Holder might not be done with Zimmerman yet

After having just endured the enormous strain of a murder trial, Georgef Zimmerman's ordeal may not be over. The dissatisfaction and anger of the black community over the verdict could very well lead to Attorney General Eric Holder deciding to bring federal civil rights charges against him.

The Hill:

Attorney General Eric Holder faces a crucial decision on whether to press federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, after the neighborhood watchman was acquitted Saturday in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

The NAACP and other leading civil rights groups are pressing for Holder to open a federal case against Zimmerman, after he was found not guilty on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges by a Florida jury.


The public pressure leaves Holder, the nation's first African-American attorney general, facing a difficult decision on a controversial case that has grabbed the nation's attention and sparked renewed debate about racial profiling. 

In a statement from NAACP President Ben Jealous, the civil rights group said they were "not done demanding justice for Trayvon Martin."

"The most fundamental of civil rights--the right to life--was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation," said the group in a petition unveiled Saturday night. "Please address the travesties of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin by acting today."

On CNN Sunday, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson also demanded that the Justice Department "intervene" and "take this to another level."

Many Democratic lawmakers are also joining those calls, with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) tweeting a message from Jealous asking for the DOJ to act.
Could a federal prosector prove that Zimmerman did not act in self defense and his killing of Martin was a violation of the young man's civil rights? The local prosector couldn't prove the former, but federal prosecutors  - and a federal trial - have different evidentiary standards so that some testimony and/or evidence could be admissable in a civil rights trial that wasn't in a Florida murder trial.

No doubt Holder is itching to get his hands on this case. But he is still bound by procedure and it is not at all clear that Zimmerman violated Martin's rights. Expect an investigation into the case and if Holder thinks there's a chance at a conviction, he'll jump at the chance to prosecute Mr. Zimmerman again.

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