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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
Crime & Courts

U.S. attorney, agencies reviewing Zimmerman case


Published:   |   Updated: July 21, 2013 at 02:52 PM

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida will be working with the FBI and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department to investigate whether to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmeman in the Trayvon Martin case.

Acting U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley had this to say about the case: "The Zimmerman case was a tragedy. My heart goes out to the parents of Trayvon Martin. He was a young man who may have been imperfect like all of us, but he certainly did not deserve to die on that day. I feel great sympathy for his family.

"I'm very glad that Angela Corey's office ... handled the prosecution of Zimmerman under Florida law. I think George Zimmerman should have been brought to trial. I'm glad he was brought to trial. I have not reviewed the evidence ... but I have no reason to believe the jury did anything but consider the evidence and the law, and I respect the jury's verdict. I do believe that everyone was afforded due process in the state system.

"Right now, the FBI, the civil rights division and our office have an open criminal investigation considering potential federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman and I'm not sure how long that process will take. ... I can say I think it will be difficult to bring a federal charge against Zimmerman unless it can be established beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted with racial animus, but we're still in the preliminary stages of the criminal investigation."

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