The Justice Department will not file charges against George Zimmerman, the man who killed unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in 2012.
Federal prosecutors concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove Zimmerman intentionally violated Martin's civil rights. Their decision comes days before the second anniversary of Martin's death.
The 17-year-old was walking home on February 26, 2012 from a convenience store when he got into a confrontation with Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman. A physical fight ensued, and Martin was fatally shot.
In July 2013, a Florida jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter, due to insufficient evidence. The acquittal was met with widespread outrage and protests, with many claiming Martin's shooting was racially motivated.
Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement:
"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. We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future."
The deaths of two other unarmed black men — Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City — have also prompted acts of civil disobedience.
The Martin family was notified before today's federal decision was made public.
We'll be bringing you his family's reaction and reactions from celebrities as the story develops …
[Image via Getty Images.]
Tags: george zimmerman, legal matters