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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

President Obama, Gov. Scott react to Zimmerman trial



President Obama:

"The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. 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. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin."

Gov. Rick Scott: “As a father and a grandfather, my thoughts and prayers remain with Trayvon Martin's family and all those affected by his death. Our judicial process is a sacred part of the fabric of our country; and the more difficult the decision, the more we must value this important American institution."

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami: “A simple fact remains: an innocent young boy is dead. After Trayvon was shot and killed, I was one of the loudest voices demanding a trial and I am disappointed with the verdict. My role in this case has been to help ensure that Mr. Zimmerman faces a court of law.  While I am profoundly disappointed with the ruling in this case, the criminal portion of the process has run its course.  I encourage Trayvon’s parents to pursue vindication of their rights under civil law.  I will support the family in any way possible. I extend my deepest sympathies to Trayvon’s family.  I will continue to fight for justice for Trayvon.” 

Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville: "I am heartbroken and angered by the verdict in this decision.  My prayers go out to the Martin family in their grief as they are faced to live with a justice system that has failed them, a system that did not exact even minimal punishment on the man who killed their 17 year old son.

"This is a blatant example of our justice system being entirely broken. Along with the NAACP and other civil rights groups, I pledge to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws here in Florida and across the nation, and do everything within my power as a Member of Congress to put an end to racial profiling.  Last year, an innocent young man was killed in Sanford, Florida while returning from a 7-11 grocery store, and the perpetrator was not even convicted of a crime...clearly, there is something very wrong with a system of justice that legally sanctions such a heinous act.

"Two cases involving Stand Your Ground laws in my congressional district highlight the hypocrisy and disparities in this law's interpretation.  In this case, in Sanford, a white man shot a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, and the justice system ruled it was an act of self defense under Stand Your Ground. In Jacksonville, Marissa Alexander, a young black mother fired a warning shot because she feared another possible attack by her abusive husband, yet she was not allowed a stand your ground defense during her trial. If ever there were a case where Stand Your Ground should apply, it would have been that of Marissa Alexander."

[Last modified: Monday, July 15, 2013 10:58am]


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