Rev. Al Sharpton (C) spoke at a 'Justice for Trayvon' rally along with Tracy Martin (R) and Sybrina Fulton (2nd L), parents of slain teenager Trayvon Martin, on March 22, 2012. It appears the U.S. Justice Department provided support for similar rallies
Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents in response to local, state, and federal records requests revealing that a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.
JW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the DOJ on April 24, 2012; 125 pages were received on May 30, 2012. JW administratively appealed the request on June 5, 2012, and received 222 pages more on March 6, 2013. According to the documents:
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Revealed: How taxpayers paid for Justice Department unit to 'support protests after killing of Trayvon Martin'
Documents published online Wednesday by a conservative watchdog group show that the Community Relations Service, an arm of the U.S. Justice Department, spent taxpayer dollars to help organize and implement plans for the initial string of rallies in Sanford, Florida following the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The protests were openly hostile to George Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watch organizer who killed Martin, 17, after a struggle. Zimmerman is currently on trial in a Florida courtroom, charged with second-degree murder.
The DOJ's Community Relations Service first entered the Trayvon Martin controversy March 25-27, 2012 when, according to the documents, its personnel were 'deployed to Sanford, FL, to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.'
Days later, from March 30 through April 1, the agency re
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