George Zimmerman May Still Face Hate Crime Charges (VIDEO)

george zimmerman verdictOne chapter has closed: A jury acquitted George Zimmerman of charges for the killing of Trayvon Martin Saturday night. Over the weekend protests over Zimmerman's acquittal were mostly peaceful. Yet this story is far from over for Zimmerman and Martin's family. Just minutes after the verdict was announced, the NAACP released an online petition calling for a federal prosecution of George Zimmerman. The response was so overwhelming it temporarily crashed the site. And Sunday, the Department of Justice said it will investigate the case for violations of Trayvon Martin's civil rights.

I don't know what your Facebook feed looks like, but mine has been flooded with images of Trayvon's now iconic hooded face and calls for justice. Personally, I wasn't surprised by the verdict, though I was disappointed. I've served on a jury for a criminal trial, and I know what it's like to answer that requirement, without a shadow of a doubt. The narrative that seems so clear to an outsider gets murky and weighed down by details and the tedium of courtroom procedure. Not to mention, there are hints that the prosecutor Angela Corey wasn't all in, if you know what I mean.

And yet ... a man shot and killed an unarmed black teenage boy in the name of self defense. What is apparently justifiable under Florida law reeks of racism and injustice to much of the rest of the nation. We're just not ready to let this one go. It feels wrong.

So what can we expect from here? The DOJ has said it will investigate, but that doesn't mean they will prosecute. Here is their statement:

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.

Key words there are "limited federal criminal civil rights statutes." That sounds to me like "we're not prosecuting unless we think we've got a slam-dunk case." I predict they'll spend a few weeks, maybe months, investigating and then wipe their hands of the case.

Meanwhile, many are to calling strike down Florida's "stand your ground" law (and similar laws around the country). That's a longer road, but it could do the most good in the long run -- well, if we can sustain our attention spans.

In other news, George Zimmerman gets his gun back. As DJ and commentator Jay Smooth said via Twitter Saturday night, "The fundamental danger of acquittal is not more riots, it is more George Zimmermans." We can't bring Trayvon Martin back to life. But can we prevent killings like this from happening again and again?

Were you troubled by George Zimmerman's acquittal?


Image via ABC News

crime, death, human rights, in the news, racism


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miche... micheledo

Wii the bloggers PLEASE stop with the a

race baiting??? There was not enough evidence to prove murder, there is certainly NO evidence to prove this was about race. The ONLY racial statements came from Trayvon.

wamom223 wamom223

Why would they move forward with this after the FBI has already investigated it and found it was not racially motivated?  You really think Holder can afford to be embarrassed by losing this trial.  The evidence is the same and you can take this man to court a hundred times and there will be reasonable doubt and he will walk.  This is disgusting that you are ignoring the only racially motivated statements came from Trayvon Martin.  90% of inter-racial crimes are black on white crime and 91%  of black crime is black on black.  Maybe we should stop the witch hunt and fix the real problem!! 

Elaine Cox

hey wamom dont interupt stir's rants with facts.....there is less proof to find hate crime than the state had and we saw how that worked out...and of course the stand your ground wasnt even his defense but stir has to be the stir and velez will be velez..corey wasnt all she withheld evidence in a case she was all in? id hate to see what she does when she is all in

bills... billsfan1104

Hahahhahah good luck with that. Once again I love how everyone has become forensic experts and a lawyer. Once again the thestir lies when reporting what happened.

I was watching the The View this morning an they had Dan Abrams on. He had to correct people over and over again on the facts and Whoopi, Sherri didn't like it. Trayvon was not innocent. He was the aggressor.

andy3 andy3

If all of you are irritated or bothered by what The Stir writes why bother reading it??? Arguing with someone who neverresponds to you?

nonmember avatar Lizzie Borden

A stand-your-ground law is important when it comes to protecting your self during a crime like a home invansion, but NOT in the Zimmerman/Martin case where there is no crime taking place and one party is made to feel threatened (Martin) by the activity of another (Zimmerman). I definitely feel that Martin was more entitled to the stand your ground law, as he was doing nothing wrong and came under the threat of an armed man who was stalking him.

wamom223 wamom223

Lizzie Borden-George Zimmerman never used the stand your ground defense so your point is irrelevant.  Trayvon did do something wrong when he threw the first punch as there is evidence he was the only one using force.  George Zimmerman ONLY had defensive wounds.  However, once Trayvon hit Zimmerman, Zimmerman had every right to defend himself in any way necessary.  Bringing up the stand your ground thing only shows your are listening to the media and that you haven't followed the FACTS of this case.  Trayvon Martin took the law into his own hands and lost.  George Zimmerman called 911 and asked for help and that is not the work of a vigilante, a vigilante would have never called 911.  You know like the vigilante Trayvon Martin who decided to approach a stranger rather than call the police.

btw-My opinion is the stand your ground law is important no matter what.  As a female I deserve the right to be able to protect myself from someone physically stronger whether I be at home or on the street. 

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Hypothetical question for the women here... Scenario: you're walking down the street, alone, at night and you realize someone is following behind you. It's an unmarked car, driven by an unknown man. You ask him what he's doing, maybe hoping he'll just drive away but instead he gets out of the car and approaches you.

Do you wait until he throws the first punch before defending yourself? If you fight back and he shoots and kills you, was it justified? If you shoot him during the fight is it "stand your ground"?

wamom223 wamom223

NatAndCo no I do not throw the first punch when they have not done anything wrong.  That is against the law and you know what they might have a gun and shoot me, and hey it could even be an undercover police officer.  I would simply say, "If you don't back off I am calling the police."  If someone has not hit you, you are not defending yourself.  Its not 'fighting back' when you threw the first punch.  So yes if someone approaches me and for no reason other than I think I should be scared I start hitting them and then get on top of them while repeatedly bashing their head into the pavement then yes I do think they would be justified to protect themselves and shoot.  So yes if they approach you and start the violence and don't stop you are damn right it applies to stand your ground, but again Zimmerman never claimed the stand your ground law, ever.  That is the media that brought it up.  You should debate with facts and not emotions or you just come across looking like you don't understand logic.

wamom223 wamom223

And there is no proof of anything that you said happened in your hypothetical and you proved you have listened to the media rather than watching the facts of the case.  In fact from the beginning I haven't heard anyone present the case as you just did in your hypothetical. 

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