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Photo by: Isaac Babcock - Tracy Martin, father of slain Sanford teenager Trayvon Martin, speaks at a rally in Sanford on March 22, 2012. Federal prosecutors told Martin's family today that they would not be charging his killer, George Zimmerman (inset).
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 5 years ago

George Zimmerman won't be charged federally

No federal charges
by: Isaac Babcock Managing Editor

George Zimmerman, the former Seminole County neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, will not be charged by a federal court. News leaked of the impending Department of Justice announcement to Martin's family, reported by ABC News Tuesday afternoon.

Federal prosecutors had been attempting to determine if Zimmerman had intentionally violated Martin's civil rights when he shot and killed the teen during a physical confrontation in a neighborhood on the west end of Sanford.

Zimmerman had been following the teen, whom he had deemed suspicious, while Martin was walking home from a local convenience store. That escalated into a fistfight that led to Martin's death. Zimmerman had claimed that Martin was on top of him, punching him, and that he feared for his life when he shot Martin in the chest.

The incident sparked international outrage and led to political rallies and national debate about the state of race relations in America.

Zimmerman escaped conviction in a trial in Seminole County when jurors failed to convict him of murder charges, which led to controversy regarding Florida's self defense statutes and whether they contributed to Zimmerman's acquittal.

Federal prosecutors also determined Tuesday that they could not prove Zimmerman had intentionally violated Martin's rights.

In the interim period Zimmerman had been involved in a series of alleged physical altercations that led to police intervention, including domestic violence incidents, though he has avoided being prosecuted for any subsequent alleged crimes.

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