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Tue March 20, 2012
Trayvon Martin Killing To Be Investigated By Florida Grand Jury
A grand jury in Florida is going to investigate the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a case that has grabbed national attention because of concern that the young man may have been a victim of racial profiling and that local police haven't been aggressive enough about looking into his death.
"State Attorney Norm Wolfinger announced Tuesday his decision that a grand jury will investigate the Trayvon Martin case.
" 'I share in the desire of the family and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin,' Wolfinger said in a news release."
Update at 11:40 a.m. ET. This Was "A Hate Crime," Congresswoman Says:
On Tell Me More a short time ago, Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., whose district includes Sanford — where Martin was killed on Feb. 26 — said she believes "this ... was really a hate crime."
George Zimmerman, who killed Martin in what he says was a case of self defense, was a "self-appointed" neighborhood watch patroller who focused on Martin solely because the young African-American man was "walking while black," Brown asserted.
During her conversation with host Michel Martin, which came before Wolfinger's announcement about the grand jury, Brown said she only has faith in the federal Justice Department to properly investigate the incident. As we reported earlier, the FBI and Justice's Civil Rights Division are getting involved.
Update at 11:18 a.m. ET. Wolfinger's Complete Statement:
"I share in the desire of the family and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. That is why I directed the expeditious review of the investigation which was delivered by the Sanford Police Department one week ago today; areas for further investigation have been identified; and, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has agreed to assist and has been working hard with my office since Friday March 16th. I will also be utilizing the investigative resources of the Seminole County Grand Jury which will be called to session on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.
"I respectfully request that the public remain patient as this process continues forward. We are a country based upon law, and as the State Attorney for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit I am sworn to uphold those laws. As I have previously stated, the public is entitled to no less than a thorough, deliberate, and just review of the facts. We intend to honor that commitment."