Dear Attorney General Holder:
In light of the acquittal in the trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, the undersigned organizations commend the decision by the Department of Justice to keep its investigation open while working to determine whether civil rights statutes were violated and whether federal prosecution is appropriate. Further, we beseech the Department to pursue such a federal criminal civil rights investigation to the fullest extent.
While we are aware that the DOJ launched an initial investigation last year and respect the process to carry justice through the state level, it is obvious that the process was unsuccessful. We strongly urge the DOJ to proceed in conducting a responsible investigation of the civil rights violations committed by George Zimmerman in connection with the death of Trayvon Martin, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
We firmly believe that the evidence will point to an egregious violation of the most fundamental of civil rights -- the right to life. There can be no victory in this case because the life of a young person was senselessly and needlessly cut short. But we can demand and achieve justice for Trayvon Martin, his parents and his family. Further, to echo our President, we can work to "prevent future tragedies like this." That's not just the way to honor Trayvon Martin – it is the way to honor justice and equality in America.
Marc H. Morial President and CEO National Urban League
Rev. Al Sharpton Founder and President National Action Network
Benjamin Jealous President and CEO NAACP
Melanie L. Campbell President and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable Public Policy Network
Janet Murguía President and CEO National Council of La Raza