After a lengthy investigation extending almost to the third anniversary of the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, the U.S. Justice Department is bringing its civil rights probe to an end.
ABC News reports that Attorney General Eric Holder and his legal team at Justice will not file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the man who killed the teen during a confrontation in 2012.
“Federal prosecutors concluded there is not sufficient evidence to prove Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., intentionally violated Martin’s civil rights, sources told ABC News.”
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You’ll recall that the state of Florida prosecuted the neighborhood watch volunteer, trying to convict him for murder and manslaughter. After a highly emotional trial that drew international attention, a jury acquitted Zimmerman in the summer of 2013.
In protests surrounding the racially charged trial, Al Sharpton played a major role in supposedly speaking for the Martin family. In a separate post, Western Journalism this morning reported on a new investigative video from conservative activist James O’Keefe, dealing with the anti-Sharpton sentiment expressed by some people involved in the controversial Martin case.
As ABC notes of the just-announced decision at Justice:
“Privately and publicly, Justice Department officials have been telegraphing all along that they were unlikely to file charges against Zimmerman.
And in November 2013, Holder said the case against Zimmerman “in substantial part was resolved” with his acquittal months earlier.”
In April 2013, as the Orlando Sentinel reported, Trayvon Martin’s parents settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the homeowners’ association of the subdivision where Zimmerman was on patrol when he shot the 17-year-old. The amount of that settlement was said to have been more than $1 million.
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With its findings in the Trayvon Martin case now a matter of public record, the Justice Department is continuing its investigation into possible civil rights violations in connection with the Michael Brown police-involved shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
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