After a few days of what some called conspicuous silence, President Barack Obama gave strong remarks at a recent press conference about the Trayvon Martin shooting, calling the killing a “tragedy” and observing that if he had a son, “he’d look like Trayvon.”
The president’s words addressed the recent death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of a Florida man who claims he was acting in self-defense. Other evidence, however, indicates that Martin was not a threat, and federal officials have intervened and may eventually bring criminal charges against the shooter.
The shooting happened in a gated neighborhood, and the man who pulled the trigger reportedly felt threatened by Martin, who was unarmed at the time he was killed, according to a report from the Miami Herald.
Florida has remarkably robust self-defense laws that allow citizens with firearm to use deadly force if they feel they are at risk of an imminent attack, and do not have the ability to flee from the danger.
Some evidence, however, suggests that the shooter in this case actually pursued Martin while talking to a 911 dispatcher, who advised him not to take the law into his own hands.
Despite this warning, the shooter eventually killed Martin, and several investigations have been launched into the killing in order to determine if the shooter was, in fact, acting in self-defense.
Against the backdrop of this controversial case, which involved Martin, a black teenager, and the shooter, who was an older white man, millions of Americans were awaiting a response from President Obama.
And he delivered this week. In his words, “I can only imagine what these parents are going through.” The president also invoked his own daughters, and said he thought “every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this.”
President Obama also acknowledged the difficult racial elements to the incident, and said that he thought “all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen.”
The president announced that the U.S. Attorney General has launched a criminal investigation into the case, and he also expressed that he was pleased with Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to appoint a task force to examine the circumstances of Martin’s death.
After Obama made his remarks, the parents of Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, issued a joint statement, saying that it was “humbling” that the president took the time to acknowledge the death of their son.