East Cleveland Judge William Dawson holds talk on George Zimmerman verdict

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - An East Cleveland judge is getting the community to talk about the George Zimmerman verdict. He moderated a discussion on race in America Monday night.

East Cleveland Municipal Judge William Dawson says he believes we need to have a long, deep discussion on race in America. He moderated a discussion on the George Zimmerman verdict.

He has held discussion groups like this for the past year. It's part of some people's sentences in East Cleveland. But on Monday, more than those sentenced to be there were speaking up about a sensitive subject.

"There is no excuse for what happened to him at all," said Dawson of Martin. "But at the same time I think, as opposed to demanding value, you're going to have to answer to me, etc.. this is wrong, what I would tell my son is you need to be defensive in how you act. In today's time, you have to be defensive."

"The outrage and the injustice that people feel, it's not a racist thing, it's because the person who murdered that young man wasn't dealt with," said one woman at the meeting.  

Judge Dawson stresses the importance of talking about it - and in East Cleveland, Monday night was a first step.

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