April 12, 2012

Trayvon Martin Update

Zimmerman has been charged with 2nd degree murder.

Gary: On the February night that Trayvon martin died, George Zimmerman told police that he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense. And he was not arrested.

For weeks, Trayvon’s family and friends argued there was much more to the story and those complaints quickly grew louder. Protestors began calling for Zimmerman’s arrest in demonstrations all across the country. So, Florida’s governor appointed Angela Corey as special prosecutor to determine if a crime had taken place. Yesterday, Corey revealed the results of her investigation.

Corey: Today, we filed an information, charging George Zimmerman with murder in the second degree. A capeus has been issued for his arrest. With the filing of that information and the issuance of that capeus, he will have the right to appear in front of the magistrate in Seminole County within 24-hours of his arrest, and thus formal prosecution will begin.

Sybrina Fulton: We wanted nothing more than an arrest — nothing more, nothing less. So, all I can say is thank you.

Gary: Even before the charges were announced, law enforcement officials said Zimmerman, who had disappeared right after the shooting, was already in custody. Corey couldn’t disclose Zimmerman’s whereabouts, for his safety, but said that he will be in court within 24-hours.

Zimmerman’s new defense attorney says he intends to plead not guilty and when the case comes to trial, the surveillance video in the minutes following the shooting could be a key part of the evidence. Surveillance video released by the city of Sanford shows Zimmerman in the minutes and hours following Trayvon’s death. There have been reports that marks on the back of Zimmerman’s head can be seen in that video and may support Zimmerman’s story that he struggled with the teen before the shooting.

Meantime, the U.S. attorney general says the FBI is conducting its own independent investigation.

Attorney General, Eric Holder: For a federal hate crime, we have to prove the highest standard. In the law, something that was reckless, negligent, does not meet that standard. We have to show that there was specific intent to do the crime with the requisite state of mind Holder says. If the FBI’s investigation finds evidence of a potential federal civil rights crime — that Zimmerman targeted Trayvon because of his race — then the Department of Justice will take action.


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