Crime | New York | News | Trayvon Martin

Justice Department to Re-examine Trayvon Martin Case

(twitter macey j foronda)

Thousands gathered in New York City's Union Square and Times Square over the weekend to protest the shocking acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case.

TrayvonThe Justice Department is beginning to reexamine the case now that the criminal trial (though not its repercussions) is now over, the NYT reports:

The federal inquiry, which was started shortly after the shooting last year but had been delayed while the state criminal trial in Florida was under way, was being restarted after civil rights leaders called on the Justice Department to re-examine the case. The leaders said Sunday that they remained convinced that the shooting had a racial element. Mr. Martin, 17, was black.

“There is a pattern of George Zimmerman making dozens of calls to 911 over several years, frequently about young men of color,” Benjamin T. Jealous, the president of the N.A.A.C.P., said in an interview on Sunday. Mr. Zimmerman and his family have defended the shooting as an act of self-defense.

In a statement on Sunday, the Justice Department said that now that the state criminal trial was over, it would continue its examination of the circumstances in the shooting.

President Obama released a statement over the weekend urging calm after the verdict:

The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy.  Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America.  I know this case has elicited strong passions.  And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher.  But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.  I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.  And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.  We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.  We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.  As citizens, that’s a job for all of us.  That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.

The protest in Times Square:

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  1. what is there to investigate? just switch around the scenerio.....TM shoots GZ using stand your ground law.....and there WOULD HAVE BEEN A Guilty verdict, or at least manslaughter.

    Posted by: disgusted american | Jul 15, 2013 7:46:09 AM

  2. More and more Towleroad real estate seems to be taken up by non-gay issues, which are better covered elsewhere. I come here for gay news and, as distressing as this verdict is, it's not gay news.

    Posted by: Perry | Jul 15, 2013 8:06:31 AM

  3. If that's the case, why did you expect the NAACP to support gay marriage, but at the same time you won't fight for racial justice because "it doesn't involve gay issues"? Newsflash, hun. Some of us LGBT members are black and so we deal with racism just as much as homophobia, biphobia and/or transphobia, so this is part of our life too. You can't ask people to constantly "give give give" and not give in return.

    Posted by: Misty | Jul 15, 2013 8:15:45 AM

  4. @MISTY-My point was that blog space is limited and stories such as this are better covered on general news sites. Gay readers can find full coverage there. And despite your spin, this story is not a gay matter.

    Posted by: Perry | Jul 15, 2013 8:23:58 AM

  5. Since Trayvon Martin was killed, there have been hundreds of black people killed in New York City by other black people. Where's the outrage over that? Huh? Why aren't those people marching about that? Where have they been? Where has Al Sharpton been? How about the NAACP?

    One white Hispanic guy kills a black kid and it's the end of the world, but hundreds killed by their own? Pfft--no biggie.

    Don't get me wrong--Zimmerman escaped justice this time (but I hope the feds get him on civil rights violation). It's just the blatant hypocrisy and blame-game that I find so disgusting.

    Posted by: Tatts | Jul 15, 2013 8:24:34 AM

  6. In the 10 years I have been writing Towleroad it has NEVER covered only LGBT issues and won't start now.

    Posted by: Andy Towle | Jul 15, 2013 8:25:42 AM

  7. It's disgusting that Zimmerman is now a free man. The stand-your-ground law gives license to kill. It should be abolished.

    Posted by: Adam | Jul 15, 2013 8:38:44 AM

  8. we asked the black community to stand in solidarity when we were the victims of injustice, and, in time, they did. can we do any less. while people of color have a longer history of unequal justice than the glbt community, we who know our own history know the sting of murderers walking away free or with a slap on the wrist. remember the killer of moscone and milk served only 2 years in prison, barely a year for each life he took. gay lives are worth less than straight lives... unless they are black lives.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jul 15, 2013 8:54:34 AM

  9. Andy, I for one appreciate the variety of topics you cover.

    As for the verdict in the Zimmerman case: I was appalled, but not shocked. Given that the trial was conducted in one of the most backward parts of Florida and under the cover of their ridiculous "stand your ground" law, the verdict was hardly surprising to me. I have no doubt, of course, that had Zimmerman been black and Martin white, the verdict would have been very different.

    We ought not turn the struggle for equality into a contest of gays vs. the poor/non-whites. We're all in this together - and we need to pull together.

    Posted by: Hank | Jul 15, 2013 8:55:09 AM

  10. I love how "stand your ground" is the new boogeyman, yet it wasn't even invoked in this trial. In fact, the prosecutor specifically stated that the trial wasn't about stand your ground.

    See, eg,

    Posted by: joe | Jul 15, 2013 8:56:27 AM

  11. The stand-your-ground law was never an issue in this trial. If you watched the trial you would see there was no racial profiling in this case, regardless of how the prosecution tried to claim there was. This case was totally blown out of proportion by the media, Sharpton, Jackson and Crump. If anyone should be investigated, they should be for trying to incite a riot for perceived racial discrimination when there was none.

