President Obama Comments on Trayvon Martin Case

Towards the end of a news availability in which he announced his pick of Jim Yong Kim, President of Dartmouth College, as president of the World Bank, President Obama responded to a question about the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida more than three weeks ago.

“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin: If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. “I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we’re going to get to the bottom of what happened.” [….]

“Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.” [….]

“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.”

According to CBS News Obama also said:

“All of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen,” he continued, “and that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident.”

From the NYT Caucus Blog:

The president often appears perturbed when he gets off-topic questions at ceremonial events, but on Friday, he seemed eager to address the case, which has quickly developed into an urgent cause in the African-American community. He cautioned that his comments would be limited because the Justice Department was investigating. But he talked at length about his personal feelings about the case….

Mr. Obama sidestepped some of the most sensitive and politically-charged specifics about the case — whether Mr. Zimmerman should be arrested; whether the “Stand your Ground” law goes too far in protecting people who shoot others; whether the police chief in the Florida town should be fired.

“I’m the head of the executive branch, and the attorney general reports to me,” Mr. Obama said. “So I’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure that we’re not impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now.”

I’m very glad that Obama chose to weigh in on the controversy, and I hope this means he will encourage Attorney General Holder to press forward with a serious investigation, as well as the arrest and further questioning of George Zimmerman.


36 Comments on “President Obama Comments on Trayvon Martin Case”

  1. RalphB says:

    TPM has video of Obama’s comments. I’m also glad for what he said, it was very appropriate.

  2. peggysue22 says:

    I am no Obama fan but think the President handled the question with compassion and grace. And I have to say I’m impressed with the World Bank choice. Larry Summers, eat your heart out!! Even Jeffrey Sachs who had thrown his name in for consideration, immediately withdrew, stating the choice of Kim was an outstanding selection–a man with development background rather than a financial shark.

    Two A+s in row! My dubious heart has been stroked [at least for the moment]. :0)

    • bostonboomer says:

      I know. I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt these days. Sometimes he comes through and sometimes his choices are so awful–like the pipeline and the spying facility. If only we had some really good choices in leaders. Unfortunately, right now he’s the least horrible of a horrible bunch.

      • RalphB says:

        Spying, well just yuck. But the pipeline from the storage facilities in OK to the Gulf refineries shouldn’t even really be controversial. While the northern portion of the pipeline is something I am definitely against, the one they are going to build now will take care of a real transportation bottleneck and is running through areas which already contain various pipelines.

        Since no tar sands oil will flow through it, I don’t see it as any different from what is already in place. It’s just one more of them.

      • dakinikat says:

        Did you see santorum was out in a business suit in David Duke land firing a hand gun at a shooting range and some woman shouted pretend it’s Obama and Romney’s use yall again?

      • RalphB says:

        They probably have targets with Obama’s picture on them. I’ve heard they’re pretty common.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Here’s a link to the Santorum shooting/pretend it’s Obama story.

  3. RalphB says:

    Fucking Geraldo “moron” Rivera …

    People don’t kill people; hoodies kill people.

    Geraldo Rivera said Friday he would “bet money” that Trayvon Martin wouldn’t have been fatally shot if the teenager hadn’t been wearing a hoodie, and the Fox News host’s comments immediately drew a fierce response, with one critic branding him a “moron” on Twitter.

    “I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies,” Rivera said on “Fox & Friends.” “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”

    • foxyladi14 says:

      what a doofus he is 🙄

    • peggysue22 says:

      Well, that’s a really stupid comment from Geraldo. It’s no different than saying a young girl was raped because of ‘suggestive,’ revealing clothing. It puts the responsibility of the violence on a vulnerable, unarmed victim.

      A gun killed Trayvon Martin, a gun wielded by a cop wannabe who had no business chasing a kid down the street with a loaded 9mm.


  4. RalphB says:

    Wow, this guy’s caucus is gonna really love him now …

    Richard Hanna, GOP Congressman, Tells Women To Give Their Money To Democrats

    As the only Republican Congressman at a rally for the Equal Rights Amendment on Thursday, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) gave women an unexpected piece of advice: Give your money to Democrats.

    “I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault,” he told the crowd of mostly women. “I’ll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side — my side — has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can’t succeed without your help.”

    • peggysue22 says:

      And Kay Bailey Hutchinson went after Rick Perry for his moronic decision to turn his back on women’s health care, losing Federal funding.

      There’s a candidate running for the senate in Arizonia, GW’s former Surgeon General [Richard Carmona] running as a Democrat because of the crazy positions the GOP has taken on women’s health and immigration. I listened to him last night. He said there was no way he could to would support those radical, counter-intuitive positions.

