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. rickcmn

    He comments on a tragedy that ruined or damaged two lives, Zimmerman and Martin. I do not remember him commenting on the nine shooting deaths and 75plus shootings in Chicago last week. it is not a gun issue. It is not the guns, look at Chicago. The Castle Doctrine law is a good law the trial proved it. People have the right to defend themselves anywhere they are allowed to be. The people that use this law need to be investigated just as the police would be, no more no less. I am just glad that the majority of the people stayed calm after the verdict. Even the two that usually start problems, Sharpton and Jackson, kept relatively quiet, so far.

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. KayGee707

    How about not focusing on guns and focusing on the root of the problem, poverty and a failed drug war. If you can provide opportunity and take the big money make out of crime, then I guarantee you will see a huge decrease in gun violence. But that just makes too much sense so keep trying to demonize something for political gain like we do best here in the USA.

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Phil Cross

    Justice was served in the case of George Zimmerman, he was judged by a jury of his peers. NOT GUITY!
    Al Sharpton calls himself a Reverand, what a joke!
    All he does is stir up riots and MSNBC should FIRE him immediately!
    Anyway we as a Nation should get on with our lives and vote ourselves free of the ones currently in office Immediately!

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Canderson

    This country has become a place where our fears, anger, and desires are handled with a bullet instead of reason, common sense and discussion. The President nailed it in his remarks.

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Steve

    Clearly we need to do much more to stop gun violence. We need to modify the second amendment.

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. ms

    This is NOT about gun violence. If Zimmerman had a hammer in his hand we would need to stem hammer violence? The President needs to stay out of a single court case. He's only speaking because it a racial duty of his. Otherwise he should have to make a statement on every court case. Do your JOB, POTUS!

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Spoken like a true community activist.

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Cartman

    "We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this."
    Is Obama suggesting violent black people who brag about yheir violent tendencies like Martin did are locked up no matter how old they are? Or is he saying Hispanics like Zimmerman (and whites?) should let violent black youth beat the heck out of and possibly kill them rather than resist? Especially when the attacker is bigger than the victim (Martin was 6" taller than Zimmerman)?

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Rob

    In context with Trayvon being an image of Obamas future son and the fact that thousands of gun deaths happen in this country every year where a jury finds the death unjustified: this is fanning the flames IMO.

    Why has he latched onto this case? Based on his previous comments it is because the one who is dead is black? So much for representing the entire country? Why no comment about the risks associated with unprovoked physical violence? Or the impact of broken homes on young minorities? Or a call to leave an acquitted man in peace?

    His Presidency could have been historic beyond his simple election and built on real effort at eliminating the lens of race by which a lot of Americans view society. Instead his handling of this issue clearly puts him in the black culture of victimization camp.

    An equally strong argument could be made that the gun saved Zimmerman's life. At the very least the same inferences are required.

    So again, in context this statement is in poor taste and further politicized a tragedy.

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Jester Avrgjoe

    I am a gun owner, and I also have a Concealed Carry Permit. I can only speak for me when I say when I carry my weapon about town I have my weapon only as a last resort because I don't think that I'm prepared to live the rest of my life with blood on my hands. I will deploy my weapon ONLY when either my life or the life of someone else is in mortal danger. I would never dishonor myself nor my family with a questionable death by my hands. I will only put down my weapon when civility and not aggression has taken over the heart of the human race and until then I will exercise extreme caution to preserve the privilege of being able to carry a firearm concealed.
    May whatever God you find holiest bless and keep you and yours from now and forever because ONLY through the American people can America stay that greatest Nation on this Planet.

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Obama needs to keep his personal feelings out of this!!

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Kyle

    Attaching this the Zimmerman verdict is inappropriate.
    1. He used a handgun
    2. Zimmerman is not a shady character. He would've passed any background check, no matter how strict the dems made it. No gun laws would've prevented this, short of outlawing all firearms.

    And you insist the right to be a lot of impetuous morons for thinking the dems are out to take their guns away, when statements like these are made?

