The Justice Department, likely getting ready to further investigate the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, has asked police in Sanford, Fla., to hold all evidence related to the case, including Zimmerman’s handgun.
The move comes as Justice officials weigh levying civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
“As the Department first acknowledged last year, we have an open investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin. The Department of Justice’s Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation continue to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial,” said a Justice Department press release this week. “Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the Department’s policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial.”
Attorney General Eric Holder described the Zimmerman case as an opportunity for the Nation “to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised,” in an interview earlier in the week.