George Zimmerman Won't Face Federal Hate Crime Charges
George Zimmerman won’t face civil rights charges for killing unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin three years ago, the New York Times reports.
The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that there is not enough evidence to move forward with federal hate crimes charges against Zimmerman after conducting scores of interviews about his actions and character, the slain teen’s parents said.
The Justice Department began an independent investigation when local law enforcement was slow to arrest and charge Zimmerman after he shot and killed the teen on Feb. 26, 2012. At the time, they claimed that state self-defense laws would make a prosecution against the wanna-be cop difficult.
Gov. Rick Scott eventually appointed a special prosecutor, who charged Zimmerman.
In order for the feds to have charged Zimmerman with a hate crime, they would have had to prove that he killed the teenager because he was black. His recklessness and negligence isn’t enough to move forward with such a charge.
Attorney General Eric Holder said in statement that while there wasn’t enough evidence to move forward with a hate crime, it should not end discussions over the racial tensions that followed Trayvon’s death.
"This young man's premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface," Holder said in a statement. "We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future."
The decision not to charge Zimmerman closes the investigation.