One point stood out in the discussions. Obama seemed to be lowering expectations about a Department of Justice investigation against George Zimmerman, agreed David Gregory of NBC's "Meet the Press" and Candy Crowley of CNN's "State of the Union."
On "Meet the Press," Charles Ogletree, a professor at Harvard Law School, said it was a state issue, not a federal one.
On the same program, PBS host Tavis Smiley applauded protesters who honored Trayvon but said they missed the point. Obama basically said the Department of Justice investigation "ain't going no further," Smiley said.
Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, countered that people make a mistake in prejudging such investigations.
Over on CNN's "State of the Union," Crowley asked what justice for Trayvon looked like.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Obama was "hinting there is no legal ground" for the Department of Justice to reopen the case against Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder in Trayvon's death. (Gingrich will co-host CNN's new version of "Crossfire.")
Obama was not saying there is no hope at the national level, said Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. But she added that Obama was "managing expectations" and saying there was no guarantee a federal hate crime would be brought against Zimmerman.
Ifill said justice for Trayvon meant someone being held accountable, but that Obama spoke to the larger issue of how racial profiling affects African Americans.
Charles Blow of The New York Times told Crowley that people worried about the precedent of someone walking away from killing someone and having no culpability.
On "Fox News Sunday," moderator Chris Wallace said it seemed to him that Obama was suggesting it is unlikely the Department of Justice will file either hate crime suits or civil rights violations against Zimmerman.
Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., agreed that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder "have indicated the limitations of federal law." Even so, Edwards said, people can seek changes in law enforcement training, state laws and the federal level "to make sure that all of our young Trayvons have justice."
On ABC's "This Week," Dana Perino of Fox News Channel highlighted that the FBI had looked into George Zimmerman and found "no instance of any sort of racial undertones." Maybe they'll find something else, Perino said, but she didn't know what else they could find.
Back on "Meet the Press," Professor Ogletree said that Obama "has moved Trayvon Martin up to be a symbol of racial profiling in America" and predicted the debate about that would continue.Smiley complained that Obama needed to do more and "lead us in a complex conversation about these very difficult issues."
But on CBS' "Face the Nation," host Bob Schieffer said that Obama's statement on Friday was one of the most personal any president had ever made.
On the same program, PBS' Gwen Ifill said Obama didn't question the Zimmerman verdict, but the president was trying to explain to white America the anguish he saw in the African-American community over the outcome.
David Ignatius of The Washington Post told Schieffer that Obama's comments "were the most amazing few minutes of his presidency" because they were "so raw and personal." But Ignatius added that Obama was saying reasonable doubt was appropriate in the Zimmerman case and not to expect a federal response.
How do you see the issue?
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