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Presidential Reaction to Zimmerman Trial
Whether rightly or not, the Zimmerman trial has transfixed the nation. Many saw it as a civil rights lawsuit, and many are outraged at the final verdict that George Zimmerman is innocent of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The president, who has already weighed in saying that if he had a son, that son would look like Trayvon, a statement of solidarity, if ever there was one, has tried to ease some of the tensions and disappointments of the case.

"I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher," said Obama. "But we are a nation of laws, and the jury has spoken."

"We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can 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."

Indirectly, he seemed to be saying the verdict was a tragedy, but as for gun violence, it is an everyday thing, not so much a tragedy, since most cases don't capture nationwide attention, but are a daily reality.



Trayvon's lawyer, for one, criticized the president for failing to speak up about Zimmerman's plight.

He said Obama has "already made a couple of comments now about Trayvon Martin and I think he should have maybe focused a bit more on the fact that a fair trial was held, that justice was served, and that the Zimmerman family has gone through their own trauma in this. I don't know that it needs to be a one-sided conversation. I don't think that helps."

"This verdict still has nothing to do with civil rights," continued O'Mara. "There's enormous evidence that my client acted in self-defense. There is no other reasonable hypothesis."

Perhaps getting the president's sympathy was too much, but with so many people crying for Zimmerman's blood, it seems anything he could say to ease the tensions might help.
07-15-2013

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