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. max

    He has no business commenting on this case. And, should let it be. PAY ATTENTION, distraction from NSA LEAKS and all the other INJUSTICE of his administration!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Irrational Exuberance

    Good question.

    Are we telling men old enough to join the military that if they think someone is following them they should not punch them in the face, get on top of them, and beat on them MMA style? That doing so is possible a felony and the person can shoot them dead since they would be defending themselves from an assault

    And are we condemning people calling for the lynching of Hispanic men? Otherwise being called street justice?

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Tony Price

    @Bazinga, couldn't agree more.

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Mitch in the Sky

    He has no comments about all of the murders in Chicago, but he has no problem putting in his 2 cents on this case!

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Linda / Ohio

    Has everyone forgotten that the "child" was somewhere he was not supposed to be. There is a reason people pay to live in gated communities – its called security them, their family and their belongings. If this "child" has not infringed on other people rights, this would not have happened.

    July 14, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Scott

    Our president continues to inject politics into a case that should have never been brought (at least with the evidence that was presented by this case). Not only did he initially add his two cents in prior to the start of the case, but he is now trying to tie in gun policy with it. Conduct like that is the very antithesis of e how presidents should conduct themselves. Between the president's justice department and the NAACP, I have little doubt that there will be rest or reflection for very long.

    July 14, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. barry

    Yes it is a tragedy that Martin was killed. But how many of you actually followed the trial and evidence rather than the early, inaccurate media reports? If you had, you would have seen the forensic experts, the police and eye witnesses who placed Martin on top and the one who was in control. We know now that when Zimmerman said that he found Martin suspicious because he was acting strange as if on drugs,that he actually was on drugs. Did Martin deserve to die for this? No. But Zimmerman had a right to defend himself if he thought he might be killed. Martin was high, how do we know he would have stopped. Most importantly had Martin been white or hispanic, would any of you care? Before watching the trial I wanted to Zimmerman to rot. Now I believe justice.was served.

    July 14, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Cash

    Ask for calm? How about asking for impeachment? This president violated every tenant of our Constitution to assure a fair trial to Zimmerman. Federal Moneys were used by Obama and Holder to fan the flames of this Constitutional breach.

    July 14, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. T

    If Zimmerman never had the gun then we would have never known about this and Trayvon would have been charged with aggravated battery and went to jail. Right Boater39?

    July 14, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Debra Dibartolo

    Use caution when intrepreting the gun violence statistis. Ask yourself are there less murders because the population shift and less youth than years past (as the population ages) Ask you self for our most at risk citizen of violence is this stastics true-In fact has gun violence decreased in black urban youth??

    And to put this in perspective We have more youth die in this ciunty every year from gun violence than the number of soliders we have lost in the past ten years of the Iraqi war....So our urban streets hold more danger for our youth than then the war in the middle east does for our soldiers..

    We all own this and we all must put efforts in stopping this epidemic!!! DO not let the statistics give you a false sence of joy and security.

    God God Bless and we never forget all of our young men and women who lost their life to soon due to violence

    July 14, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. ken

    Just wanna say that anyone that smokes weed does not become violent and try to kill someone. Poor decision on the jury behalf. But our system has spoken and let Zimmermen live with the guilt. People need to get over this. People get killed everyday!

    July 14, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. PJ

    Show compassion for Zimmerman? No way. He left his car, he had the gun, he followed the teenager, and he
    caused every bit of this tragedy. If you are so concerned with this "thug" child, where is the anger that
    Zimmerman apparently (cma) had hidden charges against him: Spousal abuse, beating up a cop, etc. and a Daddy Judge to cover it up for him.

    Walk a mile in the shoes of the grieving parents before you spew your one-sided hate.

    July 14, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. BV

    Sadly a child is dead.. But the hypocrisy is even more sad. A so called hate crime that was actually a justifiable homicide, and minorities and guilt riddled whites go nuts.. Yet day in and day out blacks commit hate crimes against whites and the silence from the hypocrites is deafening. This nation is headed for trouble.

    July 14, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. NameGoose

    Obama we don't need a racist President. We need a people's President. Obama you and your illegal administration needs to go...America has had enough!

