Eric Holder is continuing his efforts to find George Zimmerman guilty of...something. He ordered the Department of Justice to place a hold on all evidence in the Zimmerman trial, including George Zimmerman's gun that Florida law says can now be returned to him.
Sanford police confirmed on Thursday that the DOJ asked the agency not to return any pieces of evidence to their owners. Zimmerman was expected to get his firearm back by month's end.
The development is a sign that the criminal section of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is seriously investigating Zimmerman to determine if federal civil rights charges should be filed.
Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter on Sunday in a Florida courtroom, but civil rights violations provide an exception to the U.S. Constitution's protection against double jeopardy after a defendant has been found 'not guilty' in a state or local jurisdiction.
That's because if Zimmerman were tried in federal court, he would be charged with violating Trayvon Martin's civil rights, not causing his death.
WESH-TV in Orlando reported Thursday afternoon that police had confirmed the evidence 'hold,' meaning that everything related to the trial, from Zimmerman's gun to the Skittles and iced tea Martin was carrying when the pair's altercation began, will remain in the hands of law enforcement.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to questions about whether it will take custody of the evidence, or when that might occur.
But Holder himself confirmed on Tuesday during the NAACP's annual convention that the Justice Department still has an open investigation into Zimmerman's actions on Feb. 26, 2012.
'I am concerned about this case,' Holder told the assembled black civil rights activists, 'and as we confirmed last spring, the Justice Department has an open investigation into it.'
'While that inquiry is ongoing, I can promise that the Department of Justice will consider all available information before determining what action to take.'
"All available information"? Does that include the FBI report recommending against a civil rights prosecution because after interviewing 39 witnesses they came to the conclusion that Zimmerman did not kill Martin because of racial bias?
Not likely. Holder and the Justice Department are going to turn over every rock, put all the evidence and testimony under a microscope in order to justify a prosecution of George Zimmerman. After making such a big deal out of his efforts to punish Zimmerman, there isn't any way he is going to let him walk.