleges because its "racism"....Oh we can't forget the show "Black in America" yet there is no "White in America" or how about the tv channel BET( black entertainment television) yet there is no WET(white entertainment television) Why isn't any of that racist???? Why is it okay for them but not for anyone else????? How is it okay for them to do what they have fought against the white man for doing????????

    March 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. F1RST

    Wow, I posted a comment and it didn't show...talk about "steering".

    March 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jane

      They aren't posting ANYTHING of mine lol

      March 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  16. F1RST


    March 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
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