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. Slavadil

    Obama needlessly inflamed the whole thing by referring to Trayvon as "his son". Let this story die already, the media has milked it dry and the verdict is out. I'm not arrogant enough to say I know better then the courts when I wasn't even at the trial. The rest of America should follow suit.

    July 14, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. swedehart

    Unless you listened to every word at the trial, you cannot be a good judge of what really happened. You can comment, but you won't have all the facts. I've heard people say some outrages things that the media probably made up.

    July 14, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Cwewill

    I see there is still a multitude of ignorant comments here. What is wrong with the president making a comment about one of his citizens? America is reaping what it has sewn and the culprits don't like it....tough!

    July 14, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Jim

    The British newspaper Guardian is stil! publishing Trayvon's picture as a 12 year old!
    Unbelievable! He was 17 and 6'1"! Not a baby!!
    The press is still race baiting!!

    July 14, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. rkdres

    Some people think this is a travesty of justice because they have allowed themselves to become brainwashed by the media's sensationalized "coverage" of this trial. This was never a racial issue, it was MADE into one. The jurors thankfully weren't subject to this nonsense. Fact: There was more evidence to corroborate GZ's account than the prosecution's depiction of a racially motivated "murderer". Get on with your lives.

    July 14, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Sandra

    Love you, Trayvon Benjamin Martin. Only NASTY WORMY HEARTED PEOPLE are happy that you were murdered. You will never be forgotten!

    July 14, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Name

    what rock did you.come from America is worst than a third world country. The so call constitution carring Americans have two faces two sets of laws and a evil undertone to most minorities here. The constitution and its laws was not written for us. At least in a third world country you know your goverment is evil. Here they play demoracy when it suites them. They tell lies and twist laws to only suite their agenda. The fraze I have black friends is their way o trying to prove they are not
    one of the most evil entities a racist and
    cowardes person to exist. We see threw you we are not our forefathers. You truly got us mixed up with a different area of people. We wil not close our eyes to this anylonger. No weapon has or ever will form against us shell prosper. From the shores of Africa to the White Hous. We know yoi fear the black man.

    July 14, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Drew

    Just to comment on all the ignorant white and racial comments. Zimmerman is Hispanic so please stop your racial bigotry.

    July 14, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. karlie

    Appears that some people are ready to make a judgement on the verdict when they apparently did not tune-in to the trial. Fact is Zimmerman was a part of the Neighborhood Watch Team because there had been so many break-ins there and all were concerned for the safety of their families and property. In court it was made clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that somehow Martin had Zimmerman on his back on the ground and Martin was sitting on him and beating him as picture-evidence showed. Zimmerman's face and nose had been severly beaten and the back of his head had cuts and blood where Martin had pounded his head into the pavement. At this point, I believe Zimmerman, in the interest of self-protection, had a choice to make. He could either let Martin continue to hold him down and keep beating him or he could use the only weapon he had and that was a gun. Martin chose to protect himself and therefore used his gun to stop Martin. It's called self-defense and I cannot imagine any human making a different choice under the same circumstances. My heart does go out to the Martin family in that they have lost a son which has got to be one of the most painful experiences in life. Now, I pray for all involved and I pray we all learn to try our best to know facts before rendering judgements. To me, thats the least we can do.

    July 14, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Still proud to be an American

    I'm not understanding how people here are saying Trayvon was a thug or acting like a thug. If walking home from the store with a hoodie on makes one a thug, I guess I am one too. I will just pray that when my thuggish acting children or relatives decide to make a quick run to the store, they will make it home safely without being targeted, stalked and gunned down like the thugs some people THINK THEY ARE.

    July 14, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Name. Ahookem

    I guess nobody can be happy with any decision that has been made regardless of race. Judged by your peers right? You know it kills me when they keep saying the 17 year old child, but when you see crime being done by any 17 year old they want to try as an adult case. Really! I guess in till it happens to us who knows what will happen regardless of what part we are given in the situation. But hey since the case was lost lets go to civil court and get money instead. You know kinda like the OJ case. Just races reversed.

    July 14, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. adrifter

    It's a depressing thing to read what many Americans have to say about the Zimmerman trial. Judging by the comments, it would seem that the majority of you are racist idiots. I can't believe that, but it's sad that you can justify an unarmed teenager being shot dead and the killer being celebrated as some sort of national hero. Shocking, disgusting and unbelievable. I'm glad I am living in a civilized country where there is a rule of law that protects its citizens. That country is the not the United States of America.

