President Obama spoke out for the first time on the heinous killing of Trayvon Martin that happened in late February. The President also called for an investigation into "every aspect" of the case to determine what happened.
"I can only imagine what these parents are going through," the President told reporters in the White House Rose Garden. "When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in American should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this."
Obama urged investigations already underway by federal, state, and local authorities to "pull together" and "figure out how this tragedy happened."
Obama's comments on the Trayvon Martin case come after recent media exposure has transformed the teen's tragic death into a national outcry for justice. Many point to the 17-year-old's slaying as a possible hate crime, as the shooter, George Zimmerman, may have made racially-charged statements on 911 call right before the killing.
The President did not dismiss the allegations by Martin's family, lawyers, advocates, and protestors that George Zimmerman's motives could have been his prejudices, rather than the well-being of the community as acting Neighborhood Watch leader.
"You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," said President Obama.
Obama also commended the U.S. Department of Justice and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida for taking the actions they already had. While the Justice Department urged officials to start a thorough investigation, Gov. Scott appointed a special task force to ensure that no stone was left unturned in search for the truth.
In the wake of increasing pressure by the public and a vote of no confidence in Police Chief Bill Lee by Sanford, Florida's City Council, the police chief volunteered to step aside "temporarily" until the investigation was completed. Many critics have shifted some blame onto the Sanford police department, who cited Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense law as the reason they did not arrest Zimmerman.
In addition to calling for an investigation of the circumstances, the President suggested that the controversial law be examined to ensure more deaths like Trayvon Martin's never happen again.
"All of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen," said Obama. "That means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident."
Sybrina Fulton, mother to Trayvon Martin, has called for Zimmerman's arrest, both during rallies, and in media interviews. Both parents claim that they hold no "bitterness," but that Zimmerman must be arrested in order for justice to be served.
"I think [Trayvon's parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we're going to get to the bottom of what happens," said the President.