While public cries to charge Trayvon Martin’s killer continued to intensify Friday, the president weighed in on the case and organizers nationwide readied for planned protests.
Across the country, supporters of Trayvon’s family spoke out and held protests and rallies aimed at keeping the nation’s attention on the case.
Trayvon, 17, was shot Feb. 26 as he was returning to a gated community after buying candy at a convenience store. The gunman, Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman, has not been charged and said he shot the unarmed youth in self-defense.
President Obama said Friday the nation needs to do some “soul searching” over the shooting death of Trayvon.
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said at the White House. He said the “tragedy” should give the nation pause.
“I can only imagine what his parents are going through,” said Obama, the father of two daughters. “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.”
The case has drawn widespread national coverage amid claims that Trayvon, who is black, was a victim of racial stereotyping. Zimmerman, who police say is white but whose family says he is Hispanic, had followed the teen on foot and called the police department to report possible suspicious behavior.