The NAACP believes that the pressure used to bring criminal charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of black teen Trayvon Martin can be duplicated in its campaign for civil charges against the neighborhood watchman, according to internal talking points.
The group's mid-Atlantic division also revealed that the NAACP wants to whip up concerns about Zimmerman's acquittal before Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the annual NAACP convention in Florida Tuesday afternoon.
Secrets received a copy of the talking points that provide background on the case and the group's goal of getting 1 million signatures on a petition demanding that Holder charge Zimmerman with violating Martin's civil rights.
Here are the official talking points of the NAACP on the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. Please use these talking points in any statements to the media; disseminate to all allies and members of your unit. Also please publicize the petition urging the Department of Justice to charge George Zimmerman for violating Trayvon Martin's civil rights. We have set a goal of 1,000,000 signatures on the petition before US Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the NAACP National Convention on Tuesday afternoon. Please make sure all your members, friends, family, co-workers, church members and neighbors sign the petition as soon as possible. Overnight, over 250,000 people signed the petition.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN AQUITTAL TALKING POINTS:
• We are outraged and heartbroken over today's verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman.
• We stand with Trayvon's family as they continue to grieve, and we are called to act.
• We call immediately for a Department of Justice investigation into the civil rights violations against Trayvon Martin.
• We will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state.
• We will continue to the fight outlaw racial profiling, whether it comes at the hands of law enforcement professionals or armed citizens.
• This case has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling in the United States.
• In just hours after the verdict, more than 130,000 people have signed the petition asking for DOJ Civil rights charges against Zimmerman. Sign the petition: http://www.naacp.org/sign-the-DOJ-petition
BACKGROUND ON NAACP INVOLVEMENT
• This has always been about the rule of law. The NAACP's overriding concern in this case has been securing the arrest of George Zimmerman and a thorough investigation and trial.
• Trayvon was the victim of two practices that disproportionately affect black men and boys. First, he was profiled as suspicious and singled out by Zimmerman as a potential threat. Second the circumstances of his untimely death were neglected by the police after he died.
• A trial and conviction were not always assured. George Zimmerman was only arrested and charged because of public support for Trayvon Martin and his grieving family.
• On the evening of February 26, Trayvon Martin--an unarmed 17-year-old African American student--was confronted, shot, and killed near his Sanford, FL home by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman was not originally charged with a crime, because police claimed they could not prove he didn't act in self-defense.
• Sanford PD's officers have suffered a series of public missteps in recent years.
• In 2006, two private security guards — the son of a Sanford police officer, and a volunteer for the department — killed a black teen, Travares McGill, with a gunshot in his back. Even though they admitted to never identifying themselves, the guards were released without charges.
• In 2010, Justin Collison, the son of a Sanford PD lieutenant, sucker-punched a homeless black man outside a bar, but officers on the scene released Collison without charges. After video evidence surfaced, the police chief was forced to retire.
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.