Democrat not expecting federal charges for Zimmerman

July 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, July 21 (UPI) -- A Democratic lawmaker indicated some doubts Sunday about a federal civil-rights investigation in the slaying of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

Rep.Donna Edwards, D-Md., said on "Fox News Sunday" a federal case against Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman would be governed by "limitations of federal law."

"A jury verdict happened," said Edwards, who is African-American. "We might be disappointed with it, but it did, and the same thing would be true of a Justice Department investigation."

The contention that Zimmerman accosted Martin in a Sanford residential area because he was black was not supported by evidence in the case, she said. Zimmerman claimed he asked Martin what he was doing in the neighborhood and was jumped by Martin.

Protests across the United States denounced the innocent verdict and called on the Obama administration to prosecute Zimmerman.

But Edwards told Fox the more-productive route for Martin's supporters would be to pursue legislative changes that would tighten so-called stand-your-ground laws that are on the books in Florida and other states.

"I think as you saw in the peaceful demonstrations, hundreds of them, that it's really clear that people want not only justice, but they want change," Edwards said.

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