PRESIDENT OBAMA SPEAKS ABOUT TRAYVON MARTIN AT THE WHITE HOUSE
He added, “my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
The Justice Department has already said it is investigating the shooting, and Obama cited that process in not directly answering the question of NBC News’ Mike Viqueira, who asked about allegations of racism and the “Stand Your Ground Law” in Florida that is at the center of the case.
“Well, I’m the head of the executive branch and the AG reports to me so i’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure we’re not impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now,” he said.
He added, “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. And I think 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. So I’m glad that not only is the Justice Department looking into it, (but) i understand that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force.
Obama’s comments, while measured, are likely to be enthusiastically received by the thousands who are protesting the shooting of Martin in Sanford, Florida. Before Friday, the president’s spokesman had deferred questions about the shooting to the Department of Justice and the president had said nothing himself.
His decision to comment illustrated the intense public attention on the case. But the president was much more careful than in 2009, when he blasted police in Cambridge for their arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. His political advisers concluded Obama’s intervention into that controversy was unwise, and he has been reluctant to wade into such subjects since.