For now, at least, the Department of Justice seems to be foregrounding a condemnation of so-called "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict as many wait for the department's decision on a pending investigation into filing federal charges in the case. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to the NAACP on Tuesday in Orlando, where he instructed a supportive crowd to "stand our ground to ensure that our laws reduce violence."
But the state's gun laws are just one of many things on the minds of the NAACP and other critics of the Zimmerman acquittal. Earlier today, the NAACP's petition calling for the DOJ to bring federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman reached over 1 million signatures. Those charges, the NAACP chairman Ben Jealous explained in a statement, are warranted because "it is clear George Zimmerman’s bias played a major role in the events that led to the death of Trayvon Martin," adding that "the law says you must be able to show that race was a factor and that bodily harm was done. We believe there is enough evidence to satisfy this standard.”
Holder's address to the group didn't illuminate anything on the status of the Department of Justice's investigation into the Zimmerman case, which could eventually result in federal charges. That investigation was tabled when Florida filed state charges against the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, but the DOJ announced that they'd resumed work on it upon his acquittal. But as the Atlantic Wire has explained before, it's unlikely that the DOJ will file federal charges against Zimmerman, in no small part due to the unusually high burden of proof required.