Aug 27 2014
The protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the killing of Michael Brown are the second time in the past few years that there has been a major national dialogue about race, racism and violence in the US. The name Trayvon Martin is often listed alongside the names of police brutality victims like Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, and others. But Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, a gun-owning vigilante, not a cop. That alone increased the odds of a conviction of at least second degree murder, or manslaughter. Indeed, observes attorney and journalist Lisa Bloom, “having analyzed every aspect of this trial … this case was the prosecution’s to lose.” Zimmerman was acquitted and outrage ensued.
In Suspicion Nation, author Lisa Bloom details the incident that unfolded on a rainy night in Sanford, Florida, more than 2 years ago: a 17-year old African American boy named Trayvon Martin was followed by a neighborhood watch man named George Zimmerman who decided Martin was a suspicious figure. A scuffle ended in Zimmerman shooting Martin dead. In a case that gripped a nation, Bloom, with the keen eye of an attorney singles out the numerous and astonishing missteps made by the prosecution, leading to Zimmerman’s acquittal. She profiles the lone juror of color. And, she attempts to answer the crucial question in the title of her book – why we continue to repeat such injustice.
GUEST: Lisa Bloom is the legal analyst for The Today Show, NBC News, and Avvo.com. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Swagger and Think, and has written numerous articles for such outlets as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and more. She runs her own law firm in Los Angeles called The Bloom Firm. And her latest book, out earlier this year, is entitled “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.”