The Justice Department is taking a long and hard look at the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin. They have asked the Sanford Police to hold on to all evidence associated with the Zimmerman case.
Here is the statement from the Justice Department, “As the Department first acknowledged last year, we have an open investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin. The Department of Justice’s Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation 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, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the Department’s policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial.”
The old evidence will form the basis of the federal review, but also any evidence not used at trial could also be valuable to federal investigators. Justice wants to see all the evidence, not just what was admitted into the trial. The point is that George Zimmerman is far from home free. The federal government is going to take their time investigating him for potential civil rights violations.
Their request for all of the evidence from the Sanford investigation means that the federal investigation is picking up steam. This doesn’t mean that it is a slam dunk that Zimmerman will be charged with the federal crime of violating Martin’s civil rights, but it is hard to imagine how the following of and eventual shooting of a 17 year boy who was committing no crime did not involve some type of civil rights violation.
Zimmerman wasn’t a law enforcement officer. Trayvon Martin was committing no crime, and Zimmerman started the confrontation.
George Zimmerman got away with murder, but justice may yet be served.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association