    July 14, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. it must be said

    The black city manager of Sanford fired the white police chief because he failed to arrest and charge Zimmerman because the facts of the case didn't not warrant it. He was replaced with a black police chief. This trial has demonstrated he was 100% correct. I hope he sues the city for racially based wrongful termination and is awarded millions of dollars. Zimmerman wasn't the only person in this case that was wrongfully lynched.

    July 14, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Birddriver97

    Just for once the POTUS needs to disengage, sit back and reamin silent. How dare he make the presentation that we should Honor TM, clearly a thug, punk, wannnbe, but oh btw if the POTUS had a son he'd be just like TM,ROLMFAO. Then what, no mention of the heroics of a nieghborhood watchman who was only interested in doing HIS civic duty until being ambushed by ...oh yeah a thug, punk, wannabe. While I can sympathize with the loss of a child, the question begs itself of just where were the parents while TM was enaging in his alternative activities.

    July 14, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. larry

    Martin had 4 MIN. From when he was seen until fight insude. He was 100 yards from home, he should gave went home. Oh by the way Martin was serving a 10 day school suspension that's why he was staying with his dad in that neighborhood vs. His own neigberhood. Martin had no long before this had punched his school bus driver. Far from a model student. Martin was not a defenseless little child, he started a fight that he couldn't finish. The jury has spoken respect it. Don't forget the states witness stated that martin was on top pummeling zimmerman. Sounds like self defense turns out that was what it was!

    July 14, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. gee

    I anyone in my neighborhood even suggested 'watch' ..........

    July 14, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Name

    Why would you "honor" Zimmerman? Isn't his freedom "honor" enough? At the end if the day it doesn't matter if Trayvon was the leader of a gang; he was not doing anything to warrant Zimmerman's actions. He was a KID walking home...nonetheless Zimmerman's conviction, or lack thereof, wouldn't bring Trayvon back. While YOU all sit a criticize the black community for their youth; please don't be oblivious to the MASS MURDERS done by your youth. That being said, well said Mr President...I commend you on your unbiased statement. I will continue my prayers for the Martin and Fulton Families.

    July 14, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Paw Paw

    If anyone needs to be charged with violating civil rights, it ought to be TM's parents, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the New Black Panther Party and the state of Florida for violating GZ's civil rights. This case should never have gone to trial. It was clear from the beginning that the state did not have the evidence to gain a conviction. There have been 6 cases in Florida that involved Black men killing Hispanics or white men, that were never charged because of either stand your ground or self-defense since 2005. The decision to not charge Zimmerman was the reasonable and prudent course of action. It was not based on race.
    Isn't it a violation of a person's civil rights to punch someone in the nose for asking a question? Isn't it a violation of a person's civil rights to beat his head against a sidewalk because he followed you? These actions are not what anyone would call a reasonable response to GZ's so called provocation, so TM would not have the protection of claiming self-defense or stand your ground.

    July 14, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. emma

    live like a thug...die like a thug...

    July 14, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Hae Sun Lee

    I believe the President Obama owes an apology to George Zimmerman and his parents for making guilty assumptions before the trial. As a leader of a nation, every public announcement he makes are weighed heavily in the heart of the citizen. The President needs to take responsibilities to the elevating the tension by making emotional comments before all facts are known in this case. His comments given today sounds like he was looking for an excuse for the mistake he's made since the focus on the gun violence was not the main point of the case. I hope he is man enough to take steps to accept the responsibility and help the people in this great nation come together rather than use the race card to create more divisions.

    July 14, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. wrm

    I can't take anything you say seriously, O.

    July 14, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. Bruce, UK

    Americans note: the world is watching. This lovely nation of yours is turning to a nation of extreme hatred. For starters, what is wrong with this level-headed statement by President Obama. You make many of us shudder with the venom that seems to engulf the hearts and minds of Americans.

    July 14, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Sheila Ashe

    We understand the call because of the limitations and restrictive instructions from Floridian judge however we still need and demand to reevaluate the law in all these situations and cease this horrible pattern. We look like fools to other countries because we act like fools when we allow this circle to continue. Please please. Please. Please JUSTICE IS BLIND NOT STUPID.

    July 14, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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