The Trayvon Martin case was one of the most divisive in recent American history. Alongside the death of Michael Brown, the two cases and the resulting jury decisions, led to riots and civil disobedience across the country. Those protesting, interrupted everyday life for average Americans and even went so far as to burn down the businesses of other Americans, completely unconnected to either case.
In the middle of the furor over both cases, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) promised to look into the jury’s decisions (in the Trayvon/Zimmerman case he was found not guilty and in the Brown case, the grand jury involved decided not to bring an indictment). Capitalizing on this outrage, Holder declared he would handle the situation, righting the perceived wrong.
Even Eric Holder’s Department of Justice has limits, however. Quietly lawyers involved in looking into both cases decided after the fact not to press federal charges. Fox News reported Tuesday on the decision in the Zimmerman case,
The Justice Department announced Tuesday it will not file federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the Florida man who was acquitted last year of second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.
“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,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in written statement. “We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”
This decision certainly won’t stop the Department of Justice from inserting itself in highly publicized cases it normally would have nothing to do with. Perhaps, though, if the DOJ becomes involved in enough cases only to quietly drop them after the fact, the media (and public) will start to call those in power out on their blatant attempts at scoring political points.
Comment below: Do you think the DOJ will continue to play politics over highly publicized criminal trials?