The U.S. Department of Justice’s open investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin means it and other law-enforcement authorities can “continue to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial,” NBC News quoted the DOJ as saying in a statement Sunday.
The statement by the Justice Department came a day after a six-woman jury found Martin’s killer George Zimmerman, 29, not guilty of either second-degree murder or manslaughter. Martin, 17, was on his way home in February of last year when he and Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watchman, got into a confrontation. Zimmerman said he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense when Martin threw him to the ground and began hitting his head on the sidewalk.
Civil-rights groups have called upon the Department of Justice to pursue civil action in the wake of Zimmerman’s acquittal.
And, according to Politico, the DOJ is indeed attempting to decide whether it has grounds to prosecute Martin’s killer. It cited the same Justice Department statement mentioned above: “Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the Department’s policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial.”