    July 14, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Keith

    Self defense means TM was trying to kill gz why would we honor him memory he was trying to kill a man. This reinforces the need for gun rights. We all have the right to defend ourselves from those who attack us.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. MavisRooster

    How offensive. Blaming America for Trayvon Martin, a criminal who died from the logical consequences of attacking another person. WE are not to blame. The one who called for this kangaroo trial can keep his guilt to himself, where it belongs.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Honor Among Thieves From Obama

    "That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin." – Obama

    Um, I'm not going to "honor" a dead punk, no matter what color they are, white, brown, black, pink, purple, yellow, red, WHATEVER.

    What an insult to justice.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Alexandria

    Thank you Mr. President for your kind words.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Denise

    How many white and Hispanic kids are lost daily in violent gun acts and he takes the time to remark on this one? Hhmmm.... Where is the president and his supporters in the streets of Chicago (where his leadership made no difference) Detroit, LA, and now DC where he now resides??? This nation doesn't need another speech on gun violence. We need a leader who has the qualities, character, and record to lead. Until that happens we continue to spiral downward.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. snotfair

    'We Shall Overcome' as preached by Martin Luther King. Many years later how very sad that We the People are STILL trying and somehow failing to achieve a bigotry- free, racist- free America! As a female Caucasian I plead to the DOJ- Please do it 'Right Time First Time' in the memory of Trayvon Martin. Thank you President Obama for addressing this truly unfathomable, egregious act of 'self defense' against a human who had no defense. 'We Shall Overcome'.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. bob aussie

    A "gangsta" wannabe, done in by a "justice league" wannabe. The issue isn't guns. The issue is society's obsession with personal power to overwhelm someone else. Guns, knives, baseball bats.. all are deadly weapons that could have had the same consequences in the altercation between GZ and MT. I wouldn't honor either of these thugs. One's gone, the other should have been put away, and good riddance to both.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. swimeasy

    Well, we already have a real life experiment in the impact of more gun control in Chicago's ever escalating 'epidemic of violence' claiming the innocent lives of men, women and children.

    "We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis." Perhaps some introspection is in order for the bully pulpit if there is a truly genuine interest.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. MostBiasedCase

    This president loves to talk. he needs to keep his mouth shut, especially when the case was just beginning. He should've said something about respecting the judicial system and George's new freedom given him by an IMPARTIAL jury of his peers as prescribed by that little known document called the Constitution.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. parkervaughan

    Obama you are a stain on America. You have waged war against the individual, and the rights of all Americans. Your rhetoric is so lofty but there are many Americans who see right through your transparent attempts to supplant the American people. You would have every individual leveled to a state of victimhood by taking away the right to self-defense and the right to bear arms. Your reign of oppression and unrestrained statism will be remembered in history as one of the worst. There are many Americans who are not victims, and will not fold under the weight of your political schemes, pathetic rhetoric and misleading metaphors

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. dkfesq

    Amazing! Instead of using this as an opportunity to support the rule of law and the best criminal justice system in the world, our president makes a backhand slap at our system and undermines it. I understand the compassion for the loss of a life, but what about praising our justice system for exonerating a wrongly accused citizen. Who wants to serve on a jury when even our president questions the "wise" decision you are asked to make, when it doesn't suit his politics. Judges, lawyers, law enforcement and anyone else involved in our criminal justice system should be alarmed when the one at the top "sworn to uphold the constitution," shows this lack of faith in it.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. KBNJ

    Why don't we concentrate on ILLEGAL gun violence, and ALL violence to include punching and beating? Let's honor our Constitution and recognize that guns CAN save lives, as they just might have saved George's. That said, I DO feel for Trayvon's parents and relatives regardless of the circumstances. A lost son or daughter is something NONE of us should have to suffer.

    July 14, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. chuck

    The president needs to step down from office,
    actions not becoming of a Commander In Chief.

    Never has a President done this before,

    July 14, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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