Attorney General Eric Holder described the death of Trayvon Martin as “tragic” and “unnecessary” on Monday.
In a speech in Washington, Holder said Justice had opened an investigation in the Martin case.
He said the aftermath of a trial that found George Zimmerman not guilty of fatally shooting Martin offered a chance to reflect on issues related to the case.
“Independent of the legal determination that will be made, I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally-charged issues that this case has raised,” Holder said at the Delta Sigma Theta National Convention Social Action Luncheon. “We must not — as we have too often in the past — let this opportunity pass.”
A jury acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges after finding he acted in self-defense.
Zimmerman followed Martin through a gated community in Sanford, Fla., where Martin’s father lived. The two were involved in an altercation, and legal teams in Zimmerman’s trial battled over who was the instigator and aggressor.
Earlier on Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said President Obama would not be involved in the potential review of the case. Holder, in his remarks, said the Justice Department would only act within the parameters of the facts of the case and the law.
“Moreover, I want to assure you that the Department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law,” Holder said.