Democratic lawmakers blast police in US teen killing

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – Democratic lawmakers yesterday blasted police handling of a racially charged case in which a neighbourhood watch volunteer shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Florida, accusing local law enforcement officials of botching the investigation.

The lawmakers, speaking at a congressional forum attended by the parents of the slain teenager, called for the immediate arrest of 28-year-old George Zimmerman, the white Hispanic who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in what Zimmerman said was self-defense.

Florida law enforcement officials have faced intense criticism in recent weeks from civil rights activists and others for not arresting Zimmerman, who remains at large and in seclusion. Police say a state “stand your ground” law that allows people to use deadly force when they perceive danger in any public place has prevented them from making an arrest.

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