The father of Trayvon Martin reportedly said Wednesday “the bar is too high” to meet the standard for a federal hate crime prosecution, one day after the U.S. Department of Justice announced there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges against his son’s killer, George Zimmerman. “We knew that to get sufficient enough of evidence, Trayvon would have to be here to tell his story,” Tracy Martin told BuzzFeed News. “The state tried and failed.”
Justice Department officials met with Trayvon Martin’s family Tuesday, after concluding a nearly three-year-long independent investigation into the death of the unarmed black teen, who was shot and killed by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida on Feb. 26, 2012. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged the “high” criteria for a federal hate-crime prosecution and said the investigation found insufficient evidence to support charges against Zimmerman.
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a devastating tragedy,” Holder said in a statement Tuesday. “This young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface.”
Trayvon Martin’s family said in a statement Tuesday they were “disappointed” but thanked the Justice Department for “their extensive and thorough investigation into the killing of our son,” as well as “the millions of people around the world who have supported us through prayer and vigilance.”
The mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, told the Associated Press that she believes Zimmerman got away with murder. “He took a life, carelessly and recklessly, and he shouldn't deserve to have his entire life walking around on the street free. I just believe that he should be held accountable for what he's done," Fulton reportedly said Wednesday, one day before the third anniversary of her 17-year-old son’s death.
Tracy Martin told BuzzFeed News that officials did determine the state of Florida failed to ask Zimmerman certain questions during their investigation of the fatal shooting. The Justice Department also determined that some of Zimmerman’s statements were fabricated. “They knew that [Zimmerman’s] account of the situation, that the way that he said it, it wasn’t true,” Tracy Martin reportedly said Wednesday, adding that the family will not bring a civil suit against Zimmerman. “There’s nothing left to do but continue to fight for kids like Trayvon.”