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Obama: 'Absolutely Imperative' That Trayvon Martin's Death Be Investigated

"When I think about that boy, I think about my own kids" and that "if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," President Obama just said when asked about the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the national discussion it has reignited about race relations in America.

Without commenting on what happened in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, when 28-year-old George Zimmerman shot Martin, the president said it is "absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this" to determine "exactly how this tragedy happened."

"All of us have some soul searching" to do, said the president, "to figure out how something like this happened."

And Obama said he has a message for Martin's parents: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness this deserves and get to the bottom of what happened."

As we've written before:

Martin, who was unarmed, was shot by Zimmerman in what the older man claims was a case of self defense. Martin's family and supporters — and now a growing number of people across the nation — say it was a case of racial profiling and that Zimmerman only assumed Martin was "suspicious" and followed him through the neighborhood because the teenager was black.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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