Obama urges calm in wake of verdict
15 July 2013, 08:09
Washington - US President Barack Obama called for calm on Sunday
after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of
unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, saying his death was a tragedy
and that the country should seek ways to stem gun violence.
are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken," he said in a statement. "I
now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from
two parents who lost their young son."
The president said he was aware the Florida case has elicited strong feelings.
"And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher," the president said.
jury of six women acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and
manslaughter in the February 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Martin.
Zimmerman said he acted in self-defence while civil rights activists
said the shooting was racially motivated.
Obama urged Americans
work to broaden "the circle of understanding and compassion" in their
communities and put some of the emotion the case has aroused into
curtailing gun violence.
"We should ask ourselves if we're doing
all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives
across this country on a daily basis," he said. "We should ask
ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future
tragedies like this."
"That's the way to honour Trayvon Martin," he added.