The U.S. Justice Department is not expected to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, despite allegations that the killing was racially motivated, the Washington Post reports. The federal investigation of Zimmerman was opened two years ago by the department's civil rights division, but officials said there is insufficient evidence to bring federal charges. Investigators still want to “dot their i's and cross their t's,” said one official.
Martin, a 17-year-old African American from Florida, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by Zimmerman, a former volunteer neighborhood watchman who identifies himself as Hispanic. The killing sparked racial tension and protests across the U.S. and drew emotional responses from President Obama and other top administration officials. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in a state trial in Sanford, Fl., last year. Even so, civil rights and African American organizations urged Attorney General Eric Holder to bring a federal civil rights case against him. Mark O’Mara, who represented Zimmerman, said, “To those who have seen civil rights investigations and civil rights violations, it looked as though the Department of Justice was just placating pressure that existed by suggesting there was an ongoing investigation.”