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Obama: 'If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon'

March 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- President Obama said Friday if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin, the teen shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida.

"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama said in response to a question in Washington as he announced the nomination of Dr. Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank. Obama said he is saddened by the incident, which has sparked outrage across the country and prompted a federal civil rights investigation.

Martin, 17, who was black, was shot to death Feb. 26 as he walked through a white neighborhood in Sanford, Fla. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, said he was acting in self-defense and police declined to arrest him, citing Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which has been criticized as allowing shoot first, ask questions later.

"This is a tragedy," Obama said. "I can only imagine what these parents are going through. 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 exactly how this tragedy happened. …

"I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means … examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident."

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