George Zimmerman Trial: The Holder Justice Department’s Latest Abuse of Power

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George Zimmerman - Photo: Gary W. Green/MCT/Newscom
George Zimmerman – Photo: Gary W. Green/MCT/Newscom

By Hans von Spakovsky – Judicial Watch has released documents [2] showing the latest abuse of power by the Department of Justice (DOJ): helping “organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.”

Whatever one may think about the guilt or innocence of Zimmerman in his ongoing trial, we should all agree that the chief law enforcement agency of the federal government should not be involved in stage-managing public protests. Yet according to the documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Community Relations Service at Eric Holder’s DOJ “deployed to Sanford, FL, to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen.”

The Community Relations Service provided “support for protest deployment” and “technical assistance” to event organizers for a march and rally on March 31. According to the Orlando Sentinel [3], Community Relations Service staff even helped organize a meeting between the city of Sanford and the local NAACP that resulted in the temporary resignation of police chief Bill Lee. One of the local pastors whose church was the focal point of protests aptly summarized the bias of Community Relations Service when she was quoted as saying that it was “there for us.” Apparently, it wasn’t “there” for Zimmerman.

If in fact the Community Relations Service was helping train and organize protesters against Zimmerman, not only was the DOJ potentially interfering in a local law enforcement investigation and prosecution, but the service was violating its own mandate. As its website explains [4], the Community Relations Service is the “peacemaker” for community conflicts. Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is supposed to assist in “preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders, and in restoring racial stability and harmony.” It is not supposed to be raising racial tensions by helping to organize protests.

The Community Relations Service says on its website that it “does not take sides among disputing parties” and provides “impartial conciliation and meditation services.” Apparently, it failed to avoid taking sides or provide “impartial” services in Sanford, Florida.

To some veterans of the DOJ, this is not surprising. Former Civil Rights Division lawyer Christian Adams has pointed out [5] that at least one employee in that division has “a sign expressing racial solidarity with Trayvon Martin” on her office door.

In all likelihood, lawyers in the Civil Rights Division are already looking at whether they can still pursue Zimmerman with a civil rights violation even if a local jury finds him innocent of murder. The bias shown by the Community Relations Service and its interference in local affairs should disqualify DOJ from pursuing such charges.

One thing certainly should happen: Congress needs to hold an oversight hearing regarding the Community Relations Service’s potentially unethical involvement in the Zimmerman case. It should force DOJ to provide all of its internal documents and emails related to its activities in Sanford, and Grande Lum, the current director of the Community Relations Service, should explain why it violated its own rules to take sides in a local dispute and foment racial protests—the exact opposite of the kind of actions it is supposed to take.

Hans A. von Spakovsky is a former counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/07/10/zimmerman-trial-the-holder-justice-departments-latest-abuse-of-power/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/Zimmerman_7-13.jpg

[2] released documents: http://www.judicialwatch.org./press-room/press-releases/documents-obtained-by-judicial-watch-detail-role-of-justice-department-in-organizing-trayvon-martin-protests/

[3] Orlando Sentinelhttp://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-15/news/os-trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-justice-departm-20120415_1_federal-workers-racial-tensions-peacekeepers

[4] website explains: http://www.justice.gov/crs/index.html

[5] pointed out: http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2013/06/27/justice-for-trayvon-race-hustler-style/

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Comments

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17 COMMENTS

  1. AWE, ITS CERTAINLY A CONFLICT OF EVERYONES INTEREST WHEN DEY LET A THOUSAND PEOPLE WHO MARCH INFLUENCE THE LAW..HELLO DATS LIKE ONE MOB CONTROLLING WHAT OUR GOVERNMENT DOES…, AND WHEN THE GOVERNMENT GIVES IN TO THE AL SHARPTONS OF THIS WORLD ..THE LAW GOES OUT THE WINDOW. BECAUSE IF THIS THING WENT THE OTHER WAY , GEORGE ZIMMERMAN WOULD HAVE NO AL SHARPTONS TO MARCH FOR HIM ..BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS( AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT) IS GEORGE ZIMMERMAN ON HIS BEST DAY COULD NOT OUT RUN TRAYVON MARTIN…. SO ITS COMMON SENSE THAT TRAYVON MARTIN , INSTEAD OF RUNNING HOME , AND BE ALIVE , HE DECIDED TO LET THE MACHO GENE KICK IN AND INSTEAD RAN TO GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TO BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF HIM AND MAYBE KILL HIM .. GEORGE HAD EVERY RIGHT TO DEFEND HIMSELF AGAINST HIS ATTACKER , WHO WAS ALMOST 18 , A YOUNG PHYSICALLY STRONGER IN SHAPE TRAINED FOOTBALL PLAYER , WHO USED ALL HIS YOUTHLY STRENGTH AND SKILLS TO KNOWCK MR ZIMMERMAN DOWN AND START BEATING HIM ..THATS A FACT! HAD TRAYVON RAN HOME THAT NIGHT HE WOULD STILL BE ALIVE TODAY …THATS MY OPINION , FOR WHAT ITS WORTH. ~ KAHUNAGURU~

  2. Why don't they use the photo he had on his Twitter instead of when he was 12? I would guess because he was all "thugged out" and no one would care that he got shot.

  3. Unless any of you were there for what happened or at the trial how can you decide who is guilty or innocent? I hope you know that you can not rely on what you get out of any news outlet.

  4. Zimmerman will get a guilty verdict and that's what he deserves for killing a innocent kid. If Zimmerman wasn't trying to be supercop …this wouldn't of ever happened. No matter what happens he will still have to face the man upstairs who knows the truth!!!

  5. Zimmerman was a cowardly boy-man who would have NEVER even gotten out of his car if he didn't have a gun. He should pay the price even though he got his sissy ass kicked by a little boy. What a punk. As far as the story above, already disproved….but the tea party types don't care if it's true or not….it makes them feel good to read stuff that they like…….

    • I bet if you had a black person in your neighborhood walking around at night, you would be scared to death to do anything because you are a coward, Zimmerman should receive a medal for standing up to that thug, it is sissy ass cowards like you that there is so much crime committed by blacks, maybe you need a dose of reality, go join the rest of your weak, brain dead, brainwashed wussy liberals.

    • So he should have stayed in his car?….In his own neighborhood?…..That's the problem? The punk is Martin and just FYI a 17 year old "kid" has the same strength as an adult. Why do you think we let 17 year-old teens join the military? Because they have the strength to fight. Anyway the facts are plain and simple – GZ defended himself against a 17 year old who got the upper-hand and GZ, while having his head beaten into a sidewalk, felt his life was in danger I would have done the SAME THING!….Whats clear in this case is overwhelming prejudice against GZ from the black community to the extent that they can't see obvious self defense. With Obama's idiotic remarks about TM even if GZ were to be found guilty – this could go to mistrial in the appeals process and be thrown out because too many idiots (Obama, Spike Lee, Holder etc) opened their mouths and affected public opinion against him. There is not chance in hell he can get a fair trail with everyone from Obama to Al Sharpton holding rallies and trying swaying public opinion.

      So before you say who doesn't care about truth check yourself.

      TM was no stranger to fighting either – what a "innocent" kid he was.
      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqweax_trayvon-m

  6. Politi fact says its a lie.

    Judicial Watch's statement contends an element of truth: Justice Department employees were sent to Sanford, in part to deal with community uprising, including protests. But they were sent with the idea of keeping the situation peaceful and calm, not to instigate or condone protests or violence.

    That's a critical distinction being ignored in this particular claim. We rate it Mostly False.

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