A grand jury will investigate the shooting death of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin, state attorney Norm Wolfinger said Tuesday.
I share in the desire of the family and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, Wolfinger said in a news release, reported MSNBC. The public is entitled to no less than a thorough, deliberate, and just review of the facts. We intend to honor that commitment.
The Seminole County Grand Jury will hold its next session April 10, said Wolfinger, whose office has been reviewing the case for the past week, the Miami Herald reported.
Wolfinger's announcement followed closely after U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the FBI decided Monday to investigate the 17-year-old Miami teen's shooting by a neighborhood watch volunteer in an Orlando, Fla., suburb.
Martin, who lived with his mother in Miami, was visiting his father, who was living with his girlfriend in her house located within a gated townhome community in the City of Sanford. On Feb. 26, Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, 28, followed Martin, who was walking back to the house from a local convenient store, wherein a physical altercation allegedly ensued, and Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest with a concealed 9mm handgun he was licensed to carry.
Martin was unarmed, carrying only a packet of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea he bought from the store, and some $22 in cash.
Zimmerman, who was released shortly after being questioned by Sanford police, has not been charged with any wrongdoing in what has become a racially-charged legal matter.
(Zimmerman) was reacting to the color of his skin,'' Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said Monday on NBC's Today show. Martin was African-American, and Zimmerman is of white and Hispanic descent. He committed no crime. My son wasn't doing anything but walking on the sidewalk, and I just don't understand why this situation got out of control.''
Sanford police have declined to arrest Zimmerman, citing Florida's 2005 Stand Your Ground law, which allows potential crime victims to use deadly force in situations where there is fear of great bodily injury.
Zimmerman has claimed that he was attacked from behind by Martin, who is 80 lbs. lighter, as he was getting out of his car to pursue the youth.
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee told the Herald that he was satisfied with his department's investigation and that there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman.
I can say very confidently we would welcome any outside entity that wants to come look at what we did, Lee told the Herald last week. They are welcome to come here and look at it. We have not done anything but conduct a fair and complete investigation.