WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department says it is looking into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.
The department opened an investigation into Martin's death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed.
In a statement Sunday, the Justice Department said the criminal section of the civil rights division, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office for the Middle District of Florida are continuing to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal probe, in addition to the evidence and testimony from the state trial.
The statement said that, in the government's words, experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation.
Obama: Trayvon Martin death a tragedy for America
President Barack Obama says Martin's death was a tragedy for America.
Obama says he knows the not-guilty verdict reached late Saturday has elicited strong passions around the country. In a statement released Sunday, Obama is asking that all Americans respect the call for calm reflection. There have been a number of rallies and protests, most of which have been peaceful.
Obama says Americans should ask themselves if they're doing all they can to stem gun violence, and what can be done to prevent future tragedies like the Florida shooting.
Rallies against Zimmerman verdict largely peaceful
There have been rallies and protests around the country following last night's not-guilty verdict.
Many supporters of Martin's family wore hoodies, as the teen was wearing last year when he was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman. The rallies have ranged in size from a few dozen to several hundred and have been largely peaceful.
In Manhattan on Sunday, Rev. Jacqueline Lewis of Middle Collegiate Church wore a pink hooded sweatshirt and told her congregation, We're going to raise our voices against the root causes of this kind of tragedy.
Vandalism of a police squad car was reported at an Oakland, Calif., demonstration.