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
8 years 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."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (778 Responses)
  1. Patriot

    Tear down gated comnunities like Sanford. Get rid of community watch. This would prevent the death of any unknown person strolling through your neighbourhoods. But crime would go away magically.

    July 14, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Danielle Sanders

    This is a complete outrage. Obama I love you but how dare you bring up your Gun Violence campaign into this. A child was followed, and pursed by an armed neighborhood "watchman" he was asked to stand down and not purse. If he hasn't tried to be a vigilante this baby would still be alive today. He has no voice we must speak for this poor child and let our other sons know that their lives are worthy and that they have promise because Trayvon was not given that option on that dreadful night when this coward took his life just because he acted and decided to be insubordinate. What are you doing to insure that this doesn't happen to another child. I am just completely outraged. How dare I bring a child onto this earth into this country the land of the free and he has to deal with this? How?

    July 14, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. DPB

    Leave it to Obama to push his agenda any chance he can...he wants gun control and will not STOP until he gets it. He should be ashamed.

    July 14, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. 78b76v677v

    You don't shoot one of us and then grin in our face.
    You don't shoot one of us and then shake our hands. And think we'd forget it.
    No, we never forget, we'll never forget!
    Someone has to pay. Somewhere, somehow, someone has to pay.
    – Malcolm X.

    July 14, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Hawaiian Punch

    Gun violence is at a low for the last twenty years. This was an unfortunate event for all parties involved. Obama didn't help the situation by siding with Martin's family by saying my son would look like trayvon. Also Zimmerman is of Hispanic descent so people need to stop with the white black race crap. The jury spoke to have faith in a jury to find the man guilty you have to respect then not guilty verdict also.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    I agree instead of showin more hate lets honor Trayvon by loving and caring for one another no matter what color we are! I think its tragic that an unarmed child was murdered! Zimmerman was in the wrong and should have been punished but the reality is that he wasnt! A jury let him off and its so sad thats he being allowed to walk free but he will never live another peaceful happy day n his life this wil haunt him for life and when he leaves this earth God will give Trayvon justice! To many people young and old are dying for no reason and instead of hating and doing more killing lets ban together and fight the hate!

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. SalMoanella

    The violence was committed by Trayvon and he didn't have a gun. But the zero in chief will not let a crisis go unwasted to push his anti-American agenda. Even if he has to warp the facts to do so.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. JohnFLob

    Gun violence is not, and should not, be an issue in this case.

    Political Correctness and political opportunism have escalated the tensions surrounding this local/neighborhood incident into a national, if not international crisis.

    As of today, 07/14/2013, the UN s not yet involved.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. doug

    President Obama helped elevate the tensions initially by stating that Trayvon could have been a son, that was completely inappropriate. And now, I wish we could understand what he means by "widening the circle of compassion and understanding", no argument there.,.but what does that really mean? Regarding stemming the tide of gun violence, another death recently attributed to Fast and Furious, so if it were so important, why could this administration not have set a much better example?

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Dale Warner

    While I agree with the president in many aspects, I resent the implication that this was an issue of gun violence. The jury has spoken, and they sided with the self defence claim of George Zimmerman. There should, therefore, be a call to stem the tide of violence, period. Trayvon's actions played a role in this tragedy that should be acknowledged.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    What's wrong Mr. Obama- The justice system that we have followed for years and the justice system you in fact bypass all of the time conducted it's business and came to a decision and you have the audacity to turn it into a political debacle?? So glad I voted for Gary Johnson– I wouldn't be surprised to see you pull something in your secret court to turn this verdict.

    Have a good day Mr.President– enjoy continuously defying the people of the united states and remember this quote sir with your big government ideals.

    “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”

    ― Thomas Jefferson

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Kirpitch

    Will Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson listen?

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Chuck

    "We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this"

    How's about, Mr. president, if we were to tell our young folks that the lives they are pursuing are leading them down these paths to destruction.

    Parents, tell your kids doing drugs is bad and it will cause their death.
    Parents, tell your kids it is NOT COOL to play "gangsta"...
    Parents, tell your kids that having sex before marriage is wrong, and will destroy a childs life.
    Parents, Tell your kids that God sees all, knows all, and will hold everyone to account for everything a person does.

    Mr. President, your tone and words are nothing more than inapropriate utterings that try to form a case for your own agenda...
    what happened to concern for the person "who would have looked like your son"?
    if your son ended up in the same place – at the wrong place at the wroing time, acting the wrong way....
    would you still be so proud?

