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White House: President Obama won't press DOJ on Zimmerman

Published: Monday, July 15 2013 11:52 a.m. MDT

George Zimmerman, right, leaves court after Zimmerman's not guilty verdict was read in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Fla. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Jurors found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool) (Joe Burbank, ASSOCIATED PRESS) George Zimmerman, right, leaves court after Zimmerman's not guilty verdict was read in Seminole Circuit Court in Sanford, Fla. on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Jurors found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool) (Joe Burbank, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Barack Obama won't involve himself in decisions by the Justice Department on whether to pursue civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says it would be inappropriate for Obama to express an opinion on how the department deals with Zimmerman after the neighborhood watch volunteer's acquittal in the shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old last year.

The Justice Department has said it's considering whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.

Critics of Saturday's verdict have called for the Justice Department to step in.

Carney would not comment when asked how Obama viewed Florida's "stand-your-ground" law which was a key element of Zimmerman's defense.

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