The U.S. Department of Justice is now investigating the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, meaning, if slapped with federal charges, George Zimmerman could face jail time, even after his not guilty verdict.
The DOJ issued a statement Sunday revealing they are looking into the case, evaluating the evidence (including testimony from the State trial) and will determine whether or not federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
Here’s why it’s important, Zimmerman was found not guilty on Saturday of both second-degree murder and manslaughter when tried by the State of Florida — and is technically a free man.
But since the news broke … civil-rights activists have been up in arms, like Al Sharpton and the NAACP who are clamoring for the DOJ to bring civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
If the Feds decide to go through with new criminal charges … then a jail sentence is back on the table.
Although, according to legal experts, it will be an uphill battle to prove in court that Zimmerman was motivated solely by race.
Many Americans were greatly angered by the “not guilty” verdict handed to George Zimmerman, while others felt it was the right decision to make.
President Obama released a statement on Sunday sharing his reaction to the verdict, while also seeking to calm the nerves of the many Americans who feel justice was not done.
Here is what President Barack Obama had to say:
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”