Col. Allen West, a former Florida congressman, reacted this morning to the Justice Department's announcement that it will review the George Zimmerman case for possible civil rights violations. The NAACP had petitioned for the review following a Florida jury finding Zimmerman 'not guilty' of murder or manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Larger questions are being asked, however, of the case that has reignited a race debate in the country ... including that of, should race have even been attached to the case in the first place? West told Gretchen Carlson on Fox and Friends Monday morning that he believes the race angle was amplified by the media in an attempt to politicize the case.

"I think one of the things that we saw was the interjection of race into this case, especially by the race baiters," he said, "which probably caused the prosecution to go down the path of a charge that was going to be a little bit harder [to prove]." He added that if the state had "let the justice system take its due course," there may have been a different verdict.

West also questioned why the NAACP honed in on the Zimmerman case but have been more silent on the violence seen in cities like Chicago, where over this past weekend alone reports listed 10 black children or teens being killed.

"Where are they talking about the black-on-black crime we're seeing throughout Chicago and many other inner cities?" he questioned. "I think there's a little bit of cherry-picking here for the sake of political purposes, and we need to get away from that."