Sean Hannity on Thursday clashed with NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary Shelton over the George Zimmerman verdict and the group’s involvement in pressuring the Department of Justice to pursue civil rights charges in the case. While Shelton decried Florida’s “very faulty self-defense policy,” Hannity pressed his guest to name “one person by name” who died in Chicago during the Zimmerman trial.
Shelton could not answer the question, though he dismissed it as a “talking point.”
Hannity argued Zimmerman was within his legal right to use deadly force because evidence showed that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin had gotten on top of him in a “ground and pound” position and beaten him. Shelton maintained that Zimmerman “stalked” Martin and had no right to intervene as a community watchman.
“You’re like Chris Matthews!” Hannity interjected, accusing his guest of ignoring the evidence of the beating Zimmerman received.
Hannity also criticized Shelton and the NAACP as a whole for advocating for civil rights charges against Zimmerman after he was found not guilty by a jury. He said “that sounds like people that disagree with the verdict are being sore losers and now want to make this guy’s life a living hell.”
In Chicago, Hannity later explained, 61 people were killed during the Zimmerman trial.
“Can you name one person by name that died in Chicago?” Hannity asked.
“I cannot,” Shelton replied. “I appreciate this talking point.”
“It’s not a talking point,” Hannity shot back.
He went on to cite the “epidemic” proportions of black-on-black crime in Chicago and asked Shelton why he and the NAACP don’t focus more on that problem.
“I wish you were a member of the NAACP and knew as much about us as you think you do,” Shelton replied, adding that the organization has been focused on the murder of African-Americans from the beginning.
“You don’t know the name of one of them,” Hannity noted.