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. Truth be told.

    It is not within the scope of the government to regulate self-defense, tools of self defense, or how we choose to segregate ourselves into communities of like and similar culture. Period.

    July 14, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Alex in Wisconsin

    Well it's good to see that blaming the victim hasn't gone out of style. It's also good to know that the unreliable words of George Zimmerman have swayed so many. Excusing the death of a black teenager without even giving thought to the fear he must have felt to be stalked by someone shows a lack of empathy and common sense. The only proof that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman is the word of Zimmerman, a man on the hook for murder who clearly lied and exaggerated the story. But it's easier to believe Zimmerman's lies than to imagine an innocent black teen defending himself from an overzealous neighborhood watchman who was stalking him.

    July 14, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. mwmtx

    The President should have not commented. Trayvon was NOT his son, No one should honor him. He is not a martyr. There was a good possibility that he was engaging in possible illegal activities and we will never know if his intent was to go back and break in to the homes whose backyards he walked through and windows he was looking into before the altercation. Early evening is a great time to be able to see into well lit homes from the safety of the darker outside. This was not about gun violence, this was about neighborhood safety and possible youth crime.

    July 14, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Bob

    I agree with Obama. No problem with guns (except assault rifles) but before ANYONE is allowed a CCW they should be required to take a background check and have a lot of TRAINING. But even with training a Martin incident could occur and this is where the burden falls on the victim to act within reason and be polite. Sorry but Zimmerman did his job and if the people want to take away guns fine or make neighbor watch programs illegal then do that. Otherwise this case is OVER.

    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Anonymous citizen 123

    Re: Doug – Any president of the United States should be expected to comment on a tradegy like this. President Obama was not out of place with his comment. He made the reference to trayvon to give America a since that this could have been anyone's son – black, white, yellow, red etc.

    By the way, do some research before you make your accusations. Fast & Furious was started under the Bush Administration.

    You Mr. Doug , are the one out of place. I'm praying for you and others with kindred mindsets. Stop placing this issue on politicians. Learn to be concerned for the well-being of ALL in your community!!

    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Mac

    Look around you Mr President, you live in Washington, DC and black people are killing and robbing and beating white folks
    every night even their own people....what about this issue ..


    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. I'd rather not say

    Obama has clearly taken sides. What about the long term effects on George Zimmerman and his family? The jury got it right!!!!

    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. WILL

    Amazing how he never bothers mentioning that without the gun Zimmerman likely would have been killed by this THUG Trayvon

    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Paul Bearer

    This thug, who could have been his son, was pounding someone's head against concrete for forty one seconds. Obozo should stay out of it. What a waste he is as president.

    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Michael Ng

    This guy is a piece of work. What gun violence? What the heck is he talking about? How can one person be so out of touch and self serving? Guess it's true that they will not let a good tragedy go to waste.

    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Truth

    Who elected this dope?

    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Roger

    Obama spoke stupidly once again. Why the focus on Trayvon Martin and not the many other "sons" who look like him and kill each other (black on black murders)? He should have kept his month shut from the beginning and addressed this in a more appropriate manner.

    July 14, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Herenamaste

    This ruling was a victory for GUN OWNERS all across America. We need to highlight the recklessness of GUNS in the hands of cowards.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Dave

    Consider this...a black man kills a white teenager in a similar event. Would we even have the preliminary controversy where he wasn't even charged because it was "self-defense"? I doubt it, but let's say that did happen. Would there be an outcry and a call for justice by the victim's family? No doubt about that, I think. Would there have been a trial? Probably, unless the defendant's lawyers convinced the defendant to plead guilty to manslaughter, which probably would be a good idea since he is black.. Would the black guy see a jury made up of six black women and one Hispanic? I doubt it. Would he walk free? You tell me.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. SuperDave

    Why do people refer to this as a travesty or unbelievable verdict? The state of Florida has a "stand your ground" law. And, the overwhelming evidence showed that Hoodie attacked Zimmeman, who by law was allowed to carry a gun and was the captain of a neighborhood watch recognized by police. What is a travesty and unbelievable is blacks trying as hard as they can to make this a race issue to further support their racist agenda. The black community tried very hard to have a Hipanic called "white" but failed. Just shut up and suck it up. You had OJ. Now we are even.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. snakep

    Nothing like taking advantage of the situation, eh, Mr. President? Martin deserves no "honor".

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. CNN Response

    Barack Obama and George Wallace are two politicians out of the same mold. Both played ethnic groups against each other for their political gain.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Elijah

    I'm rather perplexed. Since when did defending yourself with a gun fall under gun violence? Have I been wrong all along? I thought as Americans we have (had) the right to defend ourselves and not have it made to sound as though we are gun wielding criminals for doing so.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Mordechai Shekelstein


    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. Gary

    " 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. "

    Get ready for the next attack on the 2nd amendment.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Julian Santos

    If George Zimmerman is now labeled White-Hispanic to add racism to this case does that then make our president White-African American?

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Mike

    The White Elephant in the room: not just race but what bout the fact that his parent are divorced.

    So Obama want so know what can we do to stop these tragedies? Try upholding core family values and, since you are a white-African american, tell the one half to be more respectful and pull up their pants.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Name Timothy

    So Matt walking to the store in a hoodie made this kid a thug.

    July 14, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Alex in Wisconsin

    I thank the president for his words. it's not a call to violence and division, it's a show of sympathy and a call for unity. Since when can't a President make a comment about current events inside his own country? Some of you people need to go back to the asylum. Reagan should have never let you out onto the streets.

    July 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Shannon Rocks

    Matt – ask yourself why is it that you see Trayvon acting like a thug in this and not George Zimmerman, or even both? The evidence was clear. He was walking home, bothering no one and carrying no weapon. He felt afraid because he saw George Zimmerman following him. The facts blur regarding how the two ultimately engaged in their physical encounter, but the facts just as easily portray a picture of Trayvon acting in self-defense as they do George Zimmerman. I don't know why people feel a need to demonize one over the other. Just because a jury found Mr. Zimmerman not guilty doesn't mean that Trayvon was guilty of anything.

    July 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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