The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama won't be getting involved in the case of Trayvon Martin, the black 17-year-old Florida high school student shot dead last month by a Hispanic neighborhood watchman in an incident that has sparked a national uproar.
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"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Trayvon Martin' s family. But obviously we're not going to wade into a local law-enforcement matter," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing.
Asked how the case differed from the 2009 incident between Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and white police Sergeant James Crowley—which led Obama first to declare that the police had "acted stupidly" by arresting Gates for disorderly conduct and then to invite the two antagonists to a "beer summit" at the White House—Carney sidestepped the question.
"I don't have any conversations to report to you," he said.
Carney said the local FBI office was in touch with local law enforcement and was monitoring the case.
Here is how ABC News summarized the case: "Martin, a black high-school junior, was making his way home with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea on Feb. 26 when George Zimmerman spotted him, called a nonemergency dispatch number to report Martin looked intoxicated, followed him, and then minutes later after an altercation, shot him."
Zimmerman claimed self defense and has not been arrested or charged with Martin's shooting.
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- The White House