Defense attorneys for George Zimmerman released a response to President Barack Obama's remarks on "stand your ground" laws and how the Trayvon Martin verdict is affecting the community.
"We have listened to President Obama’s comments about the verdict in the Zimmerman Case. People are focusing on this quote: 'Trayvon Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago.' To focus on this one line misses the nuances of the President’s message, which includes comments about how African Americans view the Zimmerman Case in the context of the history of racial disparity in America," the defense wrote on their website, GZLegalCase.com.
"While we acknowledge and understand the racial context of this case, we challenge people to look closely and dispassionately at the facts. We believe those who look at the facts of the case without prejudice will see that it is a clear case of self-defense, and we are certain that those who take a closer look at the kind of person George Zimmerman is -- something we understand the Department of Justice is currently doing -- we are confident they will find a young man with with a diverse ethnic and racial background who is not a racist, a man who is, in fact, sensitive to the complex racial history of our country."
Read the full statement on the Zimmerman legal case website.
Obama spoke in a surprise appearance Friday at the White House, his first time appearing for a statement on the verdict since it was issued last Saturday. He said he has watched the discussion over the last week since the verdict.
"If I see any violence, I will remind folks that that dishonorable what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family," Obama said.
Obama says black Americans feel pain after the Martin verdict because of a "history that doesn't go away."
Obama says African Americans view the case through "a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away." He says black men in particular are used to being feared and blacks see a disparity in the way they are treated under the law.
He says he also has heard drivers lock their doors and has seen women clutch their purses tighter when he walked by, before he was elected to public office.