Kustoff: “Tough Burden” For Civil Rights Charges

(Memphis) Former US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Davis Kustoff weighed in on what it would take to file federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was found not guilty over the weekend on murder charges in the connection with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin last year. Zimmerman said he shot Martin, who was unarmed in self-defense.

“They are going to turn through and turn over and under every rock. So I don’t think it’s going to happen in days or weeks. It will probably be months before the government makes a decision one way or the other,” said Kustoff about the investigation into if Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights.

“It’s a tough burden to follow in this matter. You have to consider number one whether in fact he was justified, was it racial animus and also where the crime occurred. Did it occur in a public facility?”

Kustoff said it appears as if Martin was shot and killed on private property. Race is also a important factor to consider.

“When he committed this crime, was it in fact racially motivated? No matter what his particular race is,” said Kustoff.

“The government has depending on how you look at it the benefit or the negative aspect of having a trial… which may or may not be beneficial to the government if they do in fact decide to charge George Zimmerman with a hate crime,” added Kustoff.