Monday, July 15, 2013

Eric Holder Says Trayvon Martin's Death Was An 'Unnecessary Shooting'

Eric Holder
First Posted: 07/08/13 EDT Updated: 07/15/13 EDT
Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the shooting death of Trayvon Martin on Monday, his first remarks on the subject since the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the Associated Press reports. Zimmerman was cleared of all charges by a six-woman jury in a Florida court on Saturday evening.
Holder said the death of Martin was the result of "a tragic, unnecessary shooting."
"I want to assure you that the Justice Department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law," said Holder.
A civil rights case against Zimmerman would have clear hurdles for Justice Department attorneys, reports the AP.
The report says that mounting a federal case against Zimmerman could be tougher than the case the state of Florida made, which concluded Saturday with Zimmerman's acquittal. The Justice Department opened a probe into Martin's death last year, but later stepped aside to allow Florida prosecutors to succeed.
"There are several factual and legal hurdles that federal prosecutors would have to overcome," Alan Vinegrad, the former US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, told the AP. "They'd have to show not only that the attack was unjustified, but that Mr. Zimmerman attacked Mr. Martin because of his race and because he was using a public facility, the street." For the full story, click here.
According to the Miami Herald, FBI records on the case released last Thursday would further complicate a federal case. FBI documents based on interviews with nearly three dozen people reveal that agents weren't able to determine that racial bias was a motivating factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. For the full story, click here.
Finally, White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday told reporters that President Obama won't involve himself in decisions by the Justice Department on whether to pursue civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. According to the AP, Carney added that it would be be inappropriate for Obama to express an opinion on how the department deals with Zimmerman. On Sunday, Obama urged "calm reflection" from Americans following Saturday's explosive verdict.

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