Whoopi Goldberg confronted George Zimmerman's defense attorney on "The View" Monday, grilling him about the role that race played in the Trayvon Martin case.
"When you said that it has to be based in race, didn't George Zimmerman first spot him because this was a young black man?" Goldberg asked attorney Mark O'Mara.
Her inquiry was spurred by discussion about why the Justice Department is reviewing whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges on Saturday.
O'Mara admitted that he thought his client followed Martin "in part" because of his skin color, he went on to explain a particular "distinction" that the Justice Department has to consider.
"The Justice Department, who looked at this and talked to 45 people, if they had found any evidence of racism in George's background, then they would have been able to use that information to say, 'This is the way that George Zimmerman was looking at Trayvon,'" O'Mara said. "But here's the reality of it: If in fact he was looking at Trayvon as a person who was black, but not looking at him solely because he was black, I'm sorry, but that may be a distinction."
"I'm trying to understand the distinction," Goldberg responded. "Because being black, I want to know."
Watch the civil discussion below:
- Society & Culture
- Crime & Justice
- George Zimmerman
- Whoopi Goldberg