Obama Won't Intervene in DOJ's Zimmerman Decision

And more post-verdict news
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2013 1:10 PM CDT
Obama Won't Intervene in DOJ's Zimmerman Decision
In this 2012 photo, President Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Luke Sharrett/Pool-File)

Barack Obama famously and controversially weighed in on Trayvon Martin's death ("If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon"), but the president will not be getting involved in the DOJ's looming decision on whether to prosecute George Zimmerman on civil rights charges, Politico reports. Obama "has no position to express" on the matter, White House press secretary Jay Carney said today. Obama did, however, weigh in on Zimmerman's not-guilty verdict, and Carney said that's because it "was fairly big news and it was something that was being watched nationally."

  • As for the fact that Obama got involved in the Trayvon case in the first place, the president's "interference in a local law enforcement matter was unprecedented and inappropriate, and he comes away from the case looking badly tarnished by his poor judgment," writes civil rights expert Abigail Thernstrom for CNN. Other than having the same skin color, Obama's hypothetical son would have led a life "almost as dissimilar from Trayvon's as one could imagine," full of affluence and privilege, Thernstrom points out, noting that not "all brown-skinned boys are the same."
  • The National Bar Association, the country's oldest and biggest national association of principally African American lawyers and judges, released a statement on the Zimmerman verdict yesterday. "We are extremely disappointed," it reads. "As lawyers we respect the rule of law, but in this instance the Zimmerman verdict sadly highlights the continued injustices Black Americans face in the US legal system." The organization has scheduled a "call to action" in Miami on July 27 and 29.
  • One of the jurors is about to get a book deal, and Gawker features a video of her questioning as a potential juror, during which she revealed her distaste for the media ("Newspapers are used in the parrot's cage, not even read. ... It's a lot better use in the parrot cage.") and, asked to describe Trayvon Martin, referred to him as "a boy of color."
(Read more Trayvon Martin stories.)

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