July 19 - U.S. President Obama jumps into debate over acquittal of man who killed black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, declaring that ''could have been me, 35 years ago.'' Katharine Jackson reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE** Surprising reporters at the White House on Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama speaks publicly for the first time since the acquittal of former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. He says the death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin has raised questions about why young African-Americans experience racial profiling. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago." Seventeen-year-old Martin was shot dead in Sanford, Florida last year after a confrontation with Zimmerman in a gated community. Zimmerman - who is 29 and half Hispanic - says he killed Martin in self-defense after being attacked. Jurors found him not guilty of murder or manslaughter last Saturday. Obama says that verdict could have gone a different way. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "That all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different." The verdict has touched off protests and calls to overhaul Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows a person to "meet force with force" if they fear for their life or great bodily harm. Adding his voice, the president says such laws should be reviewed.