White House

Obama: ‘If I Had A Son He’d Look Like Trayvon’

President Barack Obama answers a reporter's question about the death of Trayvon Martin, Friday, March 23, 2012, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. 
National Journal
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Sophie Quinton
March 23, 2012, 6:27 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama said Fri­day he thought about his own chil­dren when he con­siders the case of Trayvon Mar­tin, the un­armed Afric­an Amer­ic­an teen­ager who was shot dead last month.

“You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” Obama told re­port­ers on Fri­day. “This is a tragedy. I can only ima­gine what these par­ents are go­ing through.”

Mar­tin was shot and killed by an armed neigh­bor­hood vo­lun­teer. The in­cid­ent has caused na­tion­wide out­rage, the Flor­ida po­lice chief in charge of the in­vest­ig­a­tion has stepped down, and protests have erup­ted be­cause the shoot­er has not been ar­res­ted.

Obama said he didn’t want his state­ments to im­pair the in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to the shoot­ing, but said the par­ents of the teen­ager were 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.”

Mitt Rom­ney, the front-run­ner for the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion, ex­pressed sim­il­ar sen­ti­ments in a state­ment emailed to re­port­ers. “What happened to Trayvon Mar­tin is a tragedy,” he said. “There needs to be a thor­ough in­vest­ig­a­tion that re­as­sures the pub­lic that justice is car­ried out with im­par­ti­al­ity and in­teg­rity.”

Contributions by Sarah B. Boxer

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