President Barack Obama held a press conference at the White House Rose Garden on Friday to announce the nomination of Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to be World Bank president, but he also took time to comment for the first time on the death of Trayvon Martin, 17, an African-American boy who was fatally wounded in Florida nearly a month ago.

"I can only imagine what these parents are going through," Obama said, according to CBS News, "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 how this tragedy happened."

Obama added that he and Martin bore a close resemblance. "You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," he said.

Martin was shot in Sanford, Florida, by a neighborhood watch volunteer named George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who claims he shot Martin in self-defense, has not been arrested — a fact that has caused outrage among activists who say that his decision to kill Martin was racially motivated.
Both the Justice Department and a task force formed by Florida Governor Rick Scott are investigating the incident. "All of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen," Obama said. "And that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident."


  • Allison Volpe
    Allison Volpe on

    I'm so glad Obama is speaking out about this too.

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