LOVE LIVE SERVED: The latest on the shooting of Trayvon Martin
In the aftermath of a Florida police officer killing an unarmed black teenager, several local media outlets have reported that the police officer may have been “mentally unstable” and had “mental health issues” before his killing.
However, police have so far declined to say if he had a criminal history, even though the FBI is investigating the death.
The Daily Mail reports that police are now investigating whether Officer Richard Haste, who killed Martin on February 26, was a “mentor” of the teen.
Haste allegedly “liked” a Facebook page where a group of black people “tried to start a fight” after the shooting, and wrote a comment in the group’s “About Us” section.
The comment read, “You gotta be a genius to think that the cops can handle this.”
In a letter to the Florida Board of Law Enforcement, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the FBI, and local police departments, the DOJ and the FBI said Haste was “mentored” by a group called “Justice for Trayvon” and “mentors” of “a black teen.”
“It is our view that Officer Haste was not in any way a ‘mentor,’ mentor, or supporter of the victim,” the DOJ’s letter said.
“The facts do not support that conclusion.”
The DOJ also said the agency was aware of Haste’s involvement in “ongoing activities” that “constitute an abuse of authority.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Haste’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, said the “troubling thing” about the Justice Dept’s letter was that it said that the “ongoed activities” included “engaging in a violent attack on a police officer.”
“This is the kind of thing that the Department of Justice can’t do,” O’Maara said.