President Barack Obama released a statement Sunday afternoon calling for “calm reflection” in the aftermath of a Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
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.
The statement has a considerably more measured tone than last year when conservatives lambasted the president for saying that if he had a son, “he would look like Trayvon.” Then, they accused him of inflaming racial tensions, while proponents argued that the president was only speaking the truth.
Read more at the White House.