WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) - President Barack Obama says the death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for America.
Obama says he knows the not-guilty verdict reached late Saturday has elicited strong passions around the country. In a statement released Sunday, Obama is asking that all Americans respect the call for calm reflection. There have been a number of rallies and protests, most of which have been peaceful.
Obama says Americans should ask themselves if they're doing all they can to stem gun violence, and what can be done to prevent future tragedies like the Florida shooting.
George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Martin, an unarmed teen. Martin's killing in February 2012 unleashed debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.
The White House released this statement by the President:
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.