Docs: DOJ Provided Support for Trayvon Rallies
On Wednesday, Judicial Watch announced that the Department of Justice had turned over documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request showing that the Community Relations Service (CRS), a small division of the DOJ, was sent to Sanford, Florida after the Trayvon Martin shooting to help manage rallies and protests.
In April 2013, Breitbart News' Lee Stranahan first reported the role of the CRS in Sanford.
The new documents show that from March 25 through April 12, 2012, the CRS spent thousands of dollars helping organize and “work” marches and demonstrations regarding Trayvon Martin. Tasks included:
- Working “marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain”;
- Providing “support for protest deployment in Florida”;
- Providing “technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31”;
- Providing “technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”
In April, the CRS reportedly “set up a meeting between the local NAACP and elected officials that led to the temporary resignation of police chief Bill Lee according to Turner Clayton, Seminole County chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton commented, “These documents detail the extraordinary intervention by the Justice Department in the pressure campaign leading to the prosecution of George Zimmerman. My guess is that most Americans would rightly object to taxpayers paying government employees to help organize racially-charged demonstrations.”