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Statements from political and community leaders
President Barack 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.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
"I am disappointed with the verdict in the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman case. My heart goes out to Trayvon Martin’s parents and the struggle that they have endured in an attempt to achieve justice for their son. Like many across the country, I do not believe that justice has been served. I join the NAACP and many others in urging the Department of Justice to review the case and determine whether criminal civil rights charges can be pursued."
Congresswoman Janice Hahn
“The tragic and unnecessary death of young Trayvon Martin has shaken families and communities across this nation. The recent verdict has stirred national unrest and emotional outrage, leaving unanswered questions that must be answered. I support the recent action taken by the U.S. Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Holder to conduct a thorough federal investigation of the case to determine if the civil rights of Trayvon Martin have been violated. We must ensure that a devastating tragedy like this never happens again and that our young sons and daughters regardless of their race, creed or background are safe to walk the streets of our communities without the fear of harassment or possibly losing their life. Let us continue to keep the Martin family in our prayers and thoughts as they grieve the loss of their beloved son and seek peace and justice.”
“I understand that civil rights enforcement is a critical priority for President Barack Obama’s administration. The mission of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is to protect and defend the civil rights of all individuals. As such, I respectfully request that the Department of Justice fulfill its mission.”
Congresswoman Karen Bass
"We must honor Trayvon's memory by working tirelessly to end racial profiling and ensure that when crimes do occur, the application of the law is equitable, just and fair for every American."