NAACP is asking the feds to investigate shooting - FOX 35 News Orlando

NAACP is asking the feds to investigate the shooting death of a teenager in Sanford

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    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
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The Sanford Police Department has officially wrapped up their investigation into the shooting death of a teenager at a town home complex and has turned it over the case to the State Attorney's Office for review.

It has been 16 days since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Police say Zimmerman, 25, claims he acted in self defense, but as each day passes, members of the community are getting more and more angry that he has not been charged with any crime.

Now, the NAACP is asking federal authorities for help with the investigation into Martin's death.

"We have through the NAACP put a letter to the U.S Attorney General to dispatch some agents here in Sanford to take this case and investigate," said Turner Clayton Jr., the Seminole County NAACP's president who took to the airwaves on Tuesday. Clayton said a letter has been sent to U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder. "They have the authority to take this case over. They also have the authority to bring charges for civil rights violations," said Clayton.

The NAACP is outraged that Sanford Police have taken volunteer neighborhood watch commander George Zimmerman at his word and that he hasn't been charged. Clayton believes the police have probable cause arrest Zimmerman.

"He was following the guy. He was told to stand down after making calls to the police department," said Clayton.  "And of course, he got out of his vehicle to approach this guy, which he did not have authorization to do or authority to do.  All that leads up to probably cause."

Clayton also announced a town hall style meeting next Tuesday where Sanford residents can ask Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee directly about this case. He says it's not just locals who have questions.

"We've had many calls from around the United States... citizens that want to come down and take part in any kind of rally or protest we have."

According to Clayton, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson have called local NAACP leaders to pledge their support and have asked to be updated when an official date for a rally has been set.

"A powder keg is brewing in the community. If we don't do something, it's likely to explode," said Clayton.

Sanford Police would not comment on the Martin case on Tuesday, except to say they have handed the case over to state prosecutors.

The agency held a news conference on Monday where Chief Lee said telephone recordings placed on the night of the shooting would not be released until the State Attorney's Office has completed its investigation.

"It is our desire to make sure that we do a thorough and fair investigation," said Chief Lee, "so that we can reach some form of justice."

Zimmerman's firearm was secured when he was taken in for questioning following the shooting, and the gun is presently in the custody of law enforcement and has been submitted as evidence, said Lee.  Investigators said Zimmerman had the proper permits to carry a weapon.

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