Eric Holder invoked the George Zimmerman case during a speech before the NAACP’s Detroit chapter on Sunday.
Invoking the death of Trayvon Martin during a speech before the NAACP’s Detroit chapter on Sunday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed America’s progress in civil rights, but added that the country is still fighting to “overcome injustice” and “eliminate disparities.” Using George Zimmerman, Martin’s assailant, as a prop for his seemingly campaign-driven speech, Mr. Holder decried the purported rise in crime and violence among young people.
"This (violence) is an issue that has — rightly — garnered significant national attention in recent months, as our nation has struggled to make sense of the tragic shooting death of a Florida teenager named Trayvon Martin," the Attorney General told a crowd of NAACP members. "As this case moves through the legal system, Justice Department officials will continue to communicate closely with state and local authorities to ensure that community concerns are heard, tensions are alleviated, and — as with every investigation at every level — appropriate actions are guided by the facts and the law."
The Justice Department is now investigating the contentious Florida case to decide whether federal civil rights laws were violated when Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch captain, shot the 17-year-old black teenager, which Zimmerman claims was done out of self-defense.
The DOJ’s initiative seems to have been prompted by a nationwide controversy that has rallied a slew of civil rights activists, who have censured Florida law enforcement officials for delaying a criminal charge against Zimmerman. Liberal and outspoken civil rights advocate Rev. Al Sharpton, for instance, used the incident as a buttress to profess that racism against African Americans is still an epidemic in America.
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Attorney General Eric Holder (photo)