President Barack Obama has broken his silence over the Trayvon Martin killing, calling the case a “tragedy” and saying that “every aspect” of Martin’s death must be investigated.
“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.”
The president spoke Friday in the White House’s Rose Garden where he announced his nomination of Dartmouth president Jim Yong Kim for president of the World Bank.
Martin, 17, was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has yet to be arrested for Martin’s murder, which has led to outrage and protests around the world.
“Obviously, this is a tragedy,” President Obama added. “I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.”
He added, “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.”
Students at several South Florida high schools staged walkouts Friday morning in a protest against the lack of an arrest in the shooting. Martin was a junior at a Miami high school and was unarmed when he was killed.