      Very strange year.

      • RalphB says:

        I heard him to and he was really very good. It would be great if Arizona went blue for one state wide office! That would shake things up a little in the New Confederacy they’re building out there.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Kay Bailey Hutchinson voted for the Blunt bill that would have banned birth control. She has just realized that hating women is a losing issue.

        I heard Carmona last night on Rachel. He sounded good, but why was he working for Dubya in the first place?

      • RalphB says:

        BB, He was a political independent and accepted the appointment as Surgeon General. That was always pretty common to go across the aisle, but no longer.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I know. I didn’t mean to sound cynical. It’s just that it’s hard not to be cynical about politicians these days. He did sound really intelligent and reasonable to me last night.

  5. Fannie says:

    I just can’t help but read Soraya Chemaly 10 Reasons The Rest of The World Thinks the US is Nuts…… article I’ve seen, and a must read. Everyday I re-read what she has said, and of late thinking of Trayvon’s case, how alot of people just don’t care.

      • dakinikat says:

        wow. powerful read.

      • northwestrain says:

        Obama should be forced to read this and then given a test on the points made.

        The war on women is about denying women human rights and denying that women are human beings.

        This is the best and most powerful summary about the misogyny coming from the GOP aimed at women’s human rights.

        What took 0bama so damned long to find the time and/or words to make a comment about the murder of Trayvon Martin??? I guess his speech writer had to run the speech past a focus group first.

        And then there is “Fucking Geraldo “moron” Rivera … “ response. A fashion statement?? related to the murder of a teen by a racist pig??

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Both Romney and Santorum commented on the Trayvon Martin case.

    • RalphB says:

      Santorum is right it does appear pretty clear what we’re seeing in the case but I’m not sure we would agree on what that problem was.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    When he was 9 years old, Trayvon Martin saved his father’s life in a fire.

    Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin told Charlie Rose how his son had once rescued him: “At the age of 9, he pulled me out of a fire, went back in the house, got the phone, came back out, called 911. He saved my life.

    “And at his time of need, I wasn’t there to save his life,” he said. “But I pledge my life to continue to push forward until we get justice for my son.”

  8. RalphB says:

    Paul Krugman’s excellent editorial …

    Paranoia Strikes Deeper

    Stop, hey, what’s that sound? Actually, it’s the noise a great political party makes when it loses what’s left of its mind. And it happened — where else? — on Fox News on Sunday, when Mitt Romney bought fully into the claim that gas prices are high thanks to an Obama administration plot.

    This claim isn’t just nuts; it’s a sort of craziness triple play — a lie wrapped in an absurdity swaddled in paranoia. It’s the sort of thing you used to hear only from people who also believed that fluoridated water was a Communist plot. But now the gas-price conspiracy theory has been formally endorsed by the likely Republican presidential nominee.

  9. RalphB says:

    Classic Pierce …

    After this is all over, there might be a career for Gingrich as the host of a children’s TV show. Perhaps he can be the new Captain Kangaroo, with his friends, Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Moose, Mr. Green Jeans, Grandfather Clock, and Auntie Invective, who comes on once a week to tell the kids what stupid losers they all are.

  10. RalphB says:

    Charles Pierce: Trayvon Martin and the End of Excuses

    I’ll let this speak for me.

    • Wow, Pierce really nailed it! And, I’d never heard Barney Frank’s comment before. I wonder why Pierce is never on any of the Talking Head shows. Maybe he just says NO.

      • bostonboomer says:

        He is on NPR a lot.

      • BB, I know he’s on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, but I’ve never seen him on panel on Maddow, CNN, MHP or any of the other shows. I’d even be happy to see him on Bill Moyers’ new show.

      • bostonboomer says:

        He is also on “Only A Game” every week. I’ve heard Pierce on other NPR shows, but he’s primarily seen as a humorist and sportswriter. If his blog gets any more popular, he’ll probably get invited on MSNBC.

    • bostonboomer says:

      He says Martin was shot in the head. He wasn’t as far as I know.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I read about what Jesse Jackson said, and I totally agree. The fact that Zimmerman hasn’t been arrested is stunning and shameful and embarrassing to Americans before the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Zimmerman could have very well left the country. His mother is from Peru, and likely has family and friends there. Why aren’t his whereabouts known?

      • RalphB says:

        I’ve heard he was shot center mass in all the reports. Who knows as screwed up as the investigation was though?

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m pretty sure he was shot through the chest. I wish we could just get all the facts and stop fooling around. There is already probably cause to arrest Zimmerman, and its very troubling to me that the police don’t know where he is–at least that’s what Bill Lee said.