Urging Americans to "do some soul-searching," President Barack Obama injected himself into the emotional debate over the fatal shooting of a teenager in Florida,christian louboutin turning the racially charged case into a personal matter for the nation's first black president.
"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama said Friday at the White House. "I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids."
Obama said the parents of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., a suburb of Orlando, have a right to expect "that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."
Trayvon was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he was acting in self-defense. Zimmerman's father is white, and his mother is Hispanic. The shooting has stoked debate over race as well as other issues. Obama did not mention Zimmerman in his comments.
Zimmerman's defense attorney, Craig Sonner, said on CNN on Friday that Zimmerman is not racist and the facts will show he acted in self-defense as he told police.
"I really think there are other issues in this case and that it's not an issue of racism," Sonner said.
Trayvon was returning to a friend's home from a convenience store when Zimmerman started following him, telling police dispatchers he looked suspicious. At some point, the two got into a fight and Zimmerman pulled out his gun.
Zimmerman told police Martin attacked him after he had given up chasing the teenager and was returning to his SUV.
Also Friday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said the Stand Your Ground law he signed in 2005 shouldn't protect Zimmerman.
"Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back," Bush told reporters at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Civil rights groups have held rallies in Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, saying the shooting was unjustified. Of Sanford's 53,000 residents, 57% are white and 30% are black.
The White House had said earlier in the week Christian Louboutin 2011 that it was "not going to wade into a local law enforcement matter" though offering sympathies to Trayvon's family. But that changed Friday when Obama answered a shouted question following a ceremony on another issue.
Obama cautioned before speaking that he must "be careful so we're not impairing any investigation." But he said he was glad the Justice Department was investigating and that Florida officials had formed a task force.
Trayvon's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, said in a statement that Obama's words "touched us deeply and made us wonder: If his son looked like Trayvon and wore a hoodie, would he be suspicious, too?"
The Justice Department and FBI have opened a civil rights investigation into Trayvon's death, and a grand jury is considering whether to charge Zimmerman.
GOP presidential contenders spoke Friday about the death of Trayvon Martin:
Mitt Romney said there should be a "thorough investigation" and called Trayvon's death "a tragedy." He said an investigation would reassure the public that "justice is carried out with impartiality and integrity."
Rick Santorum said the shooting was "horrible" and that the case is a "chilling example of the horrible decisions made by people in this process." Santorum said any investigation should be left to local and state authorities.
Newt Gingrich called the death "a tragedy" and described the shooter as "a guy who'd found a hobby that's very dangerous." Gingrich said local prosecutors were right to bring the case to a grand jury.
More Details: Detroit rally
A rally in Detroit's Hart Plaza is planned for 6 p.m. Monday to urge justice in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and draw attention to the increase in violent deaths of children in the city.
Police say five children have been shot, two fatally, in Detroit since the end of January.
A coalition of civil rights groups, labor Christian Louboutin Petal Sandals Black unions and ministers are behind the rally, said Kevin Tolbert of the UAW International.
Tolbert, 38, of Detroit said the coalition started organizing the rally Wednesday and is spreading the word through social media.