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. Anonymous

    Personally, I love the comment Obama made regarding Trayvon Martin: "if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon". Some people see Obama as divisive, I couldn't agree less....truth is, Obama has made minority populations feel more included in the process than ever. Unfortunately, during that process, it's apparent the majority has felt slighted. Yes, Obama took a side in this case. I'm not sure why that's a problem. He also took a side in the Boston Bombing, but I don't hear any complaining in that case. George Zimmerman's legal team did a great job and I hope and pray that he can return to some sort of normalcy and move on with his life. But, that fact remains, he murdered a 17 year old boy and I believe he is at fault and should've been convicted. Our president agrees.

    July 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Jan

    Oh great, couldn't get gun legislation passed on the graves of the school shooting victims, trying to do it now with Trayvon Marton. What about Darryl Green in Chicago, google it, you should stand up for an outstanding boy who was refusing to join a gang and may have paid for it with his life.

    July 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Obama The Dictatory

    Obama's choosing sides.

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

    Racism is still alive, well and actively practiced in America.

    July 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Jester Avrgjoe

    I also think that the media sensationalized this case to the extent that it guaranteed Mr. Zimmerman and his family to live in fear for their lives for years to come. If there were any harm to come to the defendant or his family the media would never be held accountable for their contribution to the Zimmerman trial.

    July 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Well spoken, Mr President!!!

    July 14, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Nicole

    So I guess if Trayvon Martin were Hispanic and George Zimmerman were black, then Zimmerman's actions would be okay to racists like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and their mind-controlled sheep-like followers. Sounds like it to me. What an adorable species we humans are. Really great.

    July 14, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Racism, it alive and well

    Amazing, not one single word by this president OR the media about the violence in the inner cities. Mr. Obama, what about the black on black violence in the Chicago, your home town. When in your entire presidency have you ever addressed this issue?
    The media, and by proxy the left, have used the Zimmerman case to promote an agenda. Promoting racism and associating racism with gun violence.

    July 14, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Sick & Tired

    George Zimmerman is guilty as the murderers sitting in prison today. No worries, he will get his in the end. For you racist, sick, & hypocritical white people with the silly ass comments, PLEASE step out from behind your internet mask's into the open and be seen. You too will bare the same fate as George Zimmerman. So brave and righteous in the dark. So weak and dumb in the open. Violence isn't always a bad thing. Keep your guns, you may need ten!

    July 14, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. joe

    I didn't hear Obama speak I just read this transcript. I am a little dissapointed as if I feel like Obama sided with Trayvon. To me, race has absolutely nothing to do with my views. I saw the pictures that Zimmerman got beat up pretty bad. If he felt his life was in danger, and I think that I would have myself, he has the right to stand his ground. This is the law. Yes he shouldn't have followed trayvon. If there is a law for following somebody, then Zimmerman should be guilty of it. If somebody is following you it doesn't give you permission to do what Trayvon did to Zimmerman. If I was under attack I would have shot him myself. That being said I wish it didn't happen the way it did and I pray for the family of Trayvon. I am a little disspointed it sounded like the president is taking sides.

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

    The true agenda of the Martin case finally comes out...HOw about finding out why the community feels unsafe to begin with and why black youth are afraid to call the police and take law into there own hands......."You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." – Rahm Emanuel quotes ...

    July 14, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Frank Landa

    We can stem the gun violence by teaching thugs not to try and make a living with their fist and their bravado. Not to get expelled from school for doing drugs and beating up bus drivers and stealing things. Start a fight get shot quit crying about it.

    July 14, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Optimist5

    Wow. President Obama just can't get a break. He is obviously sorry for the Martin family, but respects our legal system. He wants to avoid any violence. And a gun, not a peashooter, was involved. I think President Obama cares for all the people in the U.S., black, white, rich and poor. Obama isn't perfect but who is. Certainly not the last President.

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

    Sorry, Aaron, but there is nothing "unbelievable" about this verdict at all. The burden of proof rests on the prosecution in any criminal case. In this case, the State of Florida had to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that George Zimmerman deliberately stalked Trayvon Martin that night with murder in his heart and then shot him down in cold blood. That's the definition of 2nd degree murder under Florida law.

    Instead, the evidence presented at the trial strongly supported Zimmerman's version of events, which is that he was attacked by Martin and that he was on the ground being beaten when he fired his gun in self-defense. The prosecution in this case clearly did not meet the "reasonable doubt" standard that is required.

    You can't convict someone of a crime solely on the basis of what you think might have happened. I can't understand why so many people are having trouble with this concept.

    July 14, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Kelly51

    How biased of our so called president. If he wants to weigh in on the most violent act on human lives in our country, then let's talk about the millions of babies murdered every year by people that are too irresponsible for their own actions! Trayvon was a thug and died because of his thug mentality!

