WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are pressing forward with their investigation into the killing of Trayvon Martin following the acquittal of the man who shot him, George Zimmerman, on state charges, a spokesperson for the Justice Department said Sunday.
“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,” Dena W. Iverson, a Justice spokesperson, said in a statement.
The Justice Department’s civil rights division as well as the FBI are continuing to investigate Martin’s death, the statement said.
Civil rights groups and Martin supporters have called on the Justice Department to prosecute Zimmerman following his acquittal Saturday night. Sunday’s statement was the first response from Justice following the public pressure campaign.
Read the statement in full:
As the Department first acknowledged last year, we have an open investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin. 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.
Update: The federal government’s future role in the case could become more clear Tuesday. Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to adress the NAACP’s annual convention in Orlando in the afternoon, and a Justice Department official told BuzzFeed he will address the Martin case in his remarks.
- [Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that Tropical Storm Erika killed 20 people there, and set the island back 20 years from the damage. ›] (http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/at-least-5-people-are-missing-after-tropical-storm-erika-thr)
- [Police are investigating the death of Jamycheal Mitchell, 24, who was arrested months ago in Virginia for allegedly stealing about $5 worth of groceries. He was found dead in his jail cell last week. ›] (http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimdalrympleii/black-man-held-for-months-for-stealing-5-worth-of-snacks-fou)
- Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault charges stemming from a 15-year-old former student's accusations that he raped her at St. Paul's School. ›