Zimmerman acquitted in shooting death of Trayvon Martin

Zimmerman acquitted in shooting death of Trayvon Martin

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George Zimmerman may have been found not guilty, but that doesn’t mean his legal troubles are over.

From a possible civil trial or federal charges, there are a lot of potential hurdles ahead for Zimmerman. The not guilty verdict stunned some legal analysts but a former prosecutor in Brooklyn tells Fox 5 the case against Zimmerman was troubled from the start.

A Florida jury of six women acquitted neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman of second degree murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed.

Former Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Charles Coleman, Jr. says from a legal perspective, he’s not surprised.

“I don’t think the prosecution took enough time to really examine the evidence that they had in front of them and look at and examine what it is they can finally prove in front of a jury,” said Coleman.

Zimmerman is now a free man and can face no further criminal charges. His lead attorney praised the decision.

“Obviously we are ecstatic with the results,” said Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman defense attorney. “George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense.”

While he has been cleared in state criminal court, Zimmerman’s legal trouble may not be over. The family of Trayvon Martin can bring a civil suit against him, but winning it might be an uphill battle.

"The not guilty verdict in all counts is a tremendous blow to the Martin family’s potential for getting a desirable verdict in the civil suit. It doesn’t shut the door, but it certainly places a huge obstacle in their way,” said Coleman.

For civil rights leaders the focus is now on Washington to right the wrong they believe was done in this case. The Justice Department says it will look at the evidence to see if there is a violation.

"The next thing can happen is the federal government can seek to hold him accountable for violating the civil rights of young Martin,” Benjamin Jealous, Executive Director NAACP.

The NAACP is asking the Justice Department to file federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman. Within three hours of posting their petitions online, they had more than 100,000 signatures.

On Sunday, Reverend Al Sharpton called for a march on Washington in response to the Zimmerman verdict. The goal of the August 24th march is to urge the Justice department to look into the case.

No word on the status of the march now that the Justice Department has announced it is investigating.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also spoke out against the verdict saying ‘shoot first’ laws like the one in Florida inspire vigilantism.

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