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AP Says Lynching GZ On Civil Rights May Be Hard

From a very concerned Associated Press:

Civil rights case vs. Zimmerman won’t be simple

By Pete Yost and Eric Tucker | July 15, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — … The [Justice Department] says it’s reviewing evidence to determine whether criminal civil rights charges are warranted, but legal experts see major barriers to a federal prosecution — including the burden of proving that Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch leader, was motivated by racial animosity — and say Justice officials would likely be saddled with some of the same challenges that complicated the unsuccessful state case.

"The Justice Department would face significant challenges in bringing a federal civil rights case against Mr. Zimmerman," said Alan Vinegrad, the former U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. "There are several factual and legal hurdles that federal prosecutors would have to overcome: They’d have to show not only that the attack was unjustified, but that Mr. Zimmerman attacked Mr. Martin because of his race and because he was using a public facility, the street."

And never mind that a gated community does not have public streets.

The department opened an investigation into Martin’s death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed.

Notice how the AP neglects to mention that the FBI’s 2012 investigation found no evidence that racial bias was a motivating factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Though the Justice Department does have an established history of using federal civil rights laws to try to convict defendants who have been previously acquitted in related state cases, experience shows it’s almost never easy getting guilty verdicts in such high-profile prosecutions.

In other words, it’s easier to railroad people when nobody’s looking.

In this case, federal prosecutors pursuing a civil rights case would need to establish, among other things, that Zimmerman was motivated by racial animosity, even though race was barely mentioned at the state trial.

In fact, the only time race came up was when defense witnesses were talking about Trayvon Martin’s comments. (For instance, that he purportedly referred to Mr. Zimmerman as a "crazy ass cracker.")

Lauren Resnick, a former federal prosecutor in New York who secured a conviction in the killing of an Orthodox Jew during the 1991 Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn, said the Justice Department could conceivably proceed under a theory that Zimmerman interfered with Martin’s right to walk down a public street based on his race. But even that is difficult since the conflict occurred in a gated community, which may not fit the legal definition of a public facility.

And never mind that people are prohibited from walking down the streets of gate-communities by definition.

Prosecutors would also probably need to prove that trailing Martin on the street constituted interference, she said. "One could argue it did, if it freaked him out and he couldn’t comfortably walk down the street — there’s an argument here," said Resnick, who now specializes in white-collar defense and commercial litigation…

So you have a civil right not to be followed? You can attack someone for following you?

Samuel Bagenstos, a former No. 2 official in the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said: "This is an administration that hasn’t shied away from bringing hate crimes cases that are solid prosecutions based on the facts and the law, but from what I’ve seen this would be a very difficult case to prosecute federally because the government would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman acted because of Trayvon Martin’s race. If you’re trying to prove racial motivation, you are usually looking for multiple statements related to why he is engaging in this act of violence. I think it’s a difficult case to prove."

Especially, given Mr. Zimmerman’s long and documented calls to 911 on a very diverse number of suspects.

Another federal case, the Rodney King prosecution, illustrates just how difficult it can be for the federal government to come in behind a state prosecution that ended in acquittal, even when there’s videotaped evidence of the crime…

Federal prosecutors obtained an indictment on charges of violating King’s civil rights. Two of the officers were found guilty and were imprisoned. The other two officers were acquitted.

In a 1970 prosecution, the Justice Department charged three white Detroit police officers and one black private security guard with allegedly conspiring to deprive eight black youths and two white girls of their civil rights during the 1967 riots in Detroit…

In prosecuting the law enforcement officers, the Justice Department invoked an 1871 civil rights law…

Note that in both of these cases law enforcement agents (the government) were involved. The Civil Rights Act of 1871 (aka the KKK Act) is invoked when a state or local government official violates a federally guaranteed right.

It is used today when there have been violations of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. These lawsuits usually concern false arrest and police brutality, such as in the the Rodney King case and the Detroit police case.

None of which applies to the Zimmerman case.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 15th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “AP Says Lynching GZ On Civil Rights May Be Hard”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    The Obama Department of Just Us

  2. Petronius says:

    Mob rule. That’s the American way. Love it or leave it.

    Of course community organizers stir up lynch mobs. It’s what they do. By definition. It’s their chief stock in trade. Their raison d’etre.

    The unusual twist this time is that the community organizers are in charge of the White House, DOJ, Federal courts, and the rest of government at the Federal level, and able to bully government at the State and local level, and so are running the government to do their lynchings for them.

    And so the lynchings are being funded at taxpayers’ expense.

    If Z’man had been convicted (whether murder or manslaughter, makes no difference), the practical result would have been a death sentence for Z’man and, for the rest of us, to nullify your right to self-defense whenever your attacker is a black or other nonwhite, nullify your right to concealed carry, your right to keep and bear arms, the right to keep a wary eye on troublemakers, and the right to profile potential criminals and the right to operate a neighborhood watch. You might even think twice about setting foot outside your door, for fear of being accused of “following” someone. In other words, a Liberal’s Utopia.

    Even now, having seen the massive resources, both public and private, that have been brought to bear on Z’man, you may wish to think twice — and then think again — before defending yourself from a “minority.”

    So it’s a win-win for Liberal lynch mobs and a lose-lose for the rule of law and civilization.

  3. Noyzmakr says:

    “The Justice Department would face significant challenges in bringing a federal civil rights case against Mr. Zimmerman,”

    That doesn’t matter. I suspect, whether or not they think they have any evidence, the DoJ will bring “hate crime” charges against Zimmerman. Not because they think they’ll win or even that believe he commited any crime, on the contrary, they probably know they’ll lose, but it will cost Zimmerman plenty and keep his life in turmol, give Holder and the rest of his lackys the spotlight they crave and all at the taxpayers exspense.

    Justice! What does that matter? As long as they can contiue the “progression” of socialism.

    The real reason for all this came out of Lil’ Hussein’s own mouth. He says now is the time to take another look at gun control.

    They are so predictable.

  4. Astravogel says:

    I think a civil rights case could be made by Zimmerman against
    the parents of ‘child’ Martin for violating George’s right not to have
    his head bashed against concrete and his nose smashed by the
    fists of this deliquent child they raised.

    Perhaps he could get some of that million dollars the Home Owners
    Association bought the Martin family off with.

  5. canary says:

    Now Obama has called the Trayvon Martin’s families and “gave them words” according to one of their family attorneys (they have another one now, probably the one they picked to sue the homeowners association as they told plans of doing)

    So! I think the words Obama told the family should be made public because coincidentally violent protests have increased to include a white jogger in Mississippi.

    They grabbed him, kidnapped him, told him “This is for Trayvon” and then lynched him and beat him and dumped him out on the street.

    It’s doubtful the Obama administration or DOJ will call the white cracker jogger or pursue a hate crime against his attackers.

    I we won’t be hearing Obama telling the country “Can’t we all just get along?”

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