Criminal civil rights charges unlikely for George Zimmerman

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WASHINGTON —

The head of the Department of Justice said he hasn't officially decided whether to file criminal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, but the tone in his answers seemed to indicate it wouldn't happen, according to Channel 9's Greg Warmoth.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he's not sure how much longer the department will review the case after civil rights groups called for hate crime charges against Zimmerman, who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford last year.

Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked him and began smashing his head into the concrete ground. He was found not guilty by a jury.

"The case of George Zimmerman and what happens there, I think a substantial part was resolved in the case that was tried," Holder said on Monday.

In April, Holder said, "We will take appropriate action and at every step, the facts and law will guide us forward."

But he had cautioned in subsequent remarks that the DOJ faces a "very high barrier" when seeking to bring federal criminal charges in such cases.

It appears that may be the case here, Warmoth said.