Officials: civil rights charges against George Zimmerman unlikely
It is unlikely that the Justice Department will bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The news comes in response to allegations that the killing was racially motivated.
The federal investigation of Zimmerman was opened two years ago by the department’s civil rights division, but officials said there is insufficient evidence to bring federal charges. The investigation technically remains open, but it is all but certain the department will close it.
Investigators still want to “dot their i’s and cross their t’s,” said one official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the matter.
Martin, a 17-year-old African American from Florida, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by Zimmerman, a former volunteer neighborhood watchman who identifies himself as Hispanic. The killing sparked racial tension and protests across the country and drew emotional responses from President Obama and other top administration officials.
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July of 2013.
Still, civil rights and African American organizations urged Attorney General Eric holder to bring forth a federal civil rights case against him.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said the investigation is “active and ongoing.”
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