FBI, Dept. of Justice to Probe Trayvon Martin Killing
The U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will probe the Trayvon Martin murder, according to ABC News. The announcement came last night through a statement released by the DOJ.
"The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation. The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident."
The department will investigate the shooting under its Civil Rights Division.
The shooting, which has captured the nation's attention, occurred on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., where George Zimmerman fatally shot the unarmed 17-year-old. Zimmerman, a neighborhood-watch captain, called 911, saying that the teen looked suspicious. When Martin was found dead, he was carrying only a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea. Zimmerman has not been charged and remains free, having claimed self-defense in the altercation.
Community outrage and complaints of irregularities in the police investigation forced the Sanford Police Department to release the 911 recordings this past weekend. The recordings, which were posted on WFTV.com, are below. The first one reveals that the 911 dispatcher advised Zimmerman not to follow Martin, something he did not heed.
According to ABC News, Zimmerman may have blatantly violated major principles of the neighborhood-watch manual.
The manual, from the National Neighborhood Watch Program, states: "It should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers, and they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles. They should also be cautioned to alert police or deputies when encountering strange activity. Members should never confront suspicious persons who could be armed and dangerous."
According to Chris Tutko, the director of the National Neighborhood Watch Program, there are about 22,000 registered watch groups nationwide, and Zimmerman was not part of a registered group -- another fact the police were not aware of at the time of the incident.
The protests and the calls for action from higher governmental agencies have worked. We hope the FBI, DOJ and FDLE bring justice to this case.
Read more at ABC News.