No Civil Rights Charges for Zimmerman in Trayvon Case

Justice Department concludes there isn't enough evidence
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2015 1:02 PM CST
Updated Feb 24, 2015 1:09 PM CST
In this Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, file photo, George Zimmerman listens in court, in Sanford, Fla.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool, File)

(Newser) – George Zimmerman continues to get into minor scrapes with the law, but he's going to avoid a major one: The Justice Department has decided not to bring civil rights charges against him in the death of Trayvon Martin, reports AP. It's not a huge surprise given that the threshold for convictions in such cases is even higher than in criminal trials, and Zimmerman was famously acquitted of murder charges. The department concluded the evidence just wasn't there, report ABC and CBS.

To get a conviction, the feds would have to prove that Zimmerman acted with "an added element of bias" when he killed the unarmed black teenager. As CNN explains, "proving that a person attacked someone is one thing. Proving what was going through their mind when they did it—especially if the other person is dead—is much harder." Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder has previously acknowledged it would be a tough standard to meet. (Read more George Zimmerman stories.)

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