Holder Appears to be Backing Away from Civil Rights Charges Against Zimmerman

Attorney General Eric Holder's tone today at a press conference indicated that the Justice Department may be inching away from filing any criminal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.

Holder agreed to look at the case in April. Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin in February 2012 and was acquitted of second-degree murder in July.

Taking a wide range of questions from reporters today, Holder was asked what the timeframe is for an announcement or a decision on the case.

"Mr. Attorney General, why haven't federal charges been filed against George Zimmerman yet?" a reporter asked.

"Well, the case of George Zimmerman and what happens there, I mean, I think, in substantial part was resolved in the case that was tried," Holder responded. "The investigation or the inquiry, the review that we are doing is still under way. I'm not sure exactly how much longer that will take, but we will, when we get to a point where we are able to make a determination, we've tried to construct the case in such a way that we'll be able to share as much information, not just make an announcement, but to share as much information as we can with regard to that -- that determination."

In a July speech, Holder was noncommittal about which way the DOJ would go.

“I want to assure you that the department will continue to act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law.... We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion – and also with truth," he said then.

Holder cautioned civil rights advocates that a "very high barrier" would have to be overcome to pursue such charges.