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. Isidro Motaco

    Yes, Mr.President, But this is not your job. There are so many identical types of situations like this across the country, and as far as I know, no President before you interfere in the justice system like you did – Your speech just after de incident in 2012 -. The Justice should work without the political arm around it.

    July 14, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. moorbid

    It hasn't even been 24 hours and he's already exploiting the situation for a political agenda... super classy.

    Exactly what we need, yet another way to slice this thing so it divides more people.

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

    To "honor" Trayvon Martin, he says. The 17 year old, attitude riddled juvenile, was not a nice kid after all. School suspension for weed, twitter name "no_limit_nigga", possessing stolen property, texts with "U Gotta Gun?" and pictures of him with guns and gang references. All that does not mean he should lose his life, but the elephant in the room that no one speaks of is his immature arrogant punk attitude he brought to the confrontation. He is not a saint, Mr. Obama, nor is George Zimmerman. So stay out of the dialog.

    July 14, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. HenryMiller

    "We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence..."

    A guy successfully keeps himself from being beaten to death by shooting the guy beating him, and Obama tries to turn it into yet another bit of anti-gun yammer. If Zimmerman hadn't had a gun, he'd be dead, or at least seriously hurt, now, but Obama doesn't want to consider that.

    July 14, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. ray

    Ah. The president mourning a drug/gun dealer who attacked a man

    July 14, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Jim Porter

    That's the dumbest reference possible from a man in his position. For what ever reason Mr Zimmerman has been found innocent of the charge of Murder in the 2nd degree.. The Jury including one woman of color had decided INNOCENCE after hearing all the evidence presented.
    The President needs to concern himself with the law, and NOT make statements pro or con regarding the outcome. The claim was SELF Defense. How many 17 plus year old soldiers are now serving in the armed forces. This young MAN was not a child, If he had committed the same offense he would have been TRIED AS AN ADULT.

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. katmajere

    Once again – Obama uses something like this to further help his anti-constitutional agenda.

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Well said Mr. President,but that isn't going to help much...
    A boy was murdered and the killer got away with it..Plain and simple..

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. calvinwolf

    The best way to prevent more tragic occurrences like the death of Trayvon Martin is to teach people not to use their fists. Though George Zimmerman was aggressive in his approach of Martin, Martin's physical attack on Zimmerman prompeted the tragic shooting in self-defense. Our young people need to be encouraged to use their words, not their fists, when faced with confrontation. Had Martin, when asked what he was doing, explained that he was walking home, a tragedy could have been prevented. The presence of the legally-purchased and legally-carried firearm was not the bigger problem. The use of fists in aggression was the bigger problem.

    I propose a "use your voice, not your fists" campaign to reduce tragic violence.

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Reba Dewston

    I am Hispanic and I did not see the outrage when all the news media convicted George Zimmerman –because he was a white Hispanic –who shot ( in self -defense ) and umarmed teen-ager - being bi-racial –I have always been a Liberal –but this "garbage –generated by the news media makes me sick to my core. So this is how they go for their ratings
    Mr sharpton should learn to stay off the air for inciting hate,

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Proud White American

    Dance around the actual question Mr. President. Guns aren't the topic here. Guns protect people FROM violence how many people would've been killed had it been for a gun for protection. The truth is, black people made this case about race. GZ is NOT racist I don't think anyone truly is anymore. The events that happened in the 1950's shouldn't still be fueling people today. GZ was called a "cracker" WHY is that ok? Why is it ok that when I check out at a store with black cashiers they roll their eyes or they treat me differently? Why is it ok for black people to treat us whites, the way that they were treated in the 50's? If they truly didn't like being degraded and they felt it was unfair back then, why do it to us now??? Black people are more racist today than all the white people together, and I feel they don't care and they want it that way. So do I feel bad for saying the N-word? NO they are bringing it on themselves through their own ignorance.

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. citizen

    obahma should not be commenting on this.

