Washington: A Florida man who was acquitted of murder in the racially charged shooting death of an unarmed black teenager will not face federal hate crime charges, US justice officials said Tuesday.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said that while the killing of Trayvon Martin in February 2012 was a "devastating tragedy," there were insufficient grounds to charge gunman George Zimmerman with violating federal civil rights laws.
According to Holder, "a comprehensive investigation found that the high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution cannot be met under the circumstances here."
Zimmerman, 31, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, fatally shot Martin as the 17-year-old unarmed high school student was walking home with iced tea and candy.
He insisted he had been following Martin on suspicion that the youth was involved in robbery, and that he shot him in an act of self-defense.
Police soon released him, prompting a national outcry that led to a jury trial for second-degree murder and manslaughter in June 2013 which ended with his acquittal a month later.