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. 2013

    Without the gun, you'd maybe have a streetfight that Zimmerman would have lost. Or maybe no streetfight, as Zimmerman would probably have stayed in his car like the police told him to without the gun for courage. We don't know who attacked who physically, but we do know who initiated the confrontation and how he won it. Without the gun we'd have a teenager alive and well and possibly some assault charges for someone and possibly a reevaluation of the community watch program. The gun changes everything.

    July 14, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. janey

    Obama had no business commenting on the jury verdict. I think he has better things to worry about than a little thug who had no business wandering around the neighborhood in the rain looking in windows. Zimmerman was the one with a broken nose and lacerations on the back of the head. And I'm tired of seeing the picture of "little trayvon" when he was 13 or 14. Show him as he was-six foot and 160 lbs.

    July 14, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Rosita Asano

    What needed to be taught is not to be a macho man and go after trouble. Many people who are screaming that the result was unfair, I can almost tell that these people didn't watch the trial or just didn't care about the truth. Trayvon Martin would've been alive today if he didn't decide not to elude Zimmerman and go after him. He had plenty of time to go home. But he was angry that Zimmerman was following him. So he went after Ziimmerman by eluding Zimmerman sneaking up on him and sucker punching Zimmerman knocking him down to the ground. Yes he was a teenager, yes he was being followed, but he reversed the situation and in the end he lost his life. What if Trayvon Martin was 20 years of age, and Zimmerman was 30 would that make any difference because Trayvon was not a teenager. Evidently Trayvon Martin was not made of mush. He was tall enough, plenty of muscle as we saw in one of his pictures to knock a man 4 inches shorter than him. Zimmerman may be heavier than Martin, but not muscle heavy.

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

    The president of my country is asking me to honor a pot smoking thug who was thrown out of school for his behavior because he was killed while beating someone? Obama you need to shut up and wake up.

    July 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. momof3

    The reason why the president is talking about this is because it is national news and some of you should shut your mouths because you sound like idiots. Why should he mention a glorified killer like Zimmerman? You call Trayvon a punk why? because he was holding a bag of skittles. Zimmerman was the one with the gun and if he would have done the right thing and stayed away from Trayvon till police got there than Trayvon would be alive today.

    July 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Leonori

    Does anyone remember that there are consequences for your actions–He Walks–does he feel FREE ? What's this new set of legal woes gonna cost $$$$$$$$ better sell a lot of books, everybody in his little inter circle–start writing–his freedom WILL COME WITH A COST–IN THE POCKETBOOK-$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    July 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Adam

    I dont have any side in this case but it's sad for the notion of justice. However Black men must stop killing each other and respect themselves. Justice can only be in your eyes.

    July 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. donjgen

    Guns are a personal responsibility so there is only so much the government can do. After all there are over 100 million guns on the street.

    July 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. JustusPaleeze

    @Elizabeth Morris- The last time I checked Trayvon Martin is dead murdered in cold blood by George Zimmerman who is alive and well and will continue to live a long and prosperous life he so richly deserves thanks to concerned citizens who donated to his defense. George will have to live with the fact that he murdered a young American on his way home from the store. And to all my fellow Americans who think that it's okay to shoot REGGINs until your child is shot dead center mass and you'll never see them grow up or see their children. God bless America and this unjust double standard justice system.

    July 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Gord

    The problem is no racism, the problem the American first amendment right to carry a firearm. This would never had happened if George Zimmerman did not have the legal right to carry a firearm. I am from Canada, yes we have gun violence here but nothing like you have in the USA. I visit the USA often. One thing that is always in the back of my mind is that your citizens are allowed to carry firearms. We have community watch in our communities and they do fine without carrying firearms. With all of your gun violence, you need to come out strong on your republican push to allow just about anyone to carry guns.

    July 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Joshua Shell

    I think this is exactly the perfect example AGAINST gun control: a person defended his life using a gun. A true tragedy would have occurred if GZ didn't have a gun and TM smashed GZ's head into the concrete.

    July 14, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Tony Price

    Not one mention of George Zimmerman or his family.

