Obama on Zimmerman Verdict: 'Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me'

THR Staff
U.S. Prepares for Syria Strike: Hollywood Reacts

President Obama addressed the George Zimmerman verdict in a Friday press briefing at the White House.

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," he said. Obama spoke in a surprise appearance, his first time appearing for a statement on the not guilty verdict since it was issued last Saturday.

Obama says African Americans view the case through "a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away." He says black men in particular are used to being feared and blacks see a disparity in the way they are treated under the law.

The president says he also has heard drivers lock their doors and has seen women clutch their purses tighter when he walked by, before he was elected to public office.