WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department says George Zimmerman will not face federal civil rights charges in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The department announced its decision Tuesday, saying that there was not enough evidence to bring federal civil rights charges, which would have required proof that the killing was motivated by racial animosity.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, was acquitted of second-degree murder in July 2013. He has said he shot Martin in self-defense during a confrontation inside a gated community in Sanford, Florida.
The case created a national conversation about race and self-defense gun laws. Martin, who was unarmed when he was killed, was black. The teen’s relatives have accused Zimmerman of starting the fight and racially profiling Martin.
The family of Trayvon Martin released the following statement after the announcement was made:
We would like to thank the Department of Justice for their extensive and thorough investigation into the killing of our son.
We would also like to thank the millions of people around the world who have supported us through prayer and vigilance.
Although we are disappointed in these findings, it has steeled our resolve to continue traveling the country with the message of the Trayvon Martin Foundation (www.trayvonmartinfoundation.org), which is dedicated to protecting our youth and empowering those who demand justice and peace.
We remain poised to do everything in our power to help eradicate senseless violence in our communities, because we don’t want any other parent to experience the unexplainable loss we have endured.
We will never, ever forget what happened to our son, Trayvon, and will honor his memory by working tirelessly to make the world a better place.