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Geraldo Rivera: ‘The Hoodie Is As Responsible For Trayvon Martin’s Death As George Zimmerman’

Geraldo : 'The Hoodie Is As Responsible For Trayvon Martin's Death As George Zimmerman'

Geraldo Rivera stopped by Fox & Friends Friday morning, where he gave his take on the Trayvon Martin shooting — particularly on the hoodie the teen was wearing the night he was shot.

“I believe,” he shared, “that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain, should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”

RELATED: Million Hoodie March For Trayvon Martin Turns On CBS Reporter After He ‘Lies’ About Numbers

He explained further:

When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly dark-skinned kid like my son Cruz — who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or those pants around his ankles. “Take that hood off!” People look at you and what’s the instant identification, what’s the instant association? It’s those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stickin’ up a 7-11, the kid’s wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or they get the old lady in the alcove, it’s a kid wearing a hoodie. You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a “gangsta”… You’re gonna be a gangsta wanna? Well, people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens. It is an instant reflexive action.

Remember Juan Williams, our colleague? Our brilliant colleague? He got in trouble with NPR because he said Muslims in formal garb at the airport conjure a certain response in him. That’s an automatic reflex; Juan wasn’t defending it. He was explaining that’s what happened when he sees these particular people in that particular place. 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. Trayvon Martin, you know God bless him, he was an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I’ll 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.

He also urged those participating in the “Million Hoodie March” for Martin to “leave the hoodie at home,” adding that they cannot hope to “rehabilitate” the clothing item’s image.

Watch, via Fox News:

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