    Its not about the guns, mr president...

    Its about a God-less society.

    Have a Bless'd day

    Bro. Chuck

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Elizabeth Morris

    Nowhere, does your president ask for justice and compassion for Mr. Zimmerman. Shame on him and America.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Mark

    This is absolute nonsense. Judging by the evidence from his cellphone, which we have every right to judge him by since we aren't on the jury Trayvon Martin was a violent criminal. Yes there was the hope he would have changed and yes a lot of teenagers go through things like this when they're young but it is a rare thing for a 17 year old to actually go so far as to beat the hell out of an adult in a gated community because he caused him offence by finding him suspicious.

    The only thing that mattered too me in this case was whether or not Martin knew Zimmerman was nothing more then a concerned and nosy neighbor. I think that YES he most certainly did, which means that his violent attack was based on anger and spite rather then trying to protect himself from a "creepy" whatever.
    Most teenagers will just get in to fights with other teenagers! They don't attack adults who are just trying to be responsible!

    Martin wanted a gun, martin apparently had access to a gun, martin apparently stole jewelry, martin wanted to fight, martin had been in fights, Martin vandalized, martin talked about women and treated women like prostitutes.
    I'm getting very sick of people, including the president trying to characterize this case as anything other then what it really is. AN out of control violent 17 year old who finally had to be shot in a tragic self defense case!
    If Martin had continued on living the way he was then he most certainly would have killed someone himself sooner or later and probably for no good reason.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. markdeckard

    A good statement. He reminded us all that its not just white hispanics carrying guns around but also people of other colors. I hope Al Sharpton puts his best foot forward in the cities where the most young black men are dying by gun violence. It sure aint Sanford, FL.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. gtt

    If Zimmerman is NOT guilty it makes Martin guilty. As the President of the United States why you want to honor a felon and undermine your own country's justice system????

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Chicago Thug

    GUN violence?
    According to a jury, a gun STOPPED violence!
    Osama USED this poor family for political reasons.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Jerry

    The way to honor trayvon, a proven punk, is to arm yourselves.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Richard Keefe

    No – we are not doing all we can do to stem the tide of gun violence, but the proposals of the Obama Administration (including VP Biden's ridiculous comments about the discharge of shotguns) have nothing to do with objective analysis and effective solutions. The federal government needs to enforce the gun laws (and immigration laws) that are already in existence. A mere cursory analysis of cities and states with the strongest gun laws and most permissive gun laws produces results that are completely the opposite of what the Obama Administrations says is needed.

    July 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Name

    Obama took a side and it shows his hatred for Americas laws and hatred towards every man woman child that isn't the same color has him even though he is the first mixed president he hates half of his self its awful to know that this man can open his mouth and say what comes out

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. karabi sen

    The President is sidetracking and the issue. This is not just a case of gun violence. It is also a case of injustice towards the black community and letting the punishable act go unpunished for the white. No matter how honorable and noble one may want to sound, it is important to call an axe an axe in order to bring about change in society. There is injustice, there is a cause for injustice, we need to see it, acknowledge and then WORK to deliver ourselves from it. Trying to please everyone and refraining from taking a stand will only perpetuate the sad situation. A jury has spoken-sounds dramatic, for sure, but let's not get past the fact that a jury is comprised of gullible humans and law is made by human beings as well, for their own benefit. There is nothing godlike or infallible about either one. There is always room for and need for change.

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. cjb3270

    Most corrupt president and government America has ever had!

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Rich

    The president missed yet another opportunity to unite our country In the wake of this tragedy which effected both sides of that courtroom and our racial divide. This case was dividing for all the wrong reasons, but we must recognize that the justice systems responsibility was to protect our rights to defend ourselves when our safety is threatened. The continued assault on our fundamental rights to pursue individual happiness and defend ones self and property is terrifying. The tragedy for the Martins is clear in the loss of their son. However for Mr. Zimmerman the tragedy is perpetual. He must face his actions and their consequence from now on. However controversial his decisions may be in the public eye, they were clearly wrought from fear of continued physical harm and as Americans we have the right to defend ourselves. Hopefully the nation can look past race and recognize that this situation is tragic no matter which colors you insert into the story and we should reflect in such a manor to change our policy to improve race relations instead of driving a wedge into them, and in this way change our policies and relationships to prevent these tragedies instead of in sighting further turmoil.

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Name

    I hope the justice department does the right thing.

    July 14, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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