Released Documents: Department of Justice Provided Security At Trayvon Martin Protests

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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Newly released documents show the Department of Justice spent time and money providing security for Trayvon Martin protests in March and April of 2012.

As reported by the Daily Caller, members of The Community Relations Service, or CRS, a unit from the Department of Justice that specializes in resolving race-based conflict, were sent to Sanford, Fla., to provide security at marches and protests in support of Martin after he was shot by George Zimmerman in February 2012.

The document details several expenses from the CRS trip. All together, the expenses from the trip run up to more than $5,200. Judicial Watch obtained the documents in April 2012 through a Freedom of Information Act request and just released them on Wednesday.

The Department of Justice describes the CRS as the “peacemaker” branch of the organization. The duties of the CRS include “assist[ing] state and local units of government, private and public organizations and community groups with preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders and in restoring racial stability and harmony.”

The CRS was instituted in 1964 as part of the Civil Rights Act. While the CRS has a stated mission of resolving racial conflict, some are upset at their involvement in the Martin protests and say the Al Sharpton-organized protests were racially charged themselves.

“These documents detail the extraordinary intervention by the Justice Department in the pressure campaign leading to the prosecution of George Zimmerman,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “My guess is that most Americans would rightly object to taxpayers paying government employees to help organize racially charged demonstrations.”

The Department of Justice released a brief response to an email from the Daily Caller on the CRS’ involvement at the protests.

"The Community Relations Service was in Florida as part of their mandated mission,” said spokeswoman Dena Iverson. 

Sources: Daily Caller, Daily Mail, Judicial Watch