Local 6's Kala Rama sat down one-on-one with Joe Oliver, friend of neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman, and Oliver said he thinks his friend is innocent.
Read the transcribed interview below:
Local 6: "What we are looking for here is for you to explain your relationship with George Zimmerman."
Oliver: "George is a friend of the family, his mother in law is close friend of my wife's."
Local 6: "Someone printed that your wife is his mother in law. That's clearly wrong?"
Oliver: "That's a perfect example of all the misinformation that is out there. Based upon his 2005 arrest, a mug shot says he weights 250 pounds and that doesn't say he is 5 feet, 8 inches and 170 pounds.
Oliver: "G is not a large man, he was back then, but not now."
Local 6: "You seem like you are defensive of his appearance."
Oliver: "It's not his appearance it is the information and the accuracy of everything that we have heard from the very beginning characterizing him as white, his size his weight."
Local 6: What ethnicity is he?
Oliver: Peruvian decent and a multicultural background
Local 6: How many years have you known him for?
Oliver: "Since he started dating his wife, about 6 years."
Local 6: So many people are wondering why you are so strongly defending him and why now, a month after the shooting?
Oliver: "I have been trying to get in touch with George from the very beginning. I have been in TV for over 20 years, I knew what he was about to deal with. I had gotten stories through his mother in law about what had happened and what he was dealing with. Plus I have known George for so long and I know what kind of a man he is, he is a good man. That's why he was the watch captain, he cares about his community. The reason why he called in that night, on his way home from the grocery store is because his neighborhood had gone through a number of burglaries, It was a high crime area."
Local 6: Is it true that he is a self imposed watch captain?
Oliver: "Not to my knowledge because he had a co- captain. I didn't come out in George's defense until I spoke with him and got his blessing to speak on his behalf and until I talked to him personally to know in my heart that George saved his own life that night."
Local 6: Why didn't George give you his blessing, why hasn't George spoken out?
Oliver: "George hasn't spoken out because he was told not to."
Local 6: Immediately after the shooting he was told not to speak?
Oliver: "I am not sure when he was told not to talk about it, on top of that, I don't think he wasn't capable of talking about it. He cried for days afterwards, I don't think he is capable now of talking about it."
Local 6: I talked with Sanford PD who said Mr. Zimmerman didn't appear to be emotional. What is your response to that?
Oliver: "He has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome. He has been diagnosed with depression because of the shooting.
Local 6: Is he the type of guy that would normally carry a gun?