Obama declares stand on controversial Zimmerman verdict

Posted by News Express | 15 July 2013 | 3,356 times

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US President Barack Obama has made known his position on Saturday’s verdict by a Florida jury discharging and acquitting Neighbourhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman over the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

The ruling has sparked outrage across the US and beyond, with more than 400,000 people signing a petition from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) that urges Attorney General Eric Holder to act and open a civil rights case against Zimmerman.

Below is Obama’s statement released yesterday afternoon:

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. 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. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. 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.”

This is not the first time that Obama would be commenting on the Zimmerman case. Breaking his administration’s tradition not commenting on ongoing cases, the US leader had earlier waded into what the debate over Martin’s death in March of 2012, when civil-rights leaders and others expressed outrage that the Sanford, Fla., police had not arrested or charged Zimmerman.

According to Obama while answering a reporter’s question in the Rose Garden of the White House: “My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves.

“Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how something like this has happened.”

•Photo: President Obama.

Source: News Express

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