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. CG

    Hundreds of thousands of wrongly accused Blacks (not using African American as not all Blacks hail from Africa), Hispanics and other minorities are wrongly imprisoned and can be freed by newer DNA techniques not available when they were sentenced to prison. However, the NAACP and the Obama Administration want to waste time persecuting George Zimmerman because a jury said he was not guilty. Where was the outrage when OJ Simpson was acquitted? Seriously, everyone knew he committed murder. Oh wait, freeing those imprisoned unjustly isn't good for ratings and the Democratic Party because it doesn't divide the country as much as convicting Zimmerman in the court of public opinion. What a crock of shit. People, WAKE UP and recognize what the extreme left AND right are doing to further divide this wonderful country of ours before it is too late. UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. bravo33

    The Prez has already tainted this legal issue by comparing Martin to his unborn son. Further fueling the issue by treating the dead teenager as a racial martyr is ridiculous. 17 year olds make bad decisions and tragically Martin's bad decision was fatal.

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Julian Santos

    "Honor Trayvon Martin."???? The young man did not deserve to die. Zimmerman was a wannabe cop that got in a situation he couldn't handle. However, Zimmerman was jumped by Trayvon...why would we "honor" a teen that did something so stupid and paid the ultimate price for it? If he felt harassed while being followed then call the police. You don't follow your stalker and try to kick his ass especially in a state that lets you defend yourself with a weapon if being attacked. We shouldn't be honoring either of these two fools. I feel more sympathy towards Trayvon because he died over such a stupid situation and was brought up in a culture that thinks talking tough, smoking pot, and fighting anyone and everyone that bothers you is "badass" way to live. Zimmerman is a coward but a coward that did something within the law and his rights.

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. BEM684

    Did he just say we should honor Trayvon Martin? WHAT?

    July 14, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Dr Malcolm Howard

    Mr President thanks for inciting the public with your unnecessary comments, stay out of it. Then you slip in an unnecessary comment in the 2nd Amendment. You countinue to shame your office and the American people. You took an oath that apparently has slipped your mind, someone with ethics would understand I as an American am ashamed of where you have taken this country, strongly suggest you resign immediately. DR Howard

    July 14, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Chris

    Way to honor a thug, Mr President.

    July 14, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. John Miller

    Using a gun to protect one's self from bodily harm or the treat of bodily harm is not "gun violence."

    Sorry, Mr. President:
    Stopping a person from pounding one's head head on a concrete sidewalk by shooting them
    if at all possible must not be construed as "gun violence" but as lawful and legitimate self-defense.

    Sanity starts with calling things by their correct names. When shall we start?

    July 14, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Bill from GA

    Does anyone know what happened to the two gang members who killed Hadiya Pendleton?

    Somehow, the press forgot about her?

    Blacks killing a black, even a young lady with such a promising future and no tie to gang culture, no story there. Just another one out of the many day to day killings.

    July 14, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Rogerd

    POTUS needs to learn restraint.... He doesn't need to pick "Winner & Losers" for everything in the news and sports. He's the President of all the people, not just the ones he favors. His oath is to uphold the laws of this country not pick and choose the ones he would like to enforce.

    His earlier comments regarding Trayvon would be the son he would want,was out-of-bounds before a trial was conducted. This type of opinion only divides an already divided country; when will he learn?

    July 14, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. NKCZ

    Obama has no business commenting on a court case period. It was his initial comment on this case that inflamed the race issue; a very irresponsible way to try to occupy the American public with something other than his incompetence. Two individuals made poor judgement calls that night and one lost his life. It is tragic and both lives are ruined in different ways.

    July 14, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. me

    This was NOT gun violence. Self defense! Minorities kill each other and all races EVERY day. Where are the media outlets then?

    July 14, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Paw Paw

    The way we can prevent future tragedies like this is to teach our young people that a culture that promotes a violent response to a simple "What are you doing here?" can lead to an untimely death. Young black men are killing each other at a terrible rate, and we focus on the death of someone who attacked, without provocation, a man who was prepared and capable of legal self-defense. A reasonable person is not going to be in fear for his life or serious bodily injury if someone just asks them a question. A sucker punch to the nose and beating GZ's head on the concrete sidewalk is a violation of GZ's civil rights. If anything TM's parents (along with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the Gov. of Florida) should be sued for violating GZ's rights to due process, because this case should never have gone to trial.

    July 14, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Splasher6

    In 513 Days Between Trayvon Dying and the Zimmerman Trial Verdict, 11,106 Blacks Have Been Murdered by OTHER BLACKS. Zero outrage by media or barry

    July 14, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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