On Martin case, Obama shifts from passion to calm

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By JULIE PACE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama addressed the death of Trayvon Martin last year, he did so passionately, declaring that if he had a son, he would look like the slain teen. His commentary marked a rare public reflection on race from the nation's first black president.

But now, with the acquittal of the man who fatally shot Martin and the burden of any future charges on his own administration, Obama is seeking to inject calm into a case that has inflamed passions.

In a statement on the verdict, Obama implored the public to respect a Florida jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman, the man charged in the teen's death.

The president's restrained response underscores the complicated calculus for the White House as it grapples with fallout from the racially charged case.

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