Over 1 million people have signed online petitions calling for federal prosecution and civil rights charges against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of 17-year-old Travyon Martin.
“The most fundamental of civil rights – the right to life – was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin,” reads a petition by the NAACP. “We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.”
According to reports, the document, which is addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, received over 100,000 signatures within hours of it’s launch and the influx of traffic caused the NAACP website to crash. The problem was quickly fixed, and just three days later the petition reached the one million mark.
“The support our petition has received shows the mindset of the American public, who are tired of a system of justice that allows for appalling verdicts like the one we saw on Saturday,” Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, said.
The number of petitioners is not available online, and results have been reported in statements from the NAACP. The one million number comes from a combination of the two petitions. A separate petition on the White House’s website has so far amassed 25,000 signatures, a quarter of the 100,000 signatures it would need to get a response.
Holder has indicated that he is watching. The Justice Department will “continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law,” he said in a speech in Washington Monday, examining what he called “the tragic, unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin.”
A second White House website petition, addressed to the Obama administration, currently has 32,520 signatures.
“Petition Requesting Prosecution of George Zimmerman for depriving Trayvon Martin of his Constitutional Rights of Life and Liberty by the United States Department of Justice, Eric Holder, United States Attorney General in United States District Court as swiftly and expeditiously as is possible,” it reads.
This petitions requires 67,480 additional signatures to reach its goal of 100,000 by August 13.
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