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No Federal Charges for George Zimmerman In Trayvon Martin Shooting

George Zimmerman.
George Zimmerman.

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced there will be no federal charges against George Zimmerman. He is the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford three years ago this week.

The shooting grabbed national headlines. 90.7's All Things Considered host Crystal Chavez talked with 90.7's Renata Sago about the new development.

Crystal: So, Renata what did the Justice Department say?

Renata: Well, Crystal, the department released a statement saying it doesn’t have enough evidence to charge Zimmerman with a hate crime. As listeners may remember, Trayvon was the 17-year-old teenager whom Zimmerman shot in self-defense as the teen was walking home.

Crystal: I understand you talked with the family’s attorney. What’s their reaction?

Renata: Natalie Jackson was one of their attorneys. She says the family is devastated. They were hoping to see Zimmerman charged and are now considering filing a civil lawsuit.

Crystal: And what does Zimmerman’s attorney say?

Renata: Well, he says he’s relieved and that his client hopes to move forward from this. The attorney is not surprised by the decision.

Crystal: So, where is the Martin family? Are they here in Central Florida?

Renata: They’re in Miami now. Over the weekend, they held a memorial for Trayvon with the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Both were black men who were killed by police. Crystal, as you may know, Thursday is the three-year anniversary of Trayvon’s death. Their attorney says the family will not be marking the anniversary. However, Francis Oliver, who oversees the Trayvon Martin Memorial in Sanford, is planning a candlelight vigil on Thursday.

Crystal: Renata, those who have been following, they may know Francis Oliver as an active voice in this story. What does she say?

Renata: She is not surprised. In fact, she’s focusing her energies now on the recent shootings of two other black men in Sanford in the past two weeks. She’s organized a community meeting tonight in Sanford.

Crystal: 90.7’s Renata Sago, thank you for joining us.

Renata: Thank you, Crystal.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.