Jesse Jackson said Florida should be treated as an "apartheid state" if the Department of Justice does not file charges against the acquitted George Zimmerman, with the civil rights leader calling for a boycott of the state.
"No doubt, the inclination is to boycott Florida, stop conventions, to isolate Florida as a kind of apartheid state" if the Justice Department fails to lodge charges, Jackson said.
Jackson joins an increasing number of leaders calling on the Department Of Justice to take action against Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The department has said it is looking into the case, but gave no indication if charges could be filed.
The department noted:
"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."
Jesse Jackson has been vocal about the Trayvon Martin trial, saying before the NAACP national convention on Wednesday that the state's Stand Your Ground law was "making life dangerous for all of us." In an interview with CNN, Jackson said homicides against blacks have tripled since Florid instituted what is known as the Stand Your Ground law.
Jackson also criticized the jury that acquitted Zimmerman of killing Trayvon.
"The jury was not representative," Jackson said of the six women, five of whom were white. "Now they are showing their own cultural biases."
Jackson predicted that Trayvon Martin would be remembered as a martyr for civil rights, much like Emmett Till and Medgar Evers before him.
"Often the blood of martyrs forces change in America," Jackson said, telling the NAACP convention, "The crucifixion of Medgar Evers drove the spirit of the 1963 civil rights movement. Today that figure is Trayvon Martin."
Do you agree with Jesse Jackson that Florida should be treated as an "apartheid state" if no charges are filed against George Zimmerman?