Florida law enforcement officials Wednesday afternoon arrested George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Special prosecutor Angela Corey is charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder.
Zimmerman has admitted to shooting the unarmed 17-year-old Martin in February, but claims he acted in self-defense. Local police detained then re...leased Zimmerman, partly because of Florida's so-called "stand your ground" self-defense law, which gives people wide latitude to claim self-defense in altercations.
Corey says that authorities did not come to their decision to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder lightly, nor was it based on public pressure, according to an Associated Press and CBS News report. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Second-degree murder is typically charged when there is a fight or other confrontation that results in death and where there is no premeditated plan to kill someone. Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton said earlier she knows "justice will be served" in her son's death.
The Martin’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said the family urges communities nationwide to remain calm in response to the prosecutor's decision. "We don't need anybody taking these matters into their own hands," Crump said.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department launched an investigation of the Martin killing three weeks ago, said he would take appropriate action if evidence of a civil rights crime is found in the shooting.