Professor Cornel West on Monday compared the Obama administration's use of drones to neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.

During an interview on CNN, he was asked what he thought of Obama's criticism of controversial self-defense laws like Florida's "stand your ground" law.

"I was glad to see him bring it in," West replied. "He said we must never rationalize killing innocent people in the name of self-defense, and then I thought about our drone policy, which makes us the George Zimmerman of the world in terms of killing innocent folk in the name of self-defense."

"But he is absolutely right," he continued. "Self-defense must never be used as a way of downplaying the precious lives of innocent people."

The use of drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists has emerged as one of the most controversial aspects of U.S. counterterrorism efforts. A study published this month found drones caused 10 times more civilian casualties than manned aircraft.

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