Obama says Martin's death a tragedy, asks nation to respect call for calm
President Barack Obama spoke about the killing of Trayvon Martin on March 23, 2012 at the White House.
July 14th, 2013
02:58 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama says Martin's death a tragedy, asks nation to respect call for calm

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama called on Sunday for "calm reflection" following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

The president, in a statement, acknowledged an emotionally charged climate but concluded that "we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken."

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (778 Responses)
  1. chris

    Yes, we could do a lot more about violence by focusing on the fact that it's predominantly black on black violence that is responsible for most murders. Conversely, pretending it is white on black racism that causes killings is a travesty.

    July 14, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. mcdennis

    Mr. President, this was NOT gun violence. It was a man following the law that protected himself against an attack by a 17 year old thug. Although you and many others tried to convict him of some crime he was found not guilty. Give it up and face the fact that the person that broke the law was Trayvon Martin not George Zimmerman.

    July 14, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. The_Independant

    Sad, sad, sad... Does the US has really a good justice system? I am really wondering?

    July 14, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Melanie Edwards

    Has the President issued a statement like this for all other children killed ? Such as the mother and 4 children killed by black teens? O any for that matter, or for our soldiers? No, and No. I feel nothing but compassion for Trayvon's parents and family as well As George's. The President should have issued a statement that it was over and to abide by the jury's decision., whether the person who died is black or white or yellow or an American Native. AGain he tries to divide the nation. George is not White, so therefore race was out of the question, but those people who thrive off racism, win again

    July 14, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Gumby

    I agree with the Presidents statement. What if communities across America established Trayvon Martin Societies to try an deal openly from our hearts with not only racism, but caring for our fellow man? Coming together as Americans to use the senseless death of a kid as motivation to truly become a nation where all are created equal regardless of race, creed, or color. It could only better us as Americans, much more as human beings, which is what race we all are.

    July 14, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    If Zimmerman had not been armed he would have been beaten to death and Martin Would be claiming self defense.

    July 14, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. What about...

    What about the other white-Hispanic who allegedly shot an African American and yet there have been no protests or comments from the White House? Is it because it is an nfl player?

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. A Fractoid

    Obama said,
    "We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis."

    Obama, don't you really want to say, "We should ask ourselves if it is wise to attack and beat an armed citizen"?

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. DroneAlone

    The great divider got it half right... It's about violence.

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. L1A1Rocker

    So President Obama wishes that Zimmerman had not had a gun to defend himself from wannabe MMA fighter Travon? Thank GOD Zimmerman was using his 2A guaranteed right that night, or it may have been him that died.

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. simplyput

    Excuse me, Mr President, but aren't you the one that interjected yourself into this trial before it even began?

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Robert J

    Thankfully Zimmerman had his gun or he may be brain dead today from relentless pounding of his head into the concrete by Trayvon Martin.

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. Marc

    I remember when he said he is everyone's President. He seems like he's very comfortable showing bias and urging race separation. If He truly honors the verdict, he would honor GZ as innocent. Why has he not been able to remain neutral?

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Justice for GZ

    No need to honor a thug who assaulted a man violently for asking him what he was up too...

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. John

    Since too many so-called civil rights leaders and a willing media are using this case to inflame racial and politic strife, it’s time to set aside sympathy for Martin and his family. Our leaders must speak the blunt and honest truth – based on the facts presented at trial.

    Martin caused his own death by assaulting another person.

    Maybe Martin thought Zimmerman was a sexual deviant. Maybe he became angry thinking he was racially profiled. Regardless, Martin assaulted Zimmerman and had he lived, Martin likely would have been charged with assault and battery.

    CNN commentators and guests claiming Martin was gunned down for no reason, armed with nothing but skittles and tea, are purposefully ignoring the FACTS and dangerously feeding the flames of racial animosity.

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. northshorepaul

    If there had not been a gun, Zimmerman would have been the victim and the trial would be for TM, a murder trial. The tragedy is that TM chose this path of violence and had he not he would still be alive.

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. BoThome

    I'd say since we have some of the lowest gun violence that we've ever had in the past couple decades, I'd say yes we are doing fine with gun violence. Would you rather go back to 1994/2004 time when "assault weapons" were banned yet we had almost twice as much gun violence back then than we do today?

    That's right >> 19,000 to 23,000 a year were murdered by guns in 1994 to 2004 (10 year span of the "assault weapon" ban). Now we live in an era of more firearm options and less bans, and only have 10,000 to 12000 a year gun murders.

    Add to the fact that we have millions more living in the US (more people to potential be criminals/victims) yet we have less violence overall.

    Let's stop sidestepping the major issues in the US government like our budget and failing infrastructure, and instead focus on fixing them instead of getting sidetracked on these extremely rare happenings in a country of 310,000,000+.

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Ima Right

    The ever politically astute Obama is using Martin's death to push his political agenda.

    July 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. daveugber

    I'm glad the President waited until after a verdict to inject his opinion on this legal matter, because if I had a President, he would look like Barack Obama, and we wouldn't want him 'acting stupidly'.

    July 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. tim

    Why should we honor Trayvon? If even half of what has been shared about him is true, I do not think he should be honored. Those who care about him certainly can mourn his loss, but why in the world should we honor him? What is honorable about his actions? Illegal activity and blatant racism are not honorable things.

    July 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. USAis ROME

    If Trayvon Martin had survived, he would have certainly been arrested for aggravated assault and be in jail right now for upwards of 10 years... to speak as if he was some innocent victim of gun violence and leverage it for that purpose is just as innappropriate as it was when Obama commented on Trayvon's appearance in a photo in a photo of him as a 12 year old and started this whole mess. There are plenty of true victims of unlawful shootings daily who weren't committing a felony when they were shot.

    July 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. justinrobinsreo

    Calling this "Gun Violence" seems to me like he is calling him guilty...which doesn't seem like that is respectful to the jury and their decision. Of course it wouldn't be the first time Obama is a hypocrite.

    July 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. Toby

    Honor Trayvon Martin, is he kidding me?

    July 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. c

    "We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin." – Obama.
    Well one way to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again is to tell the damn parents to take better care of their kid! But he wants to control your lives, just like he is trying to control your guns!!!

    July 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. RowlandP

    Justice in this case was served on February 26, 2012. George Zimmerman acted justifiably when he was viciously attacked by Trayvon Martin. The facts are in, the debate is over. There is nothing honorable about what Trayvon Martin did. His thugishness got himself killed. If we honor anything, honor the justice system that was able to do its job despite the pressure from the media and this president to convict the victim of Trayvon Martin's attack.

    July 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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