U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday that the Justice Department may still file federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman for the February 26, 2012 slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, reports The Hill.
Holder, however, also cautioned that most of the case had been resolved during Zimmerman’s trial:
“The case of George Zimmerman — and what happens there — I think a substantial part was resolved in the case that was tried,” Holder said.
As previously reported, a jury of 6 women — 5 white and one Hispanic — found Zimmerman, 29, not guilty on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges on July 14, 2013.
Speaking at the NAACP annual convention in Orlando, Fla. one day after the verdict was reached, Holder got personal, saying that the racial profiling that was central to the case is something that affects generations of Black men:
Years ago, some of these same issues drove my father to sit down with me to have a conversation – which is no doubt familiar to many of you – about how as a young black man I should interact with the police, what to say, and how to conduct myself if I was ever stopped or confronted in a way I thought was unwarranted. I’m sure my father felt certain – at the time – that my parents’ generation would be the last that had to worry about such things for their children.
The news of Trayvon Martin’s death last year, and the discussions that have taken place since then, reminded me of my father’s words so many years ago. And they brought me back to a number of experiences I had as a young man – when I was pulled over twice and my car searched on the New Jersey Turnpike when I’m sure I wasn’t speeding, or when I was stopped by a police officer while simply running to a catch a movie, at night in Georgetown, in Washington, D.C. I was at the time of that last incident a federal prosecutor.
Trayvon’s death last spring caused me to sit down to have a conversation with my own 15 year old son, like my dad did with me. This was a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down. But as a father who loves his son and who is more knowing in the ways of the world, I had to do this to protect my boy. I am his father and it is my responsibility, not to burden him with the baggage of eras long gone, but to make him aware of the world he must still confront. This is a sad reality in a nation that is changing for the better in so many ways.
As important as it was, I am determined to do everything in my power to ensure that the kind of talk I had with my son isn’t the only conversation that we engage in as a result of these tragic events.
See AG Holder’s NAACP remarks below:
Time will tell if the United States DOJ will finally give Trayvon Martin, and his family, the justice that was denied them in the state of Florida.