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Special Prosecutor: Grand Jury Will Not Hear Trayvon Martin Case

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Trayvon Martin tribute in Elmwood Park, N.J. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Trayvon Martin tribute in Elmwood Park, N.J. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - An Elmwood  Park, N.J., mural painted as a tribute to slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin is not the only Travon-related story making headlines today.

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Special prosecutor Angela Corey announced Monday she will not bring the Trayvon Martin shooting death before a grand jury.

Corey said she will continue to investigate the case and will not involve a grand jury set to meet Tuesday.

Corey said her decision to skip the grand jury shouldn’t be considered a factor in determining whether charges will be filed against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has admitted to fatally shooting the unarmed Martin.

The announcement means the decision on charges now rests solely with Corey, who had a reputation for not presenting cases before grand juries if it wasn’t required. Under Florida law, only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries.

Rev. Al Sharpton reacted to the decision.

“The special Prosecutor’s decision to forego bringing the Trayvon Martin shooting death before a grand jury vindicates the position that we have taken all along—that is you do not need a grand jury to make an arrest of George Zimmerman on probable cause,” Sharpton said. “It does not necessarily mean that this arrest will be made immediately. Therefore, we intend to keep the pressure on as we remain cautiously optimistic that this will lead to an arrest.”

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The shooting on Feb. 26 made national headlines and the hooded sweatshirt a symbol of protest.

Martin was unarmed and wearing a hoodie when he was shot in the gated community of Sanford. He was returning home from the store after buying a bag of Skittles and and a can of iced tea.

A “Million Hoodie March” was held last month in Union Square. Participants said they were standing against stereotypes of black men who wear hooded sweatshirts.

Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, and Florida’s self-defense law gives wide leeway to use deadly force and eliminates a person’s duty to retreat in the face of danger.

(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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