The DOJ's threat to George Zimmerman.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is apparently ready to pick up where he left off last year and continue his investigation into whether Trayvon Martin's civil rights were violated by the recently acquitted George Zimmerman. Holder had stepped aside to let the Florida trial of Zimmerman proceed, but it would appear that the verdict rendered Saturday night is too irresistible for the man who oversees one of the most racially-polarized Justice Departments (DOJ) in the history of the nation. “Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate,” the DOJ announced.
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous was thrilled with the news. Regarding the conclusion of the trial, he said in a statement, "We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict. We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed.”
Such "coordination" between the NAACP and the DOJ has already occurred. As a 2012 article in the Orlando Sentinel reveals, the DOJ's Community Relations Service (CRS) "helped set up a meeting between the local NAACP and elected officials" leading to the temporary resignation of Sanford police Chief Bill Lee, who was subsequently fired for failing to file charges against Zimmerman. The article further notes that the CRS, which the DOJ claims "does not take sides" in their role as "peacemakers" in community racial conflicts, also "arranged a police escort for college students to ensure safe passage for their 40-mile march from Daytona Beach to Sanford to demand justice."
DOJ coordination with the NAACP was not limited to Sanford. In 2010, following a year of stonewalling by the Department, two former DOJ officials testified under oath before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. They revealed that the NAACP pressured the DOJ to drop its already won voter intimidation case against New Black Panther members videotaped at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008. Two men were shown dressed in military-style uniforms with one holding a night stick.
As for not taking sides, Holder himself is deeply invested in a relationship with racial arsonist Al Sharpton. Yesterday on MSNBC, Sharpton promised his National Action Network (NAN) would be mobilizing protests in 100 cities with the specific purpose of pressuring the DOJ to prosecute Zimmerman. That would be the same National Action Network where Holder appeared on April 11, 2012, to sing Sharpton's praises “for your partnership, your friendship, and your tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless, and to shine a light on the problems we must solve, and the promises we must fulfill.” It was there that Holder first promised to launch a DOJ probe into Martin's death. “If we find evidence of a potential federal criminal civil rights crime, we will take appropriate action," he said.
Finding such evidence will be a formidable task. First, despite Jealous's contention, Florida's Stand Your Ground law was never part of the trial. Zimmerman's attorneys claimed he acted in self-defense, and won the case. More importantly, records released last Thursday by the FBI reveal that interviews with 35 people involved with Zimmerman, including current and former co-workers, neighbors and an ex-girlfriend, yielded no evidence that racial bias was a motivating factor.
Martin family attorney Daryl Parks apparently agreed. Speaking for Martin's parents at a June 27 news conference, Parks also dismissed the idea that race was a motivating factor in the case. "We want to make it very clear to this family race is not a part of this process and anyone who tries to inject race in to it is wrong," he said. "When you try to inject race into a case like this here that means you're trying to push somebody who's making a decision one way or the other. And that's not what you want," he added.
So how did race get injected into the equation? A timeline created by Breitbart reveals a campaign as despicable as it was inaccurate. The AP got the ball rolling on March 8, 2012 when it referred to Zimmerman as “white.” Other media outlets repeated the misinformation, and five days later Sharpton interviewed Martin attorney Benjamin Crump, who asserted that Trayvon "didn’t know who the heck this white man was who approached him before he got killed.” On the same day, ABC News reporter Matt Gutman tweeted that Martin was shot "bc [because] he was black." CBS News followed suit on March 19, claiming Zimmerman was "white," followed by CNN falsely accusing Zimmerman of calling Martin a "f**king coon," on March 21. On March 22, the New York Times fanned the racialist flames, labeling Zimmerman with the newly-minted term, "white Hispanic" in a transparent effort to keep the controversy simmering.
After that, the racial angle moved into a higher gear, with Sharpton stoking rage in Sanford at a rally on March 22, followed by none other than the president inserting himself into the controversy on March 23, demanding action, and saying, "if I had a son he would look like Trayvon.”
It got even worse on March 27, when NBC deliberately edited audio to make Zimmerman look racist. The next day, ABC lied and said Zimmerman wasn't injured during his encounter with Martin--even as they covered his injuries with an graphic.
Zimmerman was finally indicted on April 11. Over the following year, the media, led by Sharpton, pulled out all the stops in their effort to get Zimmerman convicted. CNN abetted the effort, continuing to refer to Zimmerman as a white Hispanic, and broadcasting his social security number, address, and telephone number.
Over a year later, of course, a jury comprised of six women acquitted Zimmerman on all charges. Unfortunately, that verdict -- based on the facts presented in court, not the desire of a woefully uninformed mob and their media abettors -- will not suffice. Yesterday, at the national convention for the black American sorority Delta Sigma Theta, Holder promised to press on, contending the DOJ "will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law" in its determination to pursue additional charges against Zimmerman. "We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion--and also with truth," Holder said.
Holder is the last person interested in the truth. If he were, he would not be consorting with the mob of racial arsonists and their media enablers, who have made it clear that Zimmerman must be convicted of something in order to satisfy their cravenness.
Attempting to convict Zimmerman of violating the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is the most likely course of action the DOJ can pursue. This would not constitute "double jeopardy" because the DOJ would be pursuing a different set of charges. "If he was tried again it wouldn't be for murder and manslaughter," said CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford yesterday. "There's certain situations where different sets of facts and circumstances give rise to different federal and state charges." Yet the bar for filing a case remains high. “It is not enough if it’s just a fight that escalated,” said Samuel Bagenstos former principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ. “The government has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant acted willfully with a seriously culpable state of mind” to violate Trayvon’s civil rights.
It remains unclear how the federal government can prove such culpability. It gets even more unclear after an investigation by Reuters, detailing Zimmerman's past. The paper notes that Zimmerman grew up in a “racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather -- the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.”
Reuters also reveals that household included the presence of two black American girls watched over by Zimmerman's grandmother. For several years, the girls ate with the family on a regular basis, and walked back and forth to school with George and his siblings.
None of it maters to the likes of Sharpton and Holder and their allies. As of this writing, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has joined forces with the NAACP demanding Zimmerman be prosecuted. CNN wants the six jurors who acquitted Zimmerman to answer questions about how they reached their decision. The same network conducted an interview with Trayvon Martin family attorney Jasmine Rand, who wore a hoodie during her appearance. SiriusXM radio host Joe Madison, called the verdict "a modern day lynching." The NAACP convention, currently being held in Orlando, is becoming a rally for demanding DOJ action. Also demanding action are clueless celebrities, and the repugnant Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) who, like his fellow Democrats will seek to exploit racial division engendered by this case during the 2014 election cycle.
Ironically, all of this agitation is being perpetrated under the banner of seeking justice. Mob justice is more like it, along with the DOJ's capitulation to provide legitimacy for it. Eric Holder's unsavory alliance with Al Sharpton, his previous coordination with the NAACP on both this case and the one in Philadelphia, as well as his Department's documented effort to orchestrate unrest from the very beginning, leaves little doubt that he is more than up to the task. President Obama's decision not to intervene -- despite the reality his previous intervention turned this case into a national story -- is equally egregious.
If the DOJ follows the law, it will be virtually impossible to prove Zimmerman acted with malice. Yet given Holder’s long and tattered track record regarding this case and others (Fast and Furious comes immediately to mind), the rule of law may become the first casualty in this transparently political effort.
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