The Trayvon Martin case’s newest development involves Eric Holder, who addressed the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict as well as rumblings about a Justice Department civil rights investigation into the unarmed teen’s shooting death last year.
Yesterday, we learned that Eric Holder’s DOJ had been investigating the Trayvon Martin case from before George Zimmerman was even arrested, weeks after he shot Martin in Sanford, Florida, kicking off protests and outcry that have thus far outlasted the verdict handed down late Saturday night.
Zimmerman was told he had “no further business” with the court by presiding Judge Debra Nelson, but federal status of the case — ceded when state prosecutors stepped in — remains unclear. An immediate action by the NAACP to encourage federal civil rights charges in the Trayvon Martin shooting prompted a petition with about half a million signatures, and protests raged Sunday night in major American cities over the Martin verdict.
Eric Holder’s DOJ is still interested in the Zimmerman verdict, and today, Holder spoke out on Trayvon Martin at a Delta Sigma Theta luncheon where he was the featured speaker.
Holder addressed “the tragic, unnecessary shooting death” of Trayvon Martin, adding that he is pushing a federal investigation into the case.
He confirmed that the DOJ plans to “continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law” and persist in its work to “alleviate tensions, address community concerns, and promote healing” before saying:
We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion… and also with truth… We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents. And we will never stop working to ensure that — in every case, in every circumstance, and in every community — justice must be done.
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, Eric Holder is scheduled to travel to Orlando tomorrow for an NAACP meeting.