President Barack Obama on Friday carefully weighed in on the case of a 17-year-old unarmed African American boy who was gunned down in February by a neighborhood watch leader.
At a White House event announcing the nomination of Dartmouth College president Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank, NBC’s Mike Viqueira asked the president if the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman showed signs of “lingering racism” in the U.S.
“I’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure we’re not impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now,” Obama began. “But obviously this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through.”
“And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids,” he continued. “I think that every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”
The president said that in addition to thoroughly investigating the case, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which makes it legal to use deadly force without first retreating, should also be examined.
“But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin,” Obama added. “You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”
“And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Watch this video from CNN’s Newsroom, broadcast March 23, 2012.