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How Obama brought home the anguish of black teen's death

By Jane Graham

Published 31/03/2012

The story of Treyvon Martin - the 17-year-old black boy shot dead by Neighbourhood Watch captain George Zimmerman in Florida last month - has come to a frenzied climax in the US.

Zimmerman told police he killed Martin in self-defence, having felt threatened by the black kid in the hoodie.

A 911 call revealed Zimmerman followed the teenager, not the other way round.

A search of the boy's body found, not a gun, but a packet of sweets.

Yet Zimmerman has still not been arrested. Obama (below) had to say something.

He couldn't suggest a bias which might affect a Justice Department investigation. His team felt it important he avoided making the issue race-focused.

He wanted to convey his personal sadness and sense of pain and loss.

How to avoid judgment, yet make it clear how he felt, in one line?

"If I had a son he would look like Treyvon," he told America.

Quite brilliant.

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