As people continue to galvanize on social media and hold peaceful rallies in the aftermath of George Zimmerman's acquittal in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, President Obama has released an official statement on the not guilty verdict via the White House.
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.
An six-woman jury found Zimmerman, 29, not guilty in the shooting death of Martin on Saturday, July 13. He was also acquitted of the lesser manslaughter charges and freed to go.