    July 14, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Bob

    As one lawyer pointed out today, thanks to Florida's Self Defense Law, you will likely see murder as the "go to" response. Under Florida law, if you claim self-defense as a justification for killing someone, it is up to the prosecution to prove it wasn't self-defense. In almost every other state, the defendant has to prove self-defense was justified since the default is that killing someone is wrong. So in Florida, if you get in a fight with someone and no one is around to witness it, kill the other guy. The state can't prove it wasn't self defense beyond a reasonable doubt since the other guy is dead and the defendant doesn't have to testify. Good job, Florida (and the NRA)! This is the same state that made it a felony for an emergency room doctor to even ask "Was your kid shot by a gun in the house?".

    July 14, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Anon

    I wish we had been told more about how the attempt of the state attorney to withhold much potential evidence played into the verdict. If the state attorney was so sure of the case why did they cause potential evidence to disappear. I commend the whistleblower who unfortunately lost his job. I pray that he is able to find employment where honesty is valued. I feel sympathy for the loss of a young life and also for what this all could mean for the Zimmerman's. I do hope that action is taken legally against the state attorney. Mr. Obama has the title of USA president but that is all. Actually if he had married a Hispanic woman his son could have looked like GZ. Pray for God's will to be done in our nation.

    July 14, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. just sayin

    every time obama opens his mouth, he proves over and over he is unqualified and unfit to hold the office. now he is siding with criminals over an american citizens defending himself. nothing new for a democrat i guess.

    July 14, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Kevin

    It is a tragedy. George Zimmerman's life is ruined, and a young man is dead. Everyone can speculate and be amateur legal critics, but the facts are this; Zimmerman was proved to be no guilty, and the racism that encompassed this case is a testament to the ignorance of the masses being led astray by mass media.

    July 14, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. rmac

    All the above comments have merit.The one comment that I feel is on the money is about vigilante justice. Leave policing to the professionals, they are trained.They are held to a higher standard of conduct.At least use trained security personnel if needed. I know that may seem naive, but having neighbors roaming the streets with weapons spying on others can only lead to trouble.

    July 14, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. simplyput

    This president is uniquely qualified to argue against drugs on the streets which lead to the violence. Why doesn't he? The prisons tell the story, don't they? THC levels in pot are through the roof, and yet parents continue to get high with kids. Drugs are the enemy here, not the children. We need Drug Ed. in middle schools in this country. Teenagers loaded on pot only ruin lives, including their own, and never learn the responsibilities of freedom. Every prison tells the same story....drugs.

    July 14, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Philip Noir

    Is a presidential statement on the verdict in a state criminal court case in any way appropriate?

    July 14, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. Zak

    The system that failed was the charges by the Prosecution. 2nd degree was totally preposterous.

    Manslaughter, according the laws... was not enough to convict. The jury had no alternative than to acquit Zimmerman.

    A lesser charge than manslaughter, had a better chance of conviction. This is what happens when people get greedy.

    July 14, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. D-Nice

    I totally disagree with the verdict....I'm very upset with the jury! It clearly was racially motivated, if Zimmerman would have listen to the dispatcher Trayvon would still be alive...Only George & Trayvon knows what really happened and were only getting one side...We as a nation should learn from this, there is CLEARLY NO JUSTICE IN THE COURT SYSTEM....Trayvon was guilty when he was born,its sad I hug my African American sons more every night and pray that they never go thru this. George Zimmerman will go thru the rest of his life wondering what its like to be black, people will stare and point at him no matter where he goes and I'm sure there are people out in Florida looking for him to retaliate for the injustice that occured in the fake system. George Zimmerman was found "NOT GUILTY" but he will never be "FREE"

    July 14, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Reality now

    Obama helped to hype this case with his uniformed comment "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon ".That comment was inappropriate and affected public opinion in a negative way.Zimmerman had every right to use deadly force against that young punk .

    July 14, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. Barbara Eisinger

    What about the tragedy of George Zimmerman, a young man who committed no criminal act, who only wanted to help stop the rampant crime in his own neighborhood, who was attacked and assaulted and who will now have to live the rest of his life looking over his shoulder for fear someone may decide to take the law into his own hands and harm him or his family. He has already spent nearly two years confined to his home, not able to come and go freely. And what was his crime? Nothing. He didn't chase Trayvon, he followed and observed him, answering the questions the operator asked him about what he was seeing. Show me the law that violates. And when the operator advised him that they did not need him to follow once he got out of his car, he did as he was asked and headed back to his car. Not they story you heard? From whom did you hear it? Anyone who had any first hand, real knowledge of the events of the night or just someone speculating about what might have happened rather than what did. The evidence and the witnesses back up George's version of the events, not Trayvon's. But then you want to believe it happened another way so you don't care whose life you ruin in the process.

    July 14, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Mike

    Watch out for his neighbors! He didn't know the name of the street he was on. And he shot and killed one of his 'neighbors' a few doors down from where that neighbor lived!

    Just who was the thug anyway?

    July 14, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Mike

    Had Martin felt threatened and shot Zimmerman, there would have been a whole different outcome!

    July 14, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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