The NAACP, “outraged” over the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial, is demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice prosecute Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin.
“We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said in a statement. “We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed,” Jealous said.
Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that a civil rights probe had previously been opened by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that continues to “evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial.”
Zimmerman shot and killed Martin in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman, 29, maintains he shot Martin, 17, in self-defense. The state contends that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin and concluded he was a criminal.
Rev. Jesse Jackson tweeted that the “American legal system has once again failed justice,” but urged his followers to “avoid violence.”
“We are saddened and disappointed by this decision. It is a pattern involving young black men that is too often repeating itself,” Jackson wrote. “Avoid violence, it will lead to more tragedies. Find a way for self-construction not deconstruction in this time of despair.”