Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Obama to keep out of Zimmerman case

George Zimmerman, right, is pictured after being cleared of the murder of Trayvon Martin (AP)
Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot dead in Florida in 2012 (AP)

The White House says President Barack Obama won't involve himself in decisions by the Justice Department on whether to pursue civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said it would be inappropriate for Obama to express an opinion on how the department deals with Mr Zimmerman after the neighborhood watch volunteer's acquittal in the shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old last year.

The Justice Department has said it is considering whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.

Critics of Saturday's verdict have called for the Justice Department to step in.

Carney would not comment when asked how Obama viewed Florida's "stand-your-ground" law which was a key element of Zimmerman's defence.

AP

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