The Florida neighborhood watchman who was acquitted in the slaying of an unarmed black teenager will not get his gun back soon because the Department of Justice has placed a hold on all evidence related to the shooting.
Sanford Police Capt. James McAuliffe confirmed the hold Thursday. That includes the gun George Zimmerman used to shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, which Zimmerman would otherwise be legally entitled to reclaim.
Zimmerman was acquitted over the weekend of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in Martin’s death last year. Jurors found that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot the teenager. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said earlier this week that the Justice Department has an open investigation into the case. The department is looking into whether Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights.