The Justice Department announced Tuesday it will not file federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the Florida man who was acquitted last year of second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.
“Though a comprehensive investigation found that the high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met under the circumstances here, this young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in written statement. “We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”
Thursday marks the third anniversary of Martin’s death.
“Although we are disappointed in these findings, it has steeled our resolve to continue traveling the country with the message of the Trayvon Martin Foundation which is dedicated to protecting our youth and empowering those who demand justice and peace,” Martin’s family said in a statement following the DOJ announcement.
Once Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder by a state jury in July 2013, Martin's family turned to the federal investigation in hopes that he would be held accountable for the shooting, Fox News reports.