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. TJ

    "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." Seriously? He made an excellent speech, right to the part where he tried to make it a gun control issue. But I guess politicians can't help themselves.

    This being a fairly clear cut case of the use of a firearm in self defense, you can bet the nuts from both sides are gonna pipe up about this.

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. lepustownsendii

    not just gun violence, but violence in general. Trayvon Martin was a violent young man. drone strikes on foreign soil that seem to miss and hit civilians on a regular basis are also forms unnecessary violence. we should be able to defend ourselves from violent attackers; and there should be more people that understand how to work through their problems and fears with words instead of punches, stabs, and bullets. directing this all to Zimmerman's legal possession of a firearm is irresponsible – and another tactic to take attention away from the fact that Obama has expanded controversial programs for NSA secret surveillance of US citizens.

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. tom meitzler

    That I think he's guilty as H being beside the point, sure, try to use even this as a campaign against gun rights.

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. peter

    I still can't wrap my mind around this. As much as we respect the verdict, we still need to have a sober reflection for the young soul lost. RIP Trayvon Martin. God will fight for you.

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. amcboarder

    Loss of life is always tragic. Gun violence is a problem we must address, but the Trayvon Martin case has little to do with gun violence. Pres Obama should worry more about the inner city violence that take countless innocent lives every day.

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. rkvillehunter57@yahoo.com

    this after he inflamed racial tensions after the shooting. Nice job President idiot

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Rick

    I think the President has more things to worry about than issuing statements about a wanna be thug got killed trying to beat up GZ. There is this white guy who was beaten to death by 4 black thugs in Georgia 2 days ago and thrown on road, there is no media coverage. The media needs to pick up wrong stories for their ratings. It's shame for one to compare a wanna be drug addict thug TM to MLK. TM not only tried to beat up GZ but he also encouraged his fellow thugs beat up a homeless man and film it.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Tyrone S.

    As a Black American I am offended that this President is telling me to 'honor Trayvon Martin'. This 6 foot tall 'teenager' assaulted and seriously hurt an innocent Hispanic American man who had to resort to defending himself with a weapon (just as anybody would in a similar situation). Trayvon Martin gives all Black Americans a bad name. Treyvon Martin was a violent person, all the evidence supports that fact and the jury in a court of law obviously came to the same conclusion. In fact, Treyvon Martin was suspended for 10-days from his school for serious fights he caused when this incident with Mr. Zimmerman occurred. Using Treyvon Martin as a 'symbol of civil rights' in this country offends me and offends many of my fellow Black Americans. There are many better Black American people/situations to justify civil rights expansion than using the Treyvon Martin case. In fact, people who are against civil rights probably would want us to use a flawed person like Treyvon Martin as our example – because it makes us look even more stupid. This President should stop commenting on a local / state issues and focus on fixing the federal government. Lastly, when is the President / DOJ going to bring a civil rights case against OJ Simpson for killings his white wife and her white boyfriend? This President brings shame upon me and my fellow Black Americans.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Mike in SA

    "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." I don't know, Mr. President, how about you ask your Attorney General about Fast & Furious and get to us on that one.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Adam

    Mr. President. Didn't you learn you shouldn't have commented on this once let alone twice. If Mr. Zimmerman wouldn't have had his gun he might be dead right now. Funny how you continue to ignore your HOMETOWN Chicago where it is a warzone for young African Americans. The problem there is way more than guns. Have you turned your back on Chicago Mr. President?

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. jim

    The tragedy for America was how the president chose to politicize this case, which should never have gone to trial in the first place.

    But he saw a chance to gin up his base for the 2012 elections. Now that the body of Trayvon Martin has served Obama's purpose, and Zimmerman will have to look over his shoulder, the president will unlikely move on to his next distraction.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Don

    Yes, and if the innocent party in this conflict had not been armed with a gun for self defense, the outcome would have been quite different: he would have been killed by the thug, who was bashing his head against the concrete,

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Ray

    I agreed with the verdict AND I respect President Obama's message. By assuming guilt or innocence based upon someone's skin color, we're taking steps back, not forward.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Truth

    Honor Martin for brutally attacking another cracker. Is that what you just said President of the UNITED STATES? Not just the black people. Unbelievable. Our President is a racist and should be taken out of office before he starts a riot like his friend Al sharpton.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Maypo

    The Emperor Rufus is out of his depth. Sharpton eats this loser for lunch...

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Don't buy the hype

    Obama wants to ban and confiscate guns. Guns aren't the problem. Criminals and mental health are the problem. Ban guns and people will still kill each other with knives.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. blackfootkiller

    Once again he calls it gun violence, when in fact it is gang violence...Progressives don't care about facts or reality...They have an agenda, that agenda ends with 'we the people' as unarmed tax slaves to these elitists...Not today, not ever.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Burt

    Obama started this with "Travon could have been my son." Now, if that isn't an incentive to divide people, I don't know what is. Obama wouldn't have said that if he had seen the picture of the 17 yr old Travon the way he looked when he was hammering George Zimmerman's head into the concrete with the intent to kill. As for Obama's pitch against guns – his beloved Eric Holder was the fast and furious matermind. A gun saved George Zimmerman's life just like a gun would save anyone's life from being terrorized by an uneducated bully – black, white, or hispanic. Now that George Zimmerman is being called a White Hispanic; Obama should in fairness be called a White Negro.

    July 14, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Good statement. He reminds us guns are being toted and used against young blacks all over the country. Maybe Al Sharpton will put his best foot forward in the cities where the most young blacks are dying from guns. It sure aint Sanford, FL.

    July 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Name

    thought he knew we didn't care what he thought.

    July 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. J Beemer

    Ohama what us to honor Trayvon Martin who violently attacked George Zimmerman.

    July 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Metron

    I think we really should ask ourselves if we want to have such a divisive politician from Chicago lead us again.

    July 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. AceGirlshusband

    So now the administration is to use Trayvon Martin as a poster boy for gun control? I think just the opposite: Zimmerman's right to carry a gun may very well have saved his life.

    July 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. zelsdorf2

    To honor Trayvon Martin is to dishonor honor. Truth is Mr. Martin was in Florida because he had been kicked out of school for attacking a school bus driver. The Judge and prosecution kept out all the evidence of who Trayvon was, but he was no innocent. A neighborhood watchman was doing his job when he was attacked by a hater who told Zimmerman he intended to kill him. Zimmerman was the victim in all of this. Trayvon got what was coming to him. It was just now or later.

    July 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. JohnB35

    Thank you, Mr. President. Better words could not be said.

    July 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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