"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
The NAACP has launched an online petition and written a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging the Dept. of Justice to press civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, who on Saturday night was acquitted over the death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
From the letter to Holder:
The Department of Justice has closely monitored the State of Florida’s prosecution of the case against George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder since it began. Today, with the acquittal of George Zimmerman, it is time for the Department of Justice to act . . .
The most fundamental of civil rights — the right to life — was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.
Politicians like Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), along with civil rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson, have expressed support for the NAACP’s sentiments and called for further review of the Zimmerman case.
As The Hill notes, however, the decision to pursue civil rights charges may be difficult: “The public pressure leaves Holder, the nation’s first African-American attorney general, facing a difficult decision on a controversial case that has grabbed the nation’s attention and sparked renewed debate about racial profiling.”
From The Hill:
The DOJ launched a review of the shooting earlier this year and Holder said that they would take proper action if they had evidence of a civil rights crime.
“If we find evidence of a potential federal criminal civil rights crime, we will take appropriate action, and at every step, the facts and law will guide us forward,” said Holder in a speech in April to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
But Holder had cautioned in subsequent remarks that the DOJ faces a “very high barrier” when seeking to bring federal criminal charges in such cases.
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com.More Prachi Gupta.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)