    July 14, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Jamie

    So did he send his condolences to the Police Chief in a Mexican town that was recently gunned down by one of the 'Fast & Furious' guns?? Nope – doesn't fit the Dems race hustlin' narrative!!

    July 14, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Grow Up

    Black on black violence far exceeds any level of racial violence in this country.

    If you want to protect your children, protect them from yourselves. Stop trying to fabricate the white hatred you dream exists in this world that in reality only exists in small pockets that the media lovingly points out.

    Most white people don't give one thought or concern about the color of your skin. That's you who does that.

    July 14, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. sharn cedar

    The difference is a society of Zimmermans would be at peace and secure. A society of Trayvons would be in squalor and constant street battles. Crazy talk from a man puporting to be the President of a country of 330 million people, most of them not black and most of them not supportive of thugs who try to beat down their bus driver like cute little Trayvon. If everyone as like Zimmerman, we would all be fine, safe in our homes, polite to each other when walking around in the dark late at night. If everyone was like Trayvon, it would be fistfights and beat downs everywhere all the time.

    July 14, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Donna

    The white police chief and local attorneys have also been exonerated with this verdict. They knew what we all know now, that this was an open and shut case of self defense. The only other witness to what occurred testified under oath that he witnessed Trayvon Martin pummeling George Zimmerman and that Zimmerman was screaming for help.

    But the far left and their race baiting sector of black exploiters forced this political prosecution of George Zimmerman. They refuse to accept the fact that Trayvon assaulted and nearly killed George Zimmerman and if he didn't have that gun, he would likely be dead today. I am gladden to see that this far left lynching failed and failed miserably.

    But now we here these racial bom throwers want the Justice Dept. to further persue their politically motivated agenda and go after Zimmerman on hate crime charges. This after that same Justice Dept. used government funds to send march organizers down to Florida in support of Trayvon Martin's camp. The American people cannot and should not tolerate the use of their government and law enforcement in pursuit of a race motivated lynching. If this occurs I would completely support Zimmerman in a counter claim against the government which would make him a rich man for the willful politically driven persecution of him.

    July 14, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    The jury did not necessarily side with Zimmerman. All they need is a reasonable doubt. They could be 99% certain that he was a racist, but even that 1% of doubt is enough to compel them to rule that he was innocent. The President responded because everyone expects him to be mindful of the problems we have and to be a leader. Would he have more of your respect if he said nothing and chose to be more ignorant?

    July 14, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. SMS

    Considering Obama was one created some of the fever pitch unnecessarily built around this case, I think he ought to apologize yet again for passing presidential judgement on a case before all the facts are known and a clear vision of the situation is presented.

    July 14, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Tee

    Dear Mr. President,

    I'm still waiting for your statement about Daniel Adkins Jr. Oh wait, what? If you had a son, he wouldn't look like Daniel Adkins Jr. ? Well then, I guess you won't bother to comment on it...

    July 14, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Don

    Gun violence – would GZ be alive and/or healthy if he wasn't carrying the gun? Just sayin.....

    July 14, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Synnerxx

    Are you people for real? Trayvon would been alive if he didn't make a uturn go after Zimmerman who by witness accounts was walking back to his truck. Lets look at the FACTS
    1ppl say Zimmerman disobeyed police officer. FACT : Dispatch is not Police also her words were " you don't need to follow him" Go listen to recording, not edit crap NBC put out.
    2 Trayvon was over 6 feet tall. had 5 inches on Zimmerman. Also Trayvon wasn't a good kid, sorry. He had videos smoking weed, playing with had guns and discussing break ins and him and his friends beating up people on his cell phone. Guess thats why the prosecution didn't want it turned over and guy got fired for questioning it.
    3 Zimmerman's wounds were minor. Ok and? 3 YES THREE witnesses said trayvon was smashing Georges head into ground. When is it ok for him defend himself? after he has brain damage?
    4) we would never heard a peep about this is races were revered. Doubt me? Did you hear about 4 blacks through a white marine into traffic in Cobb county GA last week? How about the 2 blacks set a white kid on fire last week? No? I didn't think so. you have to look.

    Seriously, sit down look at actual facts and you will see state had no real case. I wish this never happened, but it did and Zimmerman had every right to defend himself.

    July 14, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Disgusted

    I sure wished President Obama would get this emotionally involved in ALL children who are lost by senseless acts of violence. Way to go PRES! You chose this situation to get on your platform to encourage more separation to a country that is already divided... Racism has always been a sensitive issue and you escalated it by saying this could be your son. People have your seal of approval to be outraged. You talk about PASSION.... You should try to find some and represent ALL people, not just the ones that you pick and choose.

    July 14, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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