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L.A. City Council supports federal investigation into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin (24744)
Trayvon Martin

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Los Angeles City Council today added its support of a federal investigation into the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

The council voted 13-0 to urge the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General to “conduct a thorough and objective investigation of possible civil rights abuses and violations related to the slaying of Trayvon Martin.”

Local lawmakers also want “a review of how Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation may have contributed to Martin’s death, and, upon the conclusion of the investigation of these matters, take all legal actions that are justified to bring this case to a fair, legal, and appropriate conclusion.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks, the city’s former police chief, introduced the resolution last week, saying a federal probe could “bring some closure” following the acquittal of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the gunshot death of the 17-year-old boy.

Park said before the vote today that it was important for Los Angeles to “go on record” to say “we are affected 3,000 miles away.”

The verdict in the Zimmerman case sparked protests in Los Angeles that at times grew violent, and community leaders organized groups of “peace monitors” tasked with maintaining calm.

Parks’ resolution was drawn up at the urging of Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson, who said last week that the city should become one of the first in the nation to officially support a federal probe.

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into Martin’s death.

Last week, it issued a statement saying multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, “continue to evaluate evidence generated during the federal investigation as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial.”

But federal action against Zimmerman appears unlikely. During a speech earlier this month, President Barack Obama said that “it’s important for people to have some clear expectations” about the prospect of such action.

“Traditionally these are issues of state and local government … and law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels,” not at the federal level, the president said.