Holder: DOJ ‘Resolved’ to Combat Violence ‘Involving or Directed at Young People’

By Melanie Arter | July 15, 2013 | 2:25 PM EDT

Attorney General Eric Holder (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that the Justice Department is “resolved” to “combat violence involving or directed at young people,” announcing that it has opened an investigation into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin as it said it would last spring.

“We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents. And we will never stop working to ensure that – in every case, in every circumstance, and in every community – justice must be done,” Holder said at an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the black sorority, Delta Sigma Theta in the nation’s capital.

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A Florida jury on Saturday acquitted George Zimmerman of murder in Martin’s death, sparking outrage in the black community.

Holder said that the DOJ would “act in a manner that is consistent with the facts and the law.”

He pledged to stand with the people of Sanford, individuals and families affected by the case, as well as state and local partners “order to alleviate tensions, address community concerns, and promote healing.”

“We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion – and also with truth,” he said.

Holder said the case offered “an opportunity to better understand one another and to make better this nation we cherish.”

“Independent of the legal determination that will be made, I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally-charged issues that this case has raised. We must not – as we have too often in the past – let this opportunity pass,” Holder said.

“I hope that we will approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most, Trayvon’s parents, have demonstrated throughout the last year – and especially over the past few days,” Holder said.

Trayvon’s parents “suffered a pain that no parent should have to endure - and one that I, as a father, cannot begin to conceive,” he added.