Holder’s Justice Department Supported Anti-Zimmerman Protests
As the highly controversial Zimmerman murder trial winds down in a Sanford, Florida courtroom, newly released documents show that the Justice Department provided assistance to anti-Zimmerman protests and rallies rallies last year.
The watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained documents showing that a unit of the Justice Department – the Community Relations Service (CRS) – reported expenses related to its deployment to Sanford to help manage protests in March and April 2012, according to a report in The Daily Caller.
George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. A Florida special prosecutor charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder on April 11, 2012.
The case generated national attention sparked by anti-Zimmerman protests during the period between the shooting in February and the charge against Zimmerman in April.
The Zimmerman case has captured even more attention over the last few weeks during second-degree murder trial in the Florida courtroom. The prosecution and the defense have rested their cases. The six-person jury is expected to get the case later this week.
The documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed the following activities and expenditures by the Justice Department unit during the period of anti-Zimmerman protests, according to The Daily Caller report:
- CRS spent $674.14 between March 25-27, 2012, related to having been “deployed to Sanford, Florida, to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.” CRS spent another $1,142.84 for the same purpose between March 25-28.
- CRS spent $892.55 “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida” between March 30-April 1,” and $751.60 “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”
- CRS expenditures related to the anti-Zimmerman protests continued through mid-April. Between April 11 and April 12, CRS spent $552.35 “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.”
CRS, established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is the Justice Department’s “peacemaker” for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin, according to the CRS website.
A Justice Department spokesperson told The Daily Caller that CRS was in Florida as part of its “mandated mission.”