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DOJ helped facilitate anti-Zimmerman protests in Florida: FOIA docs

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The legal watchdog Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents revealing the Community Relations Service (CRS), a unit of the Department of Justice, was deployed to Sanford, Fla., following the death of Trayvon Martin to help organize rallies against George Zimmerman.

According to the documents, from March 25 to March 27, CRS spent $674.14 upon being "deployed to Sanford, Fla., to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain."

Judicial Watch also revealed:

March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 "in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain."

    March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, Fla., "to provide support for protest deployment in Florida."

        March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, Fla., "to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31."

            April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, Fla., "to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford."

                April 11-12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, Fla., "to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male."

                  According to the report, employees of the DOJ's CRS are required by law to "conduct their activities in confidence. Though the agency claims to use "impartial mediation practices and conflict resolution procedures," press reports suggest that the unit deployed to Sanford took an active role in mobilizing against Mr. Zimmerman.

                  "These documents detail the extraordinary intervention by the Justice Department in the pressure campaign leading to the prosecution of George Zimmerman," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "My guess is that most Americans would rightly object to taxpayers paying government employees to help organize racially-charged demonstrations."

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