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Top US judge says Trayvon Martin inquiry will continue

INQUIRY CONTINUES: US Attorney General Eric Holder (PA)

AMERICA’S JUSTICE department is to continue its inquiry into the death of teenager Trayvon Martin, the US attorney general has said.

Judge Eric Holder confirmed the investigation is to carry on after it was launched last year, but was put on hold while the case against George Zimmerman was heard in Florida.

Trayvon, 17, was fatally shot in February 2012 by Zimmerman, who was acquitted last Saturday (July 13) of murder and manslaughter – the defence team successfully argued he fired in self-defence.

The verdict created much unrest as protesters took to streets, and civil rights leaders condemned the decision.

President Barack Obama also issued a statement calling for calm, and described Trayvon’s death as a “tragedy”.

Yesterday, Holder acknowledged the widespread resentment against the Florida ruling.

The attorney general told a black women's college alumnae group in Washington DC: “The justice department shares your concern.

“I share your concern.”

The senior judge added that he hoped for a national discussion “to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised”.


PROSTEST: Demonstrators on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, call for justice after George Zimmerman was found not guilty (PA)

The justice department’s statement to continue their inquiry into the shooting comes after civil rights leader Al Sharpton has started organising nationwide events in response to the verdict.

He told the Tom Joyner radio show: “I don't care if it's 20 people. We want to show the nation that over 100 cities a week later is still demanding justice.

“We're not having a fit, we're having a movement.”

The judgment in Florida which let Zimmerman go free sparked unrest in major US cities, such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington.

The largest protests were witnessed on the streets of New York, where thousands turned out in Times Square to vent their dismay at the verdict.

Other civil rights movements and groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, have called for civil rights charges to be brought against Zimmerman.

The family of Zimmerman has expressed its fear of revenge attacks.

Zimmerman’s brother Robert said there was “more reason now than ever to think that people are trying to kill him”, after receiving online threats.

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