WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking for positive lessons to draw from the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, President Barack Obama said Friday the nation needs to do some "soul-searching," look for ways to bolster African-American boys and examine state and local laws to see if they encourage confrontations like the tragedy in Florida.
"Where do we take this?" Obama wondered aloud in an impromptu appearance in the White House briefing room. "How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction?"
The president said it's time "for all of us to some soul searching," but he also said it's generally not productive when politicians try to orchestrate a conversation.
On the positive side, he said race relations in the United States actually are getting better Looking at his own daughters and their interactions with friends, the president said, "They're better than we are. They're better than we were."
The president declined to wade into the detail of legal questions about the Florida case, saying, "Once the jury's spoken, that's how our system works."
But he said state and local laws, such as Florida's "stand your ground" statute, need a close look.
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