The saga for George Zimmerman will undoubtedly continue. Civil lawsuits from the Martin family are likely in his future. But now there are also demands that Zimmerman be indicted on federal civil rights charges. As Harry Reid said in his reaction to the verdict, “This isn't over with ...”
The Justice Department has agreed to heed the requests from the NAACP, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, lawmakers and others to investigate whether Zimmerman violated any federal civil rights laws. In order to prove that Zimmerman has done so, the federal government must prove that Zimmerman acted on racial animus. A hate crime felony occurs when it is proven that someone willfully uses a firearm to cause bodily injury to a person "because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin."
But just like the state didn't have enough evidence to prove its criminal case, the federal government may have a difficult time proving that Zimmerman was racially motivated. After all, the FBI has already investigated this matter and no where could they find – whether through interviews or evidence – that George Zimmerman acted on a racial bias. Also, certain parts of Zimmerman's past do not paint the picture the media would like you to believe. For example, Zimmerman publicly testified against the Sanford police department in defense of a homeless black man. There are various stories in Zimmerman's life that are being discounted by many who insist on making this an issue of race. Even the media will play along, referring to Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic,” for example.
It's difficult to see how a civil rights case can be made of this man, but that won't stop many people from continuing to try.