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Obama proposes ways to prevent future Trayvon Martin tragedy


09:32, July 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday made a series of proposals to prevent tragedies such as the Trayvon Martin case in the future, as he addressed the issue of race in the wake of the trial of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Martin.

Obama called for more training in local law enforcement agencies to reduce people's mistrust of the justice system, re- examination of state and local laws, including the Stand Your Ground laws, bolstering and reinforcing young African American men and soul-searching on race.

He said race relations in the United States actually are getting better.

People should "have confidence" that a new generation "have more sense than we did," said Obama. "And that along this long and difficult journey ... we're becoming a more perfect union."

Obama made the proposals in a surprise visit to the White House briefing room. He said the Stand Your Ground laws were "designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations."

The trial of Zimmerman was done properly, he said, while acknowledging that the African American communities are feeling a lot of pain in the Martin case, as many of them have experienced being targeted and followed.

"Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago," said Obama, noting it's "important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away."

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