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

    What relay burns me is that he has profited off. Of this young man's death and movie and book deals to come only in America

    July 14, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. cowboybaby

    The only profiling that was done was by the prosecutor, Obama and the media.

    July 14, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. S. Ford

    Congratulations to Obama for using Trayvon's death as another ploy to gain anti-gun support.
    Zimmerman was found INNOCENT and can be argued that although a gun was responsible for Trayvon's death, it was also responsible for Zimmerman's continued life. There should be more guns available for law biding citizens so that thugs will be more cautious about attacking what appeared to be an easy target.

    July 14, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. gstlab3

    our government and corporate sponsored engineered thug class members act like criminal thugs and triballistic animals and we are outraged?

    July 14, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Donna

    The US is not a gun culture but a gun violence culture. The verdict has sent a message to racial profilers
    that it is ok to kill African American teens. In America, Gun is the equalizer, division is promoted, stereotypes
    are promoted. The US scares me. The violence, killing of kids, the hate and intolerance that is rampant. US criminal justice system is designed to oppress black people. Whites do not view black people as real Americans.
    Poverty keeps black people oppressed. The US is just an awful, awful country that spreads its power across the world
    through violence and killing (Iraq) America truly believes God chose them to rule the world. It is scary, frightening. My heart breaks for Trayvon Martin. I do not live in your country, but I will never forget him. he mattered. he really mattered.

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

    the republicans lost the 2012 election because of such partisan sentiments elicited above. I am a conservative but can never call myself republican because republicans have lost their minds.

    I have heard many presidents espouse their opinions on the justice system in general and specific cases in particular.

    relax people!

    July 14, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. Crackles

    Like an incident of road rage this event just escalated. The bottom line is that Trayvon was on top and could have walked away but stayed to try inflict serious bodily harm to Zimmermann. I pray for both of them. Mr. President the word "honor" is not the appropriate word. Remembrance to me better fits this tragedy.

    July 14, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Frances

    I do not want to honor someone who responds to a false accusation with violence. Zimmerman showed ignorance by his false accusation. Trayvon showed his pride and temper by escallating the encounter to violence. Scripture says something about turning the other cheek. I will only honor One who was falsely accused!!

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Alan Smithee

    The event was tragic . . . but the President was too hasty with his statement about 'If I had a son . . .' just as Nixon was in declaring Manson guilty before the trial. The verdict did not support the prosecution's portrayal of the incident as being centrally driven by gun violence (indeed, the media and the prosecution portrayal was more about vigilantism and race) which the President is now attempting to portray; and neither you nor I were in the jury so the inevitable name-calling and invective that will follow this opinion are meaningless. Oft-cited stats I have seen for gun violence in the U.S. state that we are third from the top of all nations in per capita gun violence, but apparently some research shows that if Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans and Washington D.C. are eliminated from the U.S. stats, the U.S. falls to third from the bottom of a list of more than 200 nations. Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans and D.C. have some (if not *the*) strictest gun laws in the U.S., and have been Democratically controlled for a very long time.

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Scott

    Deaths are always a tragedy. However, only President Obama could say, "we are a nation of laws... respect the courts decision... then say we should honor Treyvon Martin & push gun control." Um... doesn't he know that by acquitting Zimmerman, it means that Treyvon was the aggressor and Zimmerman the victim. There is no Treyvon honor in that. He was found by the court to be guilty of attacking Zimmerman and his death was the price he paid. So you can't say, "respect the courts decision" without condemning Treyvon's actions.

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. cathy

    He is never one to let a crisis go to waste

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Cassandra

    You've got to love how gun fans are all pissy about Obama bringing guns into this. Well, let's see. Zimmerman's attorneys presented a defense that, despite more than a year of MMA training, George was nothing short of a pathetic and squirming amoeba, completely incapable of taking on an untrained skinny teenager. So tell me. How would George have dared to follow anyone if he hadn't been armed with a gun? And then explain how Martin would have died if Zimmerman hadn't dared to follow him.

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. JAKE

    The President's statement today proves that his involvement in this case was only to promote his agenda for gun control. It had nothing to do with the victims.

    July 14, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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