WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A few dozen demonstrators in the nation’s capital are calling on the U.S. Justice Department to bring charges in the slaying of an unarmed black teenager in Florida.

Protesters gathered outside a Justice Department building on Monday to call for a criminal prosecution against neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who claims he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense. Martin’s family believes racial profiling was behind the Feb. 26 shooting. Zimmerman is of Hispanic descent and has ties to the Washington area.

The demonstration was organized by National Black United Front and is one of several that have taken place in Washington in recent days.

Among the demonstrators was 48-year-old Patti Francis, who says she was outraged over what happened. Her 12-year-old son, Barrett Griffin, says he believes Zimmerman would have already been arrested if he were black.

A task force has formed in Florida to look into the shooting. In addition, the Justice Department and FBI have opened a civil rights investigation into the matter.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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