In not so shocking news, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday it will not file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, ending its investigation three years after he fatally shot Trayvon Martin. The DOJ said they could not find sufficient evidence that Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder in state court, intentionally violated the civil rights of Trayvon.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the investigation concluded that the circumstances of the case could not meet the “high standard” for a federal hate crime prosecution, but he added in a statement:
“This young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialog and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface.”
Martin’s family, who have been vocal during the investigation and court process, said they were disappointed in the findings but thanked the Justice Department for their “extensive and thorough investigation into the killing of our son.”
The investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was conducted independently of state efforts, and was put on pause during Zimmerman’s criminal trial, officials said.
Zimmerman’s attorney, Don West, said he hopes the decision will mark the start of a “new chapter in life” for his client, whose name is frequently mentioned in connection with killings of other unarmed black men such as Brown.