And, joining me now with more insight is defense attorney Enrique Latoison, live in our digital operations center. First of all, the legal focus, as you heard of that story in DC, now shifts to possible federal civil rights charges and calls now for the justice department to take action, looking into whether Treyvons civil rights were violated. What do you think is the likelihood of that? The government would have to show intent and what was in Zimmerman’s mind, something that state of Florida couldn’t do.
That’s correct. I don’t think it’s very likely at all. They have to show that he was targeted based on his religion, his color, his race, and, the investigators at this point had already looked into Zimmerman’s background. They were not able to find any racial bias. He actually testifies through the investigators and said that he followed Treyvon based on the hoodie, the clothes he was wearing, and also there were burglaries in the area at the time. He never admitted at all that he actually went after Treyvon or was following him because he was black.
Now, there were reports that the nine millimeter handgun Zimmerman used to kill Treyvon Martin will likely be returned to Zimmerman if he requests it. Now, if the federal government pursues charges against Zimmerman and succeeds, would he then lose his right to possess a gun?
Definitely. He would be a convicted felon. He would not be able to carry a firearm at that point. Ironically, this is probably the point in his life that he’s most needed to carry a gun. I’m sure his safety is always going to be in question going forward. But, the gun will be turned over to the federal investigators. It would be immediately confiscated as evidence and would be used in a federal case. He will not be able to get that gun back and, of course, if convicted, he would definitely not be able to get the gun back.
We continue to hear people bring up the stand your ground defense. We heard it from the very beginning but the defense did not insert stand your ground instead opting for self-defense. Was that difference maker here?
Oh, definitely. This was not a stand your ground case. This case was not based on a very peculiar Florida law case. This was a classic self-defense case that’s done all across America in all the states. And, that was not done in this case. He simply exhorted his right to self-defense and the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Zimmerman did not believe that he was in eminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
Alright. And, we know that attorney general Eric Holder will have to make a determination on the justice department taking action. We will continue to watch it. Enrique Latoison, thank you for your time.