The backlash against Trayvon Martin’s shooting has swept the nation, with thousands demonstrating in New York and Florida, and millions signing an online petition. And now the awareness has spread to the highest ranks in Washington D.C.
Tacked on to the end of a Friday morning press conference in which President Obama named Jim Yong Kim as his nominee for the World Bank president, a reporter asked a question requesting Obama’s input on the case. The usually carefully-scripted commander-in-chief took the opportunity to go off the book for a minute, expressing his sorrow over the murder. Calling it a “tragedy,” Obama said he’s “glad that the justice department is looking into it.” But his comments about the legal proceedings were hardly as poignant as his comments as a parent.
“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin: If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon. They are right to expect that all of us as Americans will take this with the seriousness it deserves.” He went on to explain that the case makes him think about his own kids. “I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it’s absolutely imperative we investigate.”
The case is being investigated on the federal level after the unarmed 17-year-old boy was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in a Sanford, Fla. subdivision on February 26. Zimmerman claimed he was acting out of self-defense. The case was escalated after scrutiny fell on the Sanford Police Department’s handling of the shooting.