DOJ Sets Up Public Email Address to Take in Tips on George Zimmerman Civil Rights Investigation

George Zimmerman, right, talks to court security investigator Robert Hemmert during a recess after a jury question in the 25th day of his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, in Sanford, Fla., Saturday, July 13, 2013. Credit: AP

The U.S Department of Justice is asking civil rights groups and community leaders to “actively refer anyone who [has] any information” that might help bring federal criminal charges against George Zimmerman, who was recently acquitted by a jury in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

The DOJ has reportedly set up a public email address to take in tips on its civil rights investigation. The department is hoping to get tips from across the nation as well as locally in Sanford, Fla.

That email address, which is now “in operation,” is Sanford.florida@usdoj.gov.

It is unclear why, if officials saw enough reason to open an investigation in the first place, the DOJ now needs tips to help with its probe into Zimmerman.

Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said the DOJ during a conference called on individuals and groups “to actively refer anyone who had any information” that might build a case against Zimmerman for a civil rights violation or a hate crime, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“They said they would very aggressively investigate this case,” she added.

DOJ Sets Up Public Email Address to Take in Tips on George Zimmerman Civil Rights Investigation

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Delta Sigma Thetas Social Action luncheon, part of the sorority’s 51st National Convention in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2013. Holder said the killing of Trayvon Martin was a “tragic, unnecessary shooting” and that the 17-year-old’s death provides an opportunity for the nation to speak honestly about complicated and emotionally charged issues. In his first comments since the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Martin case, the attorney general said that Martin’s parents have suffered a pain that no parent should have to endure. He said the nation must not forgo an opportunity toward better understanding of one another. Credit: AP

Also on the DOJ conference call was, “Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Laura Murphy, Washington Chapter head of the ACLU; and several national, Florida and Sanford-based “human relations” groups participated, Arnwine said,” the Sentinel reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder has called Martin’s death unnecessary and has promised the DOJ will work to “alleviate tensions, address community concerns and promote healing.”