Here are the facts as they are known. George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin by a Florida court last week. Under Florida state law, all property held in evidence during the trial is to be returned to its rightful owners. In Zimmerman’s case, that includes the 9mm pistol used in the shooting.
But on Thursday the U.S. Justice Department placed a hold on evidence from the trial, including the gun. The question that logically arises is why.
Granted the DOJ is within its rights to hold evidence pending federal legal action against Zimmerman. But double jeopardy prevents Zimmerman from being retried for murder, meaning the only option available to federal prosecutors is to bring a civil rights case against him. Putting aside entirely the view of countless legal experts who argue there is no foundation for such an action, what role would the gun play if charges were brought against Zimmerman?
Reuters hints at a possible answer:
Expectations that Zimmerman would get his … pistol back helped to fuel anger among those Americans who thought [sic] had profiled Martin and should be punished for the teenager’s death last year.
The move then is a purely cynical ploy to diffuse tensions among those threatening violence. As with Holder’s pursuit of Stand Your Ground laws, this move is a clever distraction. This time, however, the attorney general’s actions may be in open defiance of Florida state law.
- Blacks benefit disproportionately from FL’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law
- Outrage: Family rushing sick child to hospital blocked by Zimmerman demonstrators
- What was that libs were predicting about non-violent protests following the Zimmerman verdict?
- MSM goes into gloat mode: See, we told you there would be peace and calm
- Justice for George Zimmerman and the court of public opinion
- TIME columnist: ‘Preparing for riots after Zimmerman verdict is racial fear-mongering’
- Another ‘This is for Trayvon’ beating
- George Zimmerman, parents in hiding due to ‘death threats’
- Beating victim claims assailants yelled ‘this is for Trayvon’
- Pro-Trayvon Martin protester: You need to be ‘checking your white privilege’ daily
- Rallies against Zimmerman acquittal held across U.S.
- School that teaches ‘white guilt’ class will re-examine curriculum
- Trayvon Martin and the politics of racial identity
- HLN’s Nancy Grace utters profanity and racial slur live on-air