Wednesday, February 25, 2015

No federal charges over Trayvon Martin death

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, the former neighbourhood watch volunteer who fatally shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in a 2012 confrontation, will not face federal charges, the US Justice Department has said.

The decision resolves a case that focused on self-defence gun laws and became a flashpoint in the national conversation about race two years before the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting.

Zimmerman, who is white, has said he acted in self-defence when he shot the 17-year-old Martin during a confrontation inside a gated community in Florida, just outside Orlando. Martin, who was black, was unarmed when he was killed.

Once Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder by a state jury in July 2013, Martin’s family turned to the federal investigation in hopes that he would be held accountable for the shooting.

The probe focused on whether the killing amounted to a federal civil rights violation, which would have required proof that it was motivated by racial animosity. Although Martin’s parents have said Zimmerman initiated the fight and racially profiled Martin, the Justice Department said there was not enough evidence to bring federal civil rights charges, which would have required proof that the killing was motivated by racial animosity.

1 comment:

Dean Weingarten said...

Martin's parents were not there, of course. The evidence contradicts their claims.