Posted 4 years ago on July 19, 2013, 3:21 p.m. EST by bensdad
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President Barack Obama has said that "Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago", in his first comments on the case since last week's verdict.
The unarmed black 17-year-old was shot and killed in Florida in February 2012.
George Zimmerman, 29, said he opened fire on the teenager in self-defence and was acquitted of murder by a Florida court last week.
In an unexpected press call, Mr Obama said very few black men in the US had not experienced racial profiling.
Mr Obama said the pain that African Americans felt around the case came from the fact that they viewed it through "a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away".
He shared his experiences of being racially profiled in the past, such as being followed when shopping in a department store.
"There are very few African American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.
"There are very few African Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she has a chance to get off."
He also hailed the "grace and dignity" of Trayvon Martin's parents in the way that they reacted to the verdict.