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

By Layne Weiss     Mar 23, 2012 in Crime
Sanford - U.S. President Barack Obama has weighed in on the Trayvon Martin tragedy, saying the nation should do some "soul searching to figure out how something like this happens," CNN reports.
"If I had a son, he'd look Trayvon," Obama said, making it clear how much this case affects him on a personal level. He expressed his belief that it is imperative America pulls together to figure out how and why this happened.
"I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids," Obama said.
The killing of Trayvon Martin, 17, has sparked outrage throughout the United States. Martin was killed by a neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman. Due to Zimmerman claiming self defense, he has not been charged. Reports indicate that Trayvon was not armed with anything other than candy and an Arizona Iced Tea.
Zimmerman called a police dispatcher to report a "suspicious" kid in the neighborhood. The dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon, but he proceeded to follow him anyway. Moments later, Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed 17 year old.
In Florida, a law called "Stand Your Ground" can prevent a person being prosecuted for a crime if he or she has killed in self-defense. "Stand Your Ground" is extremely broad and vague, and allows just about anyone to use deadly force and claim self defense. Florida is one of 21 states with this type of law. According the the Huffington Post, before "Stand Your Ground" was passed in Florida, there were 13 "justified" killings in the state. Since it passed, there have been 36.
On Thursday, Florida Governor Scott Brown appointed a new prosecutor to handle the Trayvon Martin case, BBC News reports.
Brown has also established a special task force to conduct hearings on the incident and propose changes to the law.
The nationwide demands for Zimmerman's arrest continue to grow.
Bill Lee Jr, the Sanford, Florida police chief in charge of the investigation, has resigned from his post temporarily after a vote of "no confidence." Lee had been under increasing scrutiny for how he handled the investigation into Trayvon Martin's killing.
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