DOJ's Trayvon Probe Still "Open" As Thousands Urge Civil Rights Charges For Zimmerman

Categories: Crime

After Trayvon Martin's supporters mourned Saturday's not-guilty verdict, hundreds of thousands have turned to the Department of Justice to urge the feds to make a second attempt to convict George Zimmerman of civil rights violations.

The DOJ has confirmed that its inquiry into the case remains open, but mass public support or not, federal charges could be even more difficult to prove in court than a second-degree murder case.

See also: At Miami's Trayvon Protests, Confusion Over Verdict and A Plea For Justice (Photos)

The feds opened an investigation in the weeks after local authorities declined to charge Zimmerman for killing the 17-year-old from Miami, and even though a special prosecutor ended up filing second degree murder charges they never closed that probe.

Martin's supporters turned in a big way to the DOJ after a jury returned a not-guilty verdict late on Saturday.

A petition written by the NAACP and posted to has already garnered almost a half-million signatures at last check.

"The most fundamental of civil rights -- the right to life -- was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin," the petition reads. "We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation."

Late yesterday, the DOJ acknowledged that it was considering its options in the case.

"We have an open investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin," the feds say in a statement. "(We will) continue to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial. Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction."

Public support or not, that last line is the key takeaway because federal prosecutors only have a few civil rights statutes available in a case like Martin's killing.

Federal prosecutors ended up filing charges against LAPD officers in the Rodney King beating after a jury found the cops not guilty, but they used a statute that applies to law enforcement officers -- which, whatever Zimmerman may have thought of himself, wouldn't apply here.

The best fit might be the federal hate crimes statutes. But if a Sanford jury wasn't convinced that Zimmerman shot Travon in part because of his bias against African Americans, what chance would federal prosecutors have to make that same case?

"To bring a federal civil-rights prosecution against Zimmerman, the attorney general would essentially be second-guessing the state jury's verdict as opposed to vindicating a different or broader federal interest," defense attorney Scott Srebnick tells the Herald.

Martin's parents are also considering filing a wrongful death civil suit against Zimmerman, but would have to overcome the bar of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which gives immunity in civil cases to shooters.

That raises the other option for Martin's supporters going forward: Channeling their energy into killing Stand Your Ground, the law at the heart of the case. Several petitions aimed at changing the law are also circulating, including this one with 40,000 signatures.

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drakemallard topcommenter

Remember, this is the same jury pool that let that baby murder Casey Anthony off

ex-fiancee, Veronica Zuazo. Zimmerman attacked her while the two were driving to a counseling session

Zimmerman followed a man in his car until the police arrived. Daniel Osmun, the other driver, told police that Zimmerman was tailgating and that he spit his gum out the window "out of frustration.

George Zimmerman  cousin’s molestation

zimmerman work as security He was fired for being too aggressive with patrons. He picked up and threw a women. It was pure rage. She twisted her ankle.

He lied about his finances and the existence of a second passport there is no reason to believe anything else he say.

When an armed man can hunt down an unarmed teenager while on the telephone with a 911 dispatcher, kill the teen, and then walk away free, I think it’s fair to assume that there’s a serious problem with justice in the jurisdiction where the event took place.

My heart goes out to the Martin family.  And of course to the next family who suffers this kind of loss at Zimmerman's hands.


drakemallard topcommenter

Mark O' Mara admitted George Zimmerman did profile Trayvon Martin. He said something to the affect, Zimmerman was frustrated with the crime in his neighborhood and there are those who look a certain way and maybe Trayvon fit that description. O' Mara said there areas where people who commits crimes in Zimmerman's neighborhood that comes through places that are not form the main gate, and Trayvon didn't come from the main gate. If you put all that together you come up with profiling. I did not quote Mark O'Mara direct but I hope you will get the jest of what I'm saying you will understand.

O'Mara just showed that Trayvon had a reason to be concerned because George Zimmerman was driving a regular vehicle and was following him! If he had those lights and Neighborhood Watch sign on his vehicle then Trayvon Martin wouldn't had been afraid!
if some asshole is following me at night in a truck, in the dark, in the rain, I'm not going to lead him straight to my door step. That could put the rest of my family in danger!George Zimmerman leaving the safety of his vehicle is a direct result of what transpired that night. He should be held accountable for his actions. I'm sure the police would have been able to find the clubhouse of a condo complex consisting of three streets. Please note that I'm not saying it was illegal for him to get out of his vehicle or walk around. Whatever Zimmerman told police, however conflicting the statements, we have nothing at all from Trayvon Martin simply because he is dead and cannot speak


@drakemallard"Remember, this is the same jury pool that let that baby murder Casey Anthony off"

Actually, it wasn't the same jury pool.  But what do you know, besides copy/pasting the same shit over and over.


@drakemallard Not Guilty. Move on.  If the the feds are as stupid as the prosecution was in this case to bring charges, the result will be Not Guilty.

That's because he's not guilty.  Race bait all you want YOU WILL NEVER GET A CONVICTION IN THIS CASE (as anyone with a brain knows).

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