March 25th, 2012
06:21 AM ET

Lawyer: Federal hate crime charge against Trayvon shooter a 'challenge'

Bringing a federal hate crime charge against a neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin will be "a challenge, to put it lightly," the victim's lawyer said.

Daryl Parks, an attorney for the Martin family, told board members of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) on Saturday that prosecution on the state level stands a better chance.

"Most state laws tend to be better for the prosecution of state crimes. And that's why we see the federal authorities expressing, although gently, in their statements that they can only do so much if there's some type of race statements involved. The state officials don't have that problem," Parks said.

"I think the focus is not necessarily a federal arrest over a state arrest. We want an arrest, period. And I think that the state aspect of that is the one that's most feasible, most attainable in this matter."

Meanwhile, worshipers in cities across the country will wear hoodies to church Sunday in honor Martin, who was wearing a hoodie when he was killed.

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Filed under: Crime • Hate crime • Justice • Trayvon Martin • U.S.
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. High Hopes

    Ignore this comment... not me.

    (As if you didn't know)

    March 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Herkimer Schwartz

    This is just completely wrong. A young black man is shot dead in the street just because he was there. The assailant, knowing there were no witnesses to the crime, claims self defense. The police refuse to even arrest the man.
    This was a neighborhood watch person. The job of the neighborhood watch is to detect and report, nothing more. He took the law into his own hands and should be prosecuted as a vigilante.
    Hopefully the facts will come to light and justice will be served.

    Hello banasy and dazzle. If you hear from Thelma Lou, please tell her I finally responded to her post on the Syria story.

    March 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      I agree 100%

      March 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Two guys were roaring down the road on a mortorcycle when the driver slowed down and pulled over. He had a broken zipper on his motorcycle jacket and couldn't stand the wind blowing on his chest like that any longer, he told his friend. Just put your jacket on backwards, said his friend. So he did, and soon they were tearing down the road again.Soon, they came around a curve, lost control and wiped out'
    A citizen coming down the road spotted the wreck and ran to call the police. When the police asked if they were showing any signs of life, the citizen said, " Well the driver was until I turned his head back around the right way.

    March 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ♔Mmmmm♕

    yeah buddy it should matter...which one gives more time...which one has a higher requirement for time serve before being paroled...and he should be old and can't have babies by the time he gets out...every thing about this case should matter!

    March 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The shooter was a block watch "captain"?
    My wife and I used to volunteer with city police under crime prevention unit, to set up block watches. McGruff the Crime Prevention Dog would of been very angry with us if we were helping paranoid racists with firearms.

    March 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    You do not work with the district attorney to file j-walk charges on a killer. You can't fix stupid.

    March 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Ooops..he was a volunteer not a captain so I was informed. My bad. Just sayin' cant fix stupid.

    March 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. High Hopes

    It might take a federal investigation to uncover the corruption and some heads should fall. The eyewitnesses' tell it all.

    Justice for Trayvon!


    And remember, don't talk to strangers and if someone is chasing you, run to the nearest house and bang, hollar and SCREAM for help!

    March 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Maria

    And then you woke up.

    March 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    @ bobcat & hat, 3 PMish:
    Good story about turning the bike boy's head the right way.
    I'm almost sure that you made that up, based on your experiences, but it won't surprise me at all if you say that it's true.

    March 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      It's amazing how little class you are able to display fake JIF.

      March 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Laurel

    Is there not a similar case where a black man shot and killed a white man in Florida, and unlike Zimmerman, the black was arrested. It would be good for CNN to discuss these two cases together showing the similarities and differences.
    Also, if instead of Trayvon, it was an off-duty cop that Zimmerman shot to death, would the Sanford police have allowed Zimmerman to remain unarrested? Can CNN please ask this question of the Sanford Police, and other related officials in the justice system in Florida?

    March 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The Stand Your Ground Law:
    paraphrased from ABC News

    "That law grants immunity (cannot be detained) to anyone who uses deadly force, inside or outside his home, if he can reasonably claim he was defending himself".


    So did Martin have a gun trained on Zimmerman? No. Did Martin have a knife that he used as an aggressor? No. Did Martin have any weapon that he was using on Zimmerman? No.
    You shoot him on your property? He dies after getting off your property? First Degree...any takers?

    March 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pachyderm

    If Mikhail Muhammad (leader of the new black panther pary) feel that a bounty feels that a bounty should be placed on this man's head I think he should save the money and do the job himself. But chickens can only cluck.

    March 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kim

    It seems that people think its ok to kill our youths they gotten comfortable in taking a young black boys life who just went to a store to buy candy and tea. The murder is able to use the law to get away with it. Isn't how hitler was able to kill so many Jewish people is that what's happening here in the united states and florida.

    March 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. High Hopes


    And he wasn't, even, on Zimmerman's property!

    Justice for Trayvon!

    March 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • High Hopes

      Don't evev bother going to the next page...
      Its a time warp!

      Here's hoping for a peaceful effective march
      tomorrow morning in Sanford, Florida.


      March 25, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
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