    Posted by: john | Jul 15, 2013 8:58:20 AM

  12. A man hunted down and murdered a teenager, and he's a free man today. Bring race into it or not, it's still disgusting and wrong.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jul 15, 2013 9:08:44 AM

  13. Justice was served. Shut up and go home.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jul 15, 2013 9:11:52 AM

  14. "My point was that blog space is limited"

    OH NOES! We're about to run out of Internet.

    Posted by: ripper | Jul 15, 2013 9:16:56 AM

  15. Zimmerman may be an acquitted murderer, but he'll never truly be free. When he isn't looking over his shoulder, and trying to not be noticed, he'll notice people giving him cold stares and going out of their way to avoid him.

    Like Chris Rock said, the irony here is that now every time Zimmerman goes out in public, he'll be forced to wear a hoodie.

    Posted by: CzarM | Jul 15, 2013 9:17:42 AM

  16. @John,

    why was Zimmerman let go that night of the murder (and I MEAN murder)? That was the reason that Reverend Sharpton was asked to come and lead the protests. If Reverend Sharpton hadn't come what would Trayvon's parents have done? Would Zimmerman have ever been arrested?

    @ "Since Trayvon Martin was killed, there have been hundreds of black people killed in New York City by other black people. Where's the outrage over that? Huh? Why aren't those people marching about that? Where have they been? Where has Al Sharpton been? How about the NAACP?"

    Were the killed because of their race?

    And when Black people kill other Black people we want them arrested and prosecuted. We don't want them to be sent home with their gun.

    Posted by: Derrick form Philly | Jul 15, 2013 9:18:42 AM

  17. I don't really understand what the Justice Department can accomplish. Double jeopardy prevents Zimmerman from being tried again.

    I do hope the Martin family sues the pants off Zimmerman in civil court.

    Posted by: ripper | Jul 15, 2013 9:20:30 AM

  18. Should be, "were THEY killed because of their race?"

    Posted by: Derrick form Philly | Jul 15, 2013 9:21:00 AM

  19. @"Justice was served. Shut up and go home."


    Posted by: Derrick form Philly | Jul 15, 2013 9:22:22 AM

  20. Zimmerman is the modern-day equivalent of a lynch mob. I hope the Feds throw the book at him.

    Posted by: Adam | Jul 15, 2013 9:27:20 AM

  21. if trayvon had not attacked zimmerman, he'd still be alive. even if zimmerman had wrongly profiled trayvon, and was following him inappropriately, that was no excuse for trayvon to, in turn, attack zimmerman.

    trayvon attacked zimmerman, and zimmerman defended himself. the "angry black man" attack response did not sit with the jury, or the police for that matter, and i respect their verdict.

    Posted by: northalabama | Jul 15, 2013 9:28:38 AM

  22. @" trayvon attacked zimmerman, and zimmerman defended himself."

    Oh, how brave of Zimmerman! Trayvon used his fists. Zimmerman used a gun. Which one was more the man?

    Posted by: Derrick form Philly | Jul 15, 2013 9:33:09 AM

  23. Derrick...yes he would have...The lead investigator himself stated that he was preparing manslaughter charges to be filed when the case was snatched away by the states attorneys...who by the way withheld evidence in order to secure a prosecution. Because of the circumstances, the police wanted to have the facts before they made an arrest. It wasnt a clear cut case of GZ maliciously shooting a teenager. That was drummed up by the media and turned into a political issue. The majority of self defense cases are investigated first. The majority of the people who are outraged are the people who never bothered to learn the facts and are relying on the media for their information. If the watched the trial from the beginning...not the soundbites...they would realize the verdict was just and that this case was blown out of proportion. I was anti GZ until I did, and I was amazed at the actual facts.

    Posted by: john | Jul 15, 2013 9:36:18 AM

  24. Leave it alone. The poor Latino guy has been through enough racist black and white people trying to put a kill that was clearly in self defense on him.

    He's innocent and the press is still twisting the truth to rile up the morons and get them into mob mentality. If this were back in the day you people would be hanging a random innocent black person from a tree right now saying you are just out for justice, instead you are just trying to hang a Spanish person who killed a lunatic that was attacking him.

    Posted by: Hyde | Jul 15, 2013 9:37:57 AM

  25. If some lowly neighborhood patrolling wannabe cop randomly approached me in the middle of night, and accused me of not belonging in my own neighborhood, I wouldn't have a diplomatic reaction either. He wouldn't have blinked at a 17 year old white boy in the same scenario.

    If Zimmerman had followed the 911 dispatch's instruction and simply let Martin walk home in peace like he was trying to do, instead of assuming that he was walking the streets looking for a house to break into and trying to be David Duke with a John Wayne complex, none of this would have happened.

    Zimmerman's gonna get his. He may have gotten away with murder, but he's hardly free.

    Posted by: Riley | Jul 15, 2013 9:44:27 AM

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