No Federal Charges For Zimmerman In Trayvon Martin Death - Zinny's Blog
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No Federal Charges For Zimmerman In Trayvon Martin Death

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On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that George Zimmerman, the former neighbourhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in a 2012, will not face federal charges.

This official decision resolves a case that brought tons of the country’s attention about race relation and self defence.

The Associated Press has the scoop:
Zimmerman has maintained that he acted in self-defence when he shot the 17-year-old Martin during a confrontation inside a gated community in Sanford, Florida, just outside Orlando. Martin, who was black, was unarmed when he was killed. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic. 
Once Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder by a state jury in July 2013, Martin’s family turned to the federal investigation in final hopes that he would be held accountable for the shooting.
That probe focused on whether the killing could be charged as a federal hate crime and on whether Zimmerman wilfully deprived Martin of his civil rights, a difficult legal standard to meet. But Justice Department officials said they ultimately determined there was insufficient evidence to prove Zimmerman killed the teenager on account of his race. 

our decision not to pursue federal charges does not condone the shooting that resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin and is based solely on the high legal standard applicable to these cases,” Vanita Gupta, the Justice Department’s top civil rights official, said in a statement announcing the decision.

Reportedly, Martin’s parents were too distraught after their meeting in Miami with Justice Department officials to speak with reporters. Martin’s family attorney stated:

What they told his family and I was that because Trayvon wasn’t able to tell us his version of events, there was a lack of evidence to bring the charges. That’s the tragedy.

Federal investigators said they examined the case under multiple civil rights provisions, including ones that make it illegal to use force against someone based on their race and another that criminalizes race-based interference with a person’s housing rights. They conducted roughly 75 witness interviews, examined police reports and reviewed all of the evidence gathered during the state prosecution.


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