After the Sanford Police Department lied to Trayvon’s family and said that his killer George Zimmerman had no criminal record, they said they felt betrayed by authorities. When the horrifying and heartbreaking 911 tapes were released, and we heard Trayvon begging for his life, the department’s statement that Zimmerman’s vigilante execution was in self-defense was also proven to be a lie. In the wake of their continued unprofessionalism, the family requested that the FBI take over the investigation and the U.S. DOJ responded.
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The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the FBI opened an investigation into the facts and circumstances of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. 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. With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids – the highest level of intent in criminal law. Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws. The Community Relations Service will be in Sanford, Fla., this week to meet with civil rights leaders, community leaders, and local law enforcement to address tension in the community.”
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has also requested that Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement look into the case after it “caused significant concern within the Sanford community and the state.”