Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:21 pm
The fatal shooting in Florida of an unarmed black teenager at the hand of a neighborhood watch captain has ignited national furor over racial profiling and vigilante justice.
Civil rights groups cheered the news that the Justice Department would look into the case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen shot by a man on neighborhood watch in Sanford, Fla.
But the bar for the Justice Department to make a federal case is high. Ultimately, it has few options at its disposal when it comes to investigating the teen's death.
Former prosecutors say one key tool passed early in the Obama administration might apply in this case: the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Our early headlines:
-- Trayvon Martin's Killer Had Been Accused Of Violence In The Past.
-- Suspect Surrounded In France, Claims Al-Qaida Ties.