President Barack Obama Calls Death of Trayvon Martin a Tragedy for America


President Obama issued a statement calling on people to respect the verdict in George Zimmerman’s trial and the wishes of Trayvon Martin’s parents for “calm reflection.”

“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,” the president said. ”We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.”

“That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”

It was the first reaction from the White House since Obama weighed in on Martin’s death in March 2012.

Zimmerman was acquitted Saturday of second-degree murder in the killing of Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed black teen in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman had pleaded not guilty and said he acted in self-defense after being attacked by Martin.

Obama’s remarks shortly after Martin’s death drew national attention to the case and gave voice to many African-Americans who saw a racial injustice in the case as they waited for police to make an arrest.

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” the president said then.

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