In a statement Sunday, President Barack Obama called on every American to undergo a period of “calm reflection” after neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was found not guilty Saturday for killing Trayvon Martin in February 2012.
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America,” Obama wrote. “I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.”
The death of the black teenage death captured national attention last year and even evoked an emotional statement from Obama, who once said if he had a son that he would look like Martin.
“We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities,” Obama said. 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. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”
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