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Fla. grand jury to investigate shooting of unarmed teen
Question of the Day
Florida State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said Tuesday his office will convene a grand jury in central Florida to investigate the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager who was killed Feb. 26 in a gated community by a neighborhood watch captain.
Mr. Wolfinger, in a statement, said he shared the desire of the family of the slain youth, Trayvon Martin, and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding what he described as the “the tragic death” of the teenager.
“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,” Mr. Wolfinger said.
He said the Seminole County, Fla., grand jury will be called into session in the matter on April 10.
“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.”
Sanford police said the neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, 28, told investigators he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford. Police have described Mr. Zimmerman as white; his family says he is Hispanic and not racist.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI opened an investigation into the death on Monday. The department said it would conduct “a thorough and independent review of all the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation.”
The department also noted in a statement that it is providing assistance to and cooperation with the state officials in their investigation into the incident.
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton is expected to join Sanford city leaders in a Tuesday-evening town-hall meeting to discuss the investigation.
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