GOP candidates weigh in on Trayvon Martin shooting

Martin was killed on Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, who told police he was acting in self-defense. Martin was carrying only Skittles candies and