The Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus issued a statement this week noting that it is deeply saddened, outraged and disappointed by the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, who the group says stalked, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African American boy last year.
On Saturday, July 13, 2013, a jury acquitted George Zimmerman of any wrongdoing.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Trayvon Martin, who have suffered this unspeakable injustice, and we support the call by the NAACP for a federal investigation into whether civil rights, or other federal laws, were violated in Trayvon Martin’s killing. As a civil rights organization, we believe the case illustrates the pervasiveness of racial prejudice in our society and our legal system and the unique history and ongoing struggle of African Americans against racism and oppression.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council also announced that it sent a letter to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, supporting the NAACP’s request for an inquiry into whether the civil rights of Trayvon Martin were violated when he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman in February 2012.
The Arab-American Civil Rights League (ACRL) also signed on to the same letter, and in a statement said: “The ACRL stands in solidarity with the civil rights community and is saddened by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the slaying of Trayvon Martin. ACRL calls upon the Justice Department-Civil Rights Division to take a hard look at the “Stand Your Ground” statute in states, such as Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, and countless others, including our own State of Michigan.”
The DOJ released a statement, confirming that it has opened an investigation into the case. MPAC asked the DOJ to work with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Florida to look into whether federal criminal charges can be brought against Zimmerman.