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Congresswoman Corrine Brown Reiterates Necessity of Department of Justice Oversight Investigation into Death of Trayvon Martin


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Following today's report in the Miami Herald that "early in the investigation the Sanford Police Department requested an arrest warrant from the Seminole County State Attorney's office" and "a Sanford Police incident report shows the case was categorized as homicide/negligent manslaughter," Congresswoman Corrine Brown made the following statement:

"From the outset of this case, we have seen numerous discrepancies committed by the Sanford Police Department in the Trayvon Martin case. To begin, one month after the incident, George Zimmerman has not been arrested. I was in the area at the time of the killing and the way it was presented by local police to the Central Florida news outlets that night made the incident look like a fight between two men, when in reality it was between a man and a boy. Moreover, the Sanford Police never did toxicology testing on George Zimmerman, yet immediately tested Trayvon's body; the area where the crime was committed was never properly secured, police failed to interview some witnesses, investigators never contacted Trayvon's girlfriend even though they knew she was on the phone with him during the incident, police reports contradict the Chief's public statements, and several other anomalies.

For these reasons, the importance of the Department of Justice's investigation cannot be overstated. Early on I called upon the Department of Justice to become involved to provide an outside investigation into civil rights violations, as well as the likelihood that this is in fact an instance of a hate crime. And in a meeting with the DOJ"s Civil Rights Division chief, Tom Perez, Sanford Mayor Triplett and I were promised that the Department would "not leave any stone unturned in order to obtain the true facts in this case.' The American public, the people of the town of Sanford, and certainly the Martin family deserve to see justice and a fair trial for Trayvon's killer, George Zimmerman, and the people of the United States need to believe that our legal system is fair and just."

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