MSNBC's Bloom Complains Prosecutors Did Not 'Have the Guts to Talk About Race'

On Friday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom complained that prosecutors did not "have the guts" to make an issue of race in trying to convict George Zimmerman. She began:

They fought so hard to get into evidence those prior events where George Zimmerman called about African-American males in the community. One hundred percent of the calls he made about suspicious people in the community were about African-American males. They got it in, and then they didn’t argue it in closing argument. And so what the jury heard was the defense version of well, it’s very reasonable that he was suspicious because it was raining and he was walking around

Bloom added:

And the prosecution didn’t say, or frankly, in my opinion, have the guts to say that’s not what this was about. I mean, really, we can look at autopsy photos, we can look at the deceased remains of a 17-year-old, and we don’t have the guts to talk about race? And I think that’s what is really underlying this case, the failure of the prosecution, among other things to talk about race and say of course he was profiled because he is African-American.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, July 12, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Faith, why did the prosecution think this was so important for the jury to think about?

FAITH JENKINS: Because they’re focusing on who was the initial aggressor here. They’re not trying to tell this jury exactly what happened when George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin met. They’re trying to show this jury, George Zimmerman was the initial aggressor from the very beginning. In fact, it started months before he ever saw Trayvon Martin with his mind-set, with these people always getting away, referring to all the young black males that he previously called the police about. So the prosecutor wants to focus on who the initial aggressor was, and based upon George Zimmerman being the initial aggressor, so what he got punched? So what he has these injuries? Trayvon Martin had every right to defend himself. George Zimmerman was the one following him.

LISA BLOOM: You know, Reverend Al, Faith is right. The problem is the prosecution didn’t argue that. They fought so hard to get into evidence those prior events where George Zimmerman called about African-American males in the community. One hundred percent of the calls he made about suspicious people in the community were about African-American males. They got it in, and then they didn’t argue it in closing argument. And so what the jury heard was the defense version of well, it’s very reasonable that he was suspicious because it was raining and he was walking around.

And the prosecution didn’t say, or frankly, in my opinion, have the guts to say that’s not what this was about. I mean, really, we can look at autopsy photos, we can look at the deceased remains of a 17-year-old, and we don’t have the guts to talk about race? And I think that’s what is really underlying this case, the failure of the prosecution, among other things to talk about race and say of course he was profiled because he is African-American. We have the statistics of African-Americans-

SHARPTON: But Marcia, didn’t he argue that he was profiled, Marcia, and the fact that they didn’t bring in race and have the defense say that there is no evidence of race here, and let me bring in three of his black friends. The profile statemente about African-American males. They got it in, and then they didn’t argue it in closing argument. And so what t they made, the fact that they used over and over about him calling people a-holes, doesn’t that really give the jury the picture that he had some hardened feelings without giving a lay-up shot to the prosecution?

CLARK: I totally think so. Yes, I have to say I really agree. And here is the thing. They got those calls in. The calls were there, and they were pretty good evidence of a mind-set that predated him ever seeing Trayvon Martin. And that was a good thing to do. You have to walk the line of the race card very, very carefully, and you don’t want to overplay this, because you can really turn a jury off. You have to be careful what you’re doing here. And I thought the prosecution did. They said number one thing that he was profiled. They did say that.

And everybody knows what they’re talking about. The jury understands what that means. They’re not stupid. And then on top of, you have, don’t forget, you don’t want to alienate your jury by leaning too heavily on it, so they didn’t. But they put it out there for sure. And having had the calls, look, you never remember to say everything in closing argument. I’ve never seen a prosecutor or a defense attorney remember every single point. They don’t have to. You don’t have to.