Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel, October 30, 2014
A federal grand jury will meet in downtown Orlando Wednesday to hear testimony about whether Trayvon Martin’s civil rights were violated when Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot him in the chest, according to court paperwork.
A U.S. Department of Justice attorney from Washington, D.C., Mark Blumberg, has issued at least one subpoena for Wednesday in the case.
It’s not clear how many witnesses have been ordered to appear, but at least one, Frank Taaffe, Zimmerman’s former neighbor and longtime defender, has been.
Following Zimmerman’s acquittal on a murder charge, Taaffe has reversed his position and now says that he believes Zimmerman was motivated by race the night he followed then shot Trayvon in 2012.
Taaffe cites a phone conversation he had with Zimmerman in the days following the shooting but before Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Last month, the Washington Post cited three unnamed law enforcement officials as saying there would likely be no federal charges brought against Zimmerman because of insufficient evidence.