TODAY   |  July 14, 2013

Martin family attorney: ‘They are heartbroken’

“Right now they're trying to make sense of this all,” said Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family. He said the family would be attending church Sunday. TODAY’s Lester Holt interviews Benjamin Crump.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> benjamin crump is an attorney for trayvon martin's family. mr. crump, thanks for being here.

>> good morning. thank you for having me.

>> you had suggested trayvon martin's family that they not be in the courtroom for the reading of the verdict. can you tell us where they were, how they learned of the verdict, and what their reaction was?

>> yes, we notified them. they were headed home. they agreed it was important for them to be in church this morning. quite simply they are heartbroken, trying to make sense of it all, as many around the country are this morning. they're talking to young people and their families trying to explain to them about the justice system . they had a lot of questions of us about the justice system and the jury and now they are putting their faith on a higher authority.

>> let's talk about the justice system . you and i spoke in the days after trayvon martin's death and at the time you were saying we want an arrest. we want this to go before a jury. we want justice. well, all that happened. it went before a jury and they made their choice after 16 hours based on the evidence, based on what they heard, do you think this jury came to a reasonable decision?

>> well, they came to their decision, we disagree with it, but we have to accept the rule of law. right now whether we as a country progress or regress is going to depend on what we learned from this tragedy. we take solace in knowing that millions of people, black, white, and hispanic, men, women, and children, especially young people , stood up for trayvon saying you have the right to walk home without being profiled, without being followed, and without having a bullet lodged in your heart.

>> ultimately six people had the decision to make but anybody who was watching the coverage heard a lot of legal analysts talk about missteps, missed opportunities by the prosecution. in your opinion, did the prosecution drop the ball on any level?

>> well, all lawyers have their different styles and different strategies. i thought their closing summation brought it right back to the heart of the matter when they asked if the situation were reversed and it was trayvon martin who profiled and followed george zimmerman and killed him, what would your verdict be? i still think right when you get to the heart of the matter , that's why so many people are watching this case and that's why so many people are heartbroken this morning.

>> will the family of trayvon martin file any kind of civil action , or will anybody else that you are aware of, file a civil action ?

>> right now they're just trying to make accepts of this, lester. they're not thinking about that. they are trying to deal with the grief of losing their son and then not having his kill er held accountable and so they're working on their foundation, things they can control to try to preserve the legacy of trayvon benjamin martin .

>> benjamin crump, we recognize it was a long night and a long several weeks. we do appreciate it.

>> yes, sir.

>> we should note we invited george zimmerman's defense team to join us this morning, but they declined our request.