July 19th, 2013
01:37 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: 'Trayvon Martin could have been me'

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama spoke out publicly on Friday for the first time on the Trayvon Martin case following the acquittal of George Zimmerman last week.

Appearing at the White House, Obama injected a personal perspective on the verdict as well as a legal interpretation of the outcome.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. JOe

    is this serious?

    July 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. tammyk tammy

    Could have been any of us. Stand Your Ground allows anyone to kill you by simply claiming self defense. NO witnesses means your killer will get his get out of jail free card.

    July 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Dc

    Not a single african american was on that jury. The verdict is tainted like the rest of the case

    July 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. vince duran

    Just finished watching his comments - a few problems
    "we should encourage young black men" - did he see the video of smash gangs running down the streets? We should encourage this smash and grab or outright lawlessness?
    "Why is it people lock their doors or clutch their purses when they see a black man" refer to the above lawlessness...
    Why are there more blacks in prison – really take a wild guess? why are so many on welfare, Obama care, etc.
    Don't get me wrong there are many upstanding, nice and responsible blacks in this world but even in the media when you see a scene of protests with Jesse Jackson, etc. why aren't there any whites other than politicians or law enforcement? Blacks are always crying injustice, remember that is how OJ got away with murder.
    Sorry to ramble but seeing this President cater to the black and promising to look at changing local laws is too much!

    If you were Zimmerman with a person on top of you, slamming your head on the sidewalk repeatedly in a primarily black area, what would you do.... encourage him, feel sorry for his life situation?

    July 19, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Pk duster

    Mr obama knew better then to dress like a gang banger

    July 19, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Just a thought

    Here it comes....The moment the President speaks the truth about race relations in America, the GOP / Tea folks will lose their minds "This president is the most divisive figure ever" Forget the fact Civil Rights has only be a part of this country for just about 55 years. Of course years of lynchings, slavery, murders, assinations, racism, inequality stopped immediately thereafter. The GOP/Tea toads have the memories of knats...they can't even remember which party destroyed the economy about 5 and half years ago.... We expect nothing less

    July 19, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Ant

    Yes mr president keep the American people focused on this issue as long as you can. Don't let them see that your a complete failure at everything you have ever done

    July 19, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Christian

    Absolutely true.

    July 19, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Anteros 73

    Totally unnecessary!

    July 19, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. Name

    Yes our president is right if the travon martin case would have been black on black or black and white their would have been a different out come no doubt

    July 19, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. LenMe

    Oh, my... I think the President should have kept his opinion to himself on this one.

    July 19, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. charles

    You are the president stop dealing in hypotheticals.

    July 19, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Just a thought

    Watch what the usual GOP/Tea doodles come up with .... They are hard at work in the Faux news hate "war room" to come up with newest idiot talking points for their mouth breathing supporters.

    July 19, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. smith

    Geez...way flare up racial tensions and spit on our judicial system. Hey pes.Obama remember O.J. and MJ that could have been my wife or son.

    July 19, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. saywhat

    He could also be zimmerman, they are both mixed race. Race has nothing to do with what happened or the jury decision.

    July 19, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Alex in Wisconsin

    Personally, I think the comments by those accusing the president of inciting racial animosity and those insisting on defending Zimmerman do far more to sow racial discord. What the president is doing is called sympathy. No more, no less.

    July 19, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. just sayin

    without a doubt, the most dicisive, destructive person ever to occupy the white house. we are now seeing the real obama come out, finally, bit by bit. and none of it looks good. no wonder we are where we are.

    July 19, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Revolution

    Wish it was lol

    July 19, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. A Kickin' Donkey

    We have your back sir because we know that there are those will try to obfuscate the deliberateness of your words as they fear the improvement in the progress of the black male in America. They will feign outrage that he spoke out, they will opine that he maligned law enforcement in standing with an innocent, unarmed black teen murdered by a gun toting adult that tracked,trailed,confronted and killed him.
    I hope those that secretly seeth that our American Leader spoke out on this topic, in this way. have their own "Guess who is Coming To Dinner" moment. I hope their little princesses fall head-over-heels for the upcoming Baracks, Trayvons, etc. Maybe once their bloodline get a little darker, these people will see the light.

    July 19, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Brad

    If a white person attacked George Zimmerman and he killed him, this wouldn't have been news.

    July 19, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. El Dude

    So he used to eat skittles??

    July 19, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Name lgourdinerolle

    As an Educator to African Americans and Latino males in Miami-Dade County, I felt the President Obama's comments were heartfelt and genuinely spoken. I wish we all will use this tragic incident as a one of life's lesson and begin to raise and educate a generation who are "color-blind" and united as one race, The Human Race!

    July 19, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Drano

    I agree with the President. I disagree with all of those who say he should stay out of it. It isn't beneath the office of the president to comment on it either. If Zimmerman had been Black and Martin mixed Hispanic and White the question now would be whether or not the jury returned the death penalty or life in prison. Anyone wanting to have a honest conversation knows this to be true.

    July 19, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Nancy

    Why does Obama keep trying to retry Zimmerman in the press?

    July 19, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. tedjohnson666@gmail.com

    Wow, I have lost so much respect for the president over this. Obama is a middle aged mixed race male, and he supports the right to bear arms. He has more in common with Zimmerman than Martin, yet he is persecuting Zimmerman for cheap political points. Disgraceful. I'm sure Mr. Obama would shoot someone who was bashing his head on concrete if he had the option to save his own life.

    July 19, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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