Obama On George Zimmerman Verdict: ‘Honor Trayvon Martin’ By Stemming Gun Violence

US President Barack Obama speaks during the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal presentation ceremony on July 10, 2013 at the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal presentation ceremony on July 10, 2013 at the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama released a statement Sunday on the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, urging Americans to honor the slain teenager by acting to curb gun violence.

Read Obama's full statement:

"The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to 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. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin."

On Saturday, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman had pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges, claiming he shot Martin in self-defense.

Posted: 07/14/2013 3:08 pm EDT

 
 

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