Florida Gov. Rick Scott: Obama Shouldn't Make Trayvon Case Political

Monday, 15 Jul 2013 05:27 PM

By Greg Richter

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President Barack Obama said Americans should consider how they can "stem the tide of gun violence" as a way of honoring Trayvon Martin following the not-guilty verdict of George Zimmerman late Saturday night.

But Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in whose state the trial was held, said the case should not be used for political purposes.

"This was a tragedy," the Republican governor said on Fox News Channel on Monday. "That family's been hurt forever."

The 17-year-old Martin was shot to death by Zimmerman, a community watch volunteer on a dark, rainy night in Sanford, Fla. Scott appointed a special prosecutor to the case and appointed a bipartisan task force to study the state's "stand your ground" law that Zimmerman cited as his defense.

The task force recommended no changes to the law, Scott said, adding that he agreed with their assessment.

Asked whether Obama improperly inserted himself into the racially charged case when he publicly stated, "If I had a son he'd look a lot like Trayvon," Scott wouldn't say.

"I don't know if he did or he didn't," Scott said. " I just think about the family. I think about the fact that we have a jury system. I'm appreciative of that."

He also declined to say whether special prosecutor Angela B. Corey "overcharged" Zimmerman by seeking second-degree murder rather than a lesser charge, as many have complained.

"She's a tough prosecutor, one of the toughest in the nation," he said.

He said his office took precautions to avoid violent protests following the verdict.

"Law enforcement did a good job, the pastors did a good job, our communities did a good job," he said.

"The Martin family lost a son. Let's mourn for that son," Scott said. "As a father and a grandparent I really feel sorry for them."

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