Miami Attorneys for the family of Trayvon Martin and the Florida neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot the unarmed teen offered different perspectives Saturday on the federal investigation of the death.
Daryl D. Parks, an attorney for the Martin family, told board members of the National Association of Black Journalists that family members met with federal and local officials for more than an hour Thursday. He said the family left the meeting “with a strong sense that Justice was very committed” to investigating the case.
“I think that it was rather clear that the attorney general is quite aware of the situation,” Parks said, referring to Eric Holder. “They have devoted a great deal of resources into looking into this matter.
“For us to have had all the people who were there with us and the magnitude of the conversation, this is a very high priority for this administration,” he said in a wide-ranging interview.
But, Parks added, “it was clear from Justice’s statements that charges of a hate crime are going to be a challenge.”
Meanwhile, an attorney representing the neighborhood watch captain, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, said Saturday that he believes the state’s stand-your-ground law applies to the case.
Attorney Craig Sonner said his client has been unfairly portrayed as a racist.
The Feb. 26 incident in the gated community has ignited racial tensions — Martin was black, and Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is Hispanic — and raised questions about the police’s handling of the case.
President Barack Obama weighed in Friday, calling the shooting a tragedy and saying, “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.”
Rallies were held Saturday in major cities such as Washington and Chicago to protest the local police investigation.
Parks said Saturday that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has told the family’s legal team that they are aware of Zimmerman’s whereabouts. It is not clear whether they are offering protection to Zimmerman, who has been in hiding and has received death threats in recent weeks.