US President Barack Obama has said the “tragedy” of an unarmed black teenager shot dead in Florida should prompt some national soul-searching.
The death of Trayvon Martin, 17, gunned down by a neighbourhood watchman, who was not charged as he claimed self-defence, has sparked outrage.
“If I had a son he would look like Trayvon,” President Obama told reporters at the White House.
Rallies have been held this week in Florida and New York to demand justice.
I can only imagine what these parents are going through and when I think about this boy I think about my own kids,” Mr Obama said on Friday.
“I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans take this with the seriousness that it deserves and we’re going to get to the bottom of what happened.
“Every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and everybody pulls together, federal state and local, to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened,” he added.
In Florida, a law known as “stand your ground” can prevent criminal or civil prosecution when deadly force is used in self-defence.
But there have been mounting calls for the arrest of George Zimmerman, 28, who opened fire on the teenager on 26 February in the Orlando suburb of Sanford.
Source: BBC News Read more
One of the real problems is what the Americans have become. I read in one report that the problem is the lax gun laws. To me that’s bullshit! The problem is the American people; their society, their education (or lack of it), their politics… I can’t say a good thing about Americans generally. Remembering, of course, that I have and have had some good American friends.
I am a first world ex-pat living in the third world. I am often asked if I have ever been to the USA; my reply is “That is the last place on Earth that I would go.” Ask yourself why?
The “stand your ground” law should be a basic human right, not just for Americans, but internationally. It is a good law, and sadly in today’s crime ridden world, a necessary one.
The sad thing is that this law has been mis-applied in this case. Zimmerman was clearly told by the dispatcher, “No need to do that (follow Trayvon)” Zimmerman obviously got close enough after that instruction for some form of confrontation, therefore “stand your ground” does not apply, not even remotely.
That Zimmerman decided to take the law into his own hands proves that he was a racially profiling arsehole looking for trouble, and he should get it by being charged with murder.
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee applied the law and decided that Zimmerman shouldn’t be charged. That was a gross error of judgment and disqualifies him from ever having a job in law again. In fact, the situation was so badly called, that he should be charged with gross dereliction of duty.