Geraldo Rivera said Friday that Trayvon Martin might not have been shot dead by George Zimmerman if he hadn’t been wearing a hoodie.
Rivera told his colleagues at Fox and Friends that he thought Zimmerman “should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted.” But he also said there was another culprit in the 17-year-old’s death: his choice of clothing.
“I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was,” Rivera explained.“What’s the instant association? It’s crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stick up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or get the old lady in the alcove, it’s kid with a hoodie,” Rivera continued.
“Remember Juan Williams, our colleague? He got in trouble with NPR because he said Muslim formal garb at the airport conjured a certain response in him? That’s an automatic reflex. He wasn’t defending it. He was explaining that’s what happened when he sees these particular people in that particular place,” Rivera opined.
“When you see a Black or Latino youngster, particularly on the street, you walk to the other side of the street. You try to avoid that confrontation,” he said. “Trayvon Martin, god bless him, an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I bet you money, if he didn’t have that hoodie on that, nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”
The hoodie, Riveara said, cannot be rehabilitated.
“Stop wearing it! You know the old Johnny Cash song, don’t take your gun to town, son. Leave your gun at home,” Rivera said. “There is some things that are almost inevitable. I’m not suggesting that Trayvon Martin had any kind of weapon, but he wore an outfit that allowed someone to respond in this irrational, overzealous way and if he had been dressed more appropriately… I think unless it’s raining out, or if you’re at a track meet, leave the hoodie home, don’t let your children go out there.”