Dept. of Justice filing civil rights charges against George Zimmerman?

The organization supported pro-Trayvon Martin protests and is now considering filing civil rights charges against George Zimmerman Photo: Associated Press

FLORIDA, July 14, 2013 — Following George Zimmerman’s acquittal of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin on Saturday evening, many pro-Martin forces have called for civil rights charges to be filed against Zimmerman.

“(J)ustice failed Trayvon Martin and his family,” Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP, opined. “We call immediately for the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into the civil rights violations committed against Trayvon Martin. This case has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling in the United States.”

SEE RELATED: State Attorney Corey fires key whistleblower in George Zimmerman case

Benjamin Jealous, the incumbent president and CEO of the NAACP said that “(w)e are outraged and heartbroken over [Saturday’s] verdict. We stand with Trayvon’s family and we are called to act. We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed.”

Now, the Department of Justice (DoJ) is investigating the possibility of prosecuting Zimmerman for civil rights violations.

“As the Department first acknowledged last year, we have an open investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin,” the DoJ said Sunday. “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.”

SEE RELATED: Dept. of Justice filing civil rights charges against George Zimmerman?

Last week, it was revealed that the DoJ actively organized pro-Trayvon Martin protests. 

According to documents released earlier today by the anti-corruption, conservative organization Judicial Watch, a little-known division of the Justice Department sent agents to Sanford in order to deal with community relations after Martin was killed. 

“Records obtained by Judicial Watch in response to local, state and federal public records requests show that the so-called peacekeepers are part of a large and growing division within DOJ called the Community Relations Service (CRS),” the group reported.

“Though CRS purports to spot and quell racial tensions nationwide before they arise, the documents obtained by Judicial Watch show the group actively worked to foment unrest, spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on travel and hotel rooms to train protestors throughout Florida. The peacekeepers also met with officials of the Republican National Convention, scheduled for several months later in Tampa, to warn them to expect protests in connection with Martin’s death.”

SEE RELATED: Obama wants Zimmerman verdict to ‘stem the tide of gun violence’

The DoJ has yet to respond to these findings.

It does seem difficult to see how the very organization which worked to support Zimmerman’s opponents can now investigate him in an unbiased fashion. This does seem to be the sort of thing which falls far short of jurisprudence.

Considering the DoJ’s history with Zimmerman, as well as the fact that an FBI investigation cleared him of racial bigotry-related mayhem, can the organization be trusted to give the man a fair shake? 

The answer seems almost as obvious as Angela Corey’s failed power play in overcharging Zimmerman for political points.

Far-left? Far-right? Get realRead more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto 


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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