Attorney General Eric Holder said early this week that the Justice Department won’t file federal charges against George Zimmerman, an ex-neighborhood watch volunteer, regarding the 2012 death of Treyvon Martin in Florida.
The acquittal of Zimmerman on Martin’s death, an unarmed black teen, triggered calls by numerous groups including ACLU, NAACP, and countless other to encourage legal action. It was expected that a federal investigation would end up facing plenty of obstacles.
To start the legal battle, federal prosecutors would need to prove that Zimmerman had the racial hatred and motivation when Martin was shot, according to legal experts.
Zimmerman, a Hispanic, shot Martin to death within a gated community in Florida. Prosecutors claimed Zimmerman was profiling Martin as a criminal and creating a physical struggle that led to the teen’s death. Defense attorneys objected by saying Martin was the primary aggressor, punching Zimmerman, scuffing him to the ground, and smashing his head on a walkway.