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Federal probe of George Zimmerman not over, says Justice's Eric Holder

In his first statement since George Zimmerman was acquitted, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday the Justice Department probe into Trayvon Martin's death will continue, 'consistent with the facts and the law.'

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Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Delta Sigma Theta's Social Action luncheon in Washington on Monday. In his first comments since the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the attorney general said the killing of Trayvon Martin was a 'tragic, unnecessary shooting' and that the 17-year-old's death is an opportunity for the nation to speak honestly about complicated and emotionally charged issues.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday called the killing of Trayvon Martin a “tragic, unnecessary shooting." But Mr. Holder gave no indication whether the Department of Justice would pursue federal charges against George Zimmerman, the shooter in the case, now that Mr. Zimmerman has been acquitted of criminal murder and manslaughter charges in Florida.

Speaking before the national convention of Delta Sigma Theta, a predominantly black college sorority, Holder noted that the Justice Department will continue its ongoing investigation into the matter and said he is “mindful of the pain felt by our nation” as a result of Trayvon’s death.

If nothing else, the tragedy should push Americans to hold an honest discussion about the “complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised," said Holder. He added that the dignity of Trayvon's parents over the past year should be an example for all.

“Even as we embrace their example and hold them in our prayers, we must not forgo this opportunity to better understand one another and to make better this nation we cherish,” said the attorney general.

Civil rights activists are pushing the Justice Department to file federal civil rights or hate crime charges against Zimmerman. Many of these activists allege that Zimmerman’s racial profiling of Trayvon, a young black man wearing a hoodie, as a threat is what led to Trayvon's death.

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