President Obama Comments on the Death of Trayvon Martin

President Obama Comments on the Death of Trayvon Martin

President Obama stepped into the firestorm over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, reaching out to comfort his parents.

"If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon," said President Obama.

He called for national soul-searching over the case.

"This is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids," said the President.

He then continued, "My main message is to the parents of Trayon Martin. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this matter with the seriousness it deserves."

Geraldo Rivera sparked controversy Friday on Fox and Friends over what he said about the hoodie Martin was wearing when he was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

"The hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was. What's the instant identification? What's the instant association? It's those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone sticking up a 7/11 it's a kid wearing a hoodie! I'll bet you money, if he didn't have a hoodie on that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn't have responded in that violent and aggressive manner," said a fiery Rivera.

There was an immediate response with Rosie O'Donnell tweeting sarcastically: "Dear black kids, adhere to Geraldo logic. Only wear tuxedos top hats and monocles lest you trigger subconscious fears of others"

Lebron James tweeted a photo of the Miami Heat in hoodies with the caption: "We are Trayvon Martin - hoodies stereotyped."  

And Geraldo's 32-year-old son, Gabriel told him he was ashamed of his comments. Geraldo said, "Gabriel broke my heart. He just told me for the first time in his life he's ashamed of what I wrote."

Thousands of protestors have been wearing hoodies to identify with Martin and MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry even wore one on the set Friday.
Meanwhile a former colleague on his neighborhood watch patrol, Frank Taaffe, is one of the few people coming to Zimmerman's defense

"George is scared. He is a stand-up guy and essentially he wanted to see that everyone was safe," said Taaffe.

Students at a Miami high school marched out of class rooms and formed the letters "T" and "M" on the football field to honor Treyvon Martin.

Zimmerman has said he has acted in self-defense.