Florida State Attorney Angela Corey announced today that she will not be taking the Trayvon Martin case before a grand jury. Corey took over the investigation into the February 26 killing of the unarmed Martin by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford, which had been started by State Attorney Norm Wolfinger.
In response to Corey’s announcement that no grand jury will be held, Benjamin Crump, the Martin family attorney, issued the following response:
We are not surprised by this announcement and, in fact, are hopeful that a decision will be reached very soon to arrest George Zimmerman and give Trayvon Martin’s family the simple justice they have been seeking all along.
The family has been patient throughout this process and asks that those who support them do the same during this very important investigation.
State Attorney Angela Corey took over the investigation after Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that Wolfinger had recused himself from the case on March 22. At that time, Corey announced that she might not bring the case before a grand jury that Wolfinger had scheduled for April 10, because she was restarting the investigation from scratch.
The April 10 grand jury date was mentioned often by news outlets despite Corey’s statement that there was no guarantee she would use this instrument to assess the case.
Corey is not bound by law to hold a grand jury investigation into Martin’s death, which is a legal requirement for first degree murder alone. Corey can bring charges against Zimmerman at any time based on her independent assessment, and has stated that she is not working according to a predetermined timeline.
Zimmerman was released from police custody without being charged after killing Martin with a registered handgun in an act he claims was self-defense. Outrage over the Sanford police department’s handling of the case has led to the investigations currently underway by state and federal bodies looking into allegations of racial bias and police misconduct.
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