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Holder Confirms Justice Department Still Investigating Trayvon Martin Death

posted 15 Jul 2013, 12:25 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 15 Jul 2013, 12:26 ]

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the Justice Department will continue its investigation into Trayvon Martin's death.

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JULY 15, 2013) (NBC) -  The shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was tragic and unnecessary, and it ought to spark public debate about how to prevent similar incidents, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday (July 15).

In his first comments since a state jury acquitted George Zimmerman on Saturday in the February 2012 shooting case, Holder said federal prosecutors were continuing to investigate.

"Independent of the legal determination that will be made, I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised," Holder told a convention of Delta Sigma Theta, a black sorority.

Although Zimmerman was cleared of murder charges under Florida law, U.S. prosecutors could decide to bring criminal charges under a federal hate-crimes law, and some civil rights advocates are lobbying prosecutors to do so.

The hate-crimes law would require the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, shot Martin, who was black, because of race.

"Moreover, I want to assure you that the Department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law. We are committed to standing with the people of Sanford, with the individuals and families affected by this incident, and with our state and local partners in order to alleviate tensions, address community concerns, and promote healing," Holder said.

The chief U.S. prosecutor and an appointee of President Barack Obama, Holder received a warm welcome from the more than 14,000 sorority members in the audience at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The audience responded enthusiastically when Holder said the Justice Departmentshared their concerns about the Martin case, and again when he said he wanted to take action to counter the "underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents."



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