The federal Justice Department will investigate the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American teenager who was fatally shot in Florida last week by a neighborhood watch captain armed with a high-powered handgun.Why don't you ask the Rodney King cops how well that worked out for them? After being acquitted in a criminal trial the Justice Department brought civil rights charges and threw them in prison for the same act in which they had already been found not guilty.
In a late-night statement, the department announced Monday its Civil Rights Division, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and the FBI, will launch “a thorough and independent investigation into the facts and circumstances of the shooting,” and pledged to “take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation.”
The brief statement, which came only hours after the White House appeared reluctant to insert itself into the situation, also included a caveat for Martin’s family as well as activists and protesters who have demanded justice: There’s no guarantee the acknowledged shooter, George Zimmerman, will end up behind bars for chasing and shooting the 17-year-old student. Zimmerman, has been described by police as white though his family has said he is white and Hispanic.
“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,” according to the statement. “Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws.”
I don't know exactly what happened in the Florida shooting - nobody does but Mr. Zimmerman because he's the only witness still alive. Nobody living can dispute his story and what witnesses heard is inconclusive at best. This is a local or possibly state matter, but the federal government has no business in dealing with it. The fact is young black men get shot all the time in Florida, usually by other young black men and I don't see the Justice Department getting involved in those cases. We can be thankful the shooter was a Hispanic man because if he was a white guy we'd never hear the end of this.
And as to the story itself, various lefties were complaining because MSNBC was obsessing about the story (something like 40 different stories on the shooting) while Fox News had run only one. Fox obviously has better news judgment than MSNBC. The lefties are only going for sensationalism, not the news. This is not a national story. Regardless of how this turns out it will have no impact outside of the local area...unless we allow the activists to gin up phony outrage about it.