Eric Holder Inflames Conservatives in Zimmerman Trial Aftermath

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 22, 2013 10:50 AM

Eric Holder and George Zimmerman

Eric Holder and George Zimmerman

Already disliked by conservatives, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is fielding a barrage of fire from the right because of remarks he made and stance he's taken after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Last week Holder addressed the NAACP’s national convention in Orlando. During his speech, he said he was “concerned about this case” and would continue a federal investigation of the matter.

He also used the address to attack Stand Your Ground, an initiative begun in Florida in 2005 and adopted in some form by 30 other states.

“We are all mindful of the tragic and unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin last year – in Sanford, just a short distance from here – and the state trial that reached its conclusion on Saturday evening,” Holder said. “Today, I’d like to join President Obama in urging all Americans to recognize that – as he said – we are a nation of laws, and the jury has spoken. ..."

Holder questioned the need for Stand Your Ground laws like the one in Florida.

“...  We must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common-sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely,” he said. “By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety. The list of resulting tragedies is long and – unfortunately – has victimized too many who are innocent. It is our collective obligation – we must stand our ground – to ensure that our laws reduce violence, and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent.

“As we move forward together, I want to assure you that the Department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law,” Holder insisted. “We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that – in every case, in every circumstance, and in every community – justice must be done.”

Holder raised the stakes later in the week. Reports came out late Thursday that the federal Department of Justice ordered the Sanford Police Department to hold all evidence pertaining to the Zimmerman trial, including the gun involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, conservatives are starting to turn up the heat on Holder. The American Conservative Union (ACU) announced this week it will be launching a campaign to impeach Holder and cited his actions in the Zimmerman case as one of the reasons.

Gregg Keller of the ACU sent out a message to supporters on Thursday announcing the new effort to remove Holder.

“Just days after a jury of his peers found George Zimmerman not guilty, Eric Holder was on the phone with far-left groups like the ACLU and NAACP, scheming to bring trumped-up hate crime charges against him,” Keller wrote. “This abuse of law is nothing new for Holder. And unless we stop it, he will continue to use his office to target innocent Americans.”

Keller announced the ACU would be launching the “Impeach Eric Holder” campaign.

“Attorney General Holder is supposed to be our nation's top law enforcement officer, but he's repeatedly thrown the law away for political reasons,” Keller wrote. Keller noted Holder’s role in seizing records of a Fox News reporter, suing Arizona over its immigration law, standing in the way of state voter ID laws and covering [up] facts related to Operation Fast and Furious in which a border patrol agent was killed.

“We need to get rid of Holder as attorney general,” Keller insisted.

The ACU will be gathering petitions demanding Holder’s impeachment and will be launching a new website and a social media campaign to further the efforts. Keller expressed little hope that Holder would be removed by Congress but added he believes President Barack Obama could bow to political pressure and fire him.

In the aftermath of the Zimmerman decision, former Congressman Allen West is taking aim at Holder’s criticism of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Despite losing his congressional seat in 2012, West, a favorite of the tea party movement, has opened the door to a political comeback in 2016.

“In a sure case of foot-in-mouth disease, seems U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking in Florida, may want to study up on Stand Your Ground use in the Sunshine State, my home,” West posted on Facebook on Thursday morning. “Based on data maintained by Tampa Bay Times, approximately one-third of Florida Stand Your Ground claims in fatal cases have been made by black defendants, as a defense with a 55 percent success rate. Blacks used Stand Your Ground defenses at nearly twice the rate of their percentage of Florida's population (16.6 percent in 2012). As well, it seems the majority of victims in Florida Stand Your Ground cases have been white.”

West ended his post with a direct shot at Holder.

“Either Attorney General Holder is incompetent or ignorant; regardless, we all await his clarification, or correction, of his comments before the NAACP in Orlando,” West wrote.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at 904- 521-3722.

Comments (5)

Jim Hamilton
2:14PM JUL 24TH 2013
Someone should inform this subape creature they call Eric Holder that George Zimmerman did not use the stand your ground law for his defense. The jury made up of George Zimmerman's peers did not think the killing was senseless, they ruled it self defense Holder needs to be thrown to the hogs so he can waller in his own sh!t. Yes I would love to be the one to do it.
10:58AM JUL 23RD 2013
Holder has been one of the worst AG's. Like the President, he does what he wans to, regardless of our laws or the constitution. Instead of upholding and enforcing existing laws, he chooses to sue states that try to uphold the law and enforce it. Instead of telling the truth about "fast and furious" and the investigating the death of a border patrol agent, he'd rather go after Zimmerman, who was duly aquitted in a legal trial, and even after the FBI had thoroughly investigated the case. Why one and not the other....politics and keeping a racial divide going as long as they can. Is he investigating the disproportionate murders in Chicago of Black on black? No. Never will. And the Stand your Ground law in Florida has helped more blacks than whites....so be careful what you wish for!
8:48AM JUL 23RD 2013
This story was just to support the above story on west. Ignoring that SYG has legalized a vigalante and his murder of a kid who was not breaking the law, and who had the right to stand his ground. Further, Z lied and why are so many people over looking that? Stupid!
4:19PM JUL 23RD 2013
Your babble would make more sense if Z actually used SYG as a defense. He used basic self defense. He was judged by a jury of his peers and found innocent. Get over it, you sir, are pathetic.
12:33PM JUL 24TH 2013
Too bad you can't read jury instructions, which explicitly raise SYG as a defense . . . . once again your total lack of research proves itself to be absolutely . . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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