LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Civil rights leaders on Wednesday hailed the passage of a Los Angeles City Council resolution calling for federal prosecutors to investigate the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
In a 13-0 vote, the Council passed the resolution by Councilmember Bernard Parks, which urged the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General to conduct an investigation into possible civil rights violations in Martin’s death.
The vote makes L.A. one of the first U.S. cities to formally endorse a federal civil rights probe announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in July.
On July 13, 2013, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of the 17-year-old Martin, who was shot and killed on February 26, 2012 in his hometown of Sanford, Florida.
Parks, a former Los Angeles police chief, said a formal investigation would help satisfy those Americans who disagreed with court’s verdict, which sparked demonstrations in L.A. and other U.S. cities.
“We hope that it basically sends a message that the city of L.A. believes that it’s been impacted by something 3,000 miles away, and hopes that the federal government will bring some closure to this,” Parks said.
Urban activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson said the vote marked a “milestone” for the city.
“The council’s action will also serve as a national model that city councils and local legislative bodies in other states can use to voice their concern to the Justice Department about the Zimmerman case, the Martin killing and civil rights protections,” Hutchinson said in a statement.