No federal charges against George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin

The Justice Department announced today it will not file charges against George Zimmerman for the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin.

The announcement comes after the department’s Civil Rights Division informed Martin’s family that an independent federal investigation found insufficient evidence to purse federal criminal charges against Zimmerman.

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a devastating tragedy. It shook an entire community, drew the attention of millions across the nation, and sparked a painful but necessary dialogue throughout the country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.

“Though a comprehensive investigation found that the high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met under the circumstances here, this young man’s premature death necessitates that we continue the dialogue and be unafraid of confronting the issues and tensions his passing brought to the surface,” he said.  “We, as a nation, must take concrete steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”

The investigation began shortly after the Feb. 26, 2012, incident and was conducted separately from the state of Florida’s investigation.

The federal investigation examined whether Zimmerman violated civil rights statutes at any point during his interaction with Martin, from their initial encounter through the fatal shooting.