In an interview on Tuesday, one of George Zimmerman’s neighbors referred to “young black males” eight times, but insisted that there was no racial profiling by his neighborhood watch.
Speaking to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Frank Taaffe defended Zimmerman’s February slaying of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teen.
“Neighbor-hood, that’s a great word,” Taaffe said, chuckling. “We had eight burglaries in our neighborhood, all perpetrated by young black males in the 15 months prior to Trayvon being shot.”
“How many of those cases did they arrest people?” O’Brien wondered. “How many of those cases were people actually convicted.”
“One that I know of where the perpetrator was apprehended,” Taaffe admitted. “The young black male went in during the daytime just two houses down from where my my place was.”
“It sounds like you are saying that it made sense to you that George Zimmerman would be fearful of young black men,” O’Brien observed.
“No, it would be consistent that the perpetrators were all of the young black male ID,” Taaffe explained. “All of the perpetrators of the prior burglaries were young black males. … You know, there’s an old saying that if you plant corn, you get corn.”
“If you plant corn, you get corn. What does that mean?” O’Brien wondered.
“It is what it is,” Taaffe replied. “I would go on record stating, of the eight prior burglaries in the 15 months prior to the Trayvon Martin shooting, all of the perpetrators were young black males. … No disrespect to George Clooney, but it was a perfect storm. All the ingredients were set up. You know, the prior burglaries were committed or perpetrated by young black males, George was on his [neighborhood watch] rounds.”
CNN panelist Will Cain, an analyst for Glenn Beck’s The Blaze website, asked Taaffe if there had been discussions at neighborhood watch meetings to look out for suspects that fit the profile of African-American men.
“Young black men were never the topic of discussion,” Taaffe insisted.
“George Zimmerman and his family have contended that George did not racially profile Trayvon Martin,” Cain pressed. “But some of what you’re sharing with us today sounds like you’re suggesting that it might have been appropriate if he had.”
“George did not surveil just one group of people,” Taaffe said. “You’re asking if George profiled one group of people in my mind. And George looked at the whole landscape when he surveilled our property. It just so happened that the prior eight burglaries were perpetrated by young black males.”
Watch the video below from CNN’s Starting Point, broadcast on April 3, 2012.