President Obama made his first remarks on the Trayvon Martin killing this morning, saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
Obama called the Rose Garden press conference to introduce his nominee to head the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim. One reporter question was taken at the end, and it was on Obama’s reaction to the controversial Florida case.
The president said he had to be careful about any statements since the Department of Justice is now investigating the shooting of the unarmed teen by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman.
“I can only imagine what these parents are going through,” Obama said. “And 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.”
He said he was glad the DoJ is investigating as well as Florida authorities.
“I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident,” Obama said.
It was a reference to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law that allows deadly force in cases of self-defense and activists’ call for it to be repealed, though the author of the law said George Zimmerman is not covered under the law because he pursued Martin.
“But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin,” Obama said. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
There will be a 1 p.m. “Hoodies on the Hill” remembrance of Martin on the East steps of the Capitol today. Organizers are the Congressional Black Associates, the Republican Congressional Staff Association, the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association, African American Men on the Hill, and Greeks on the Hill.
“Skittles and tea are welcome,” the invitation noted, which were the items Martin was carrying as he walked back to his father’s house from 7-Eleven.