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Published On: Wed, Feb 25th, 2015

George Zimmerman free from federal civil rights lawsuit, ‘not enough evidence’

The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday that it found “insufficient evidence” to bring criminal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the Hispanic man previously cleared by a Florida court in the killing of  Trayvon Martin nearly three years ago.

A jury acquitted Zimmerman, now 31, in July 2013 of murder charges, after which a federal investigation was launched to determine whether he had violated any civil rights statutes in his deadly confrontation with Martin, 17, in Sanford, Florida.

George Zimmerman donkeyhotey caricature donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

George Zimmerman donkeyhotey caricature donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

National headlines, protests and investigations followed the shooting as the role of race was questioned in the incident. The case also shined a light on controversial self-defense laws known as “stand your ground,” under which individuals are shielded from prosecution if they use lethal force against perceived threats and are not obligated to retreat from confrontations.

In a statement Tuesday, the Department of Justice said that after a “comprehensive investigation,” it was deemed that the “high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division said, “Although the department has determined that this matter cannot be prosecuted federally, it is important to remember that this incident resulted in the tragic loss of a teenager’s life.” She added, “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.”

Benjamin Crump, the Martin family attorney, said that while decision was anticipated, it was still a “bitter pill to swallow.”

“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.”

The Florida court determined that there was not enough evidence to charge Zimmerman with first-degree murder. He was charged with, and later acquitted of, second-degree murder.

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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