Originally Posted by BearyWhite
right, I don't think I was unclear -- I think Zimmerman targeted black youth in his 'suspicious character' crusade, but that doesn't necessarily make him a guy who would be mouthing off about black people in general using racial slurs.
You don't need to be a hooded Klan member to violate federal civil rights hate crimes.
Zimmerman was not a police officer or acting under color of law, so there is no federal jurisdiction there. And the shooting did not occur on federal land and the victim was not a federal officer, so nothing there. But, there is one statute that may apply: 18 U.S.C. 249, Hate Crime Acts, which was just enacted in 2009
. That statute provides:
(a) In General.— (1) Offenses involving actual or perceived race
, color, religion, or national origin.— Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person
or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race
, color, religion, or national origin of any person—
(A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and
(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if—
(i) death results from the offense; or
(ii) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.
In other words, if Zimmerman 1) killed Martin 2) because of his race, then he can be prosecuted under this Section 249.
Evidence supporting this charge includes: 1) the proportion of black "suspects" he reported in the 46 calls he made to the Sanford police during the past couple of months; 2) Zimmerman's statement that "they always get away"; 3) whether Zimmerman called Martin a coon or a goon and why would he percieved a black youth in such a manner.
I'm sure more evidence and arguments can easily be found.