Local activist responds to President's thoughts on verdict

Local activist responds to President's words on Zimmerman verdict

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ATLANTA -

President Barack Obama's reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict has people in Atlanta talking.

A Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

President Obama said he understands why so many African-Americans are upset about the verdict.

"There are very few African-American men in this country who have not had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me," Obama said.  "There are very few African-American men who have not had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator. "

Radio personality Derrick Boazman, an activist and former Atlanta City Councilmember, applauded the President for speaking out

"I think what President Obama said today reflects a reality. One thing, we want him to be the president for all people, but he comes from an ethnic background that suggests everything he said is true," said Boazman. "As a black man, he was a black man long before he was president, so clearly he understands what racial profiling is all about. "

Beyond the crime and the court judgment, the President says he has attempted to offer context – an understanding why the feelings, the wounds, can cut deeper for blacks.

"When we see you speak out on issues like this, it's critically important. He spoke out on gay rights and that was important. We hope that he will speak out on rights of the darker-hued people of  America because that is pretty important too."

Boazman says the death of the 17-year-old has tapped what he calls all "right-thinking people everywhere."

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report

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