President Obama issues statement on Trayvon Martin verdict
President Barack Obama's statement on the Zimmerman case is different.
Released the day after the verdict, on Sunday (July 14), Obama's message urges respect for the law and encourages calm and compassion among the country's citizens. The full statement is below:
"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 content of the statement manages to say a lot while keeping the words brief. In addition to a call to law and order -- something any President should urge -- there is a fairly explicit position taken on gun control.
Interestingly, the name of George Zimmerman appears nowhere in the statement, while the shooting victim, Martin, is mentioned twice. Whether this was an attempt to avoid naming a scapegoat or whether this reflects any sort of bias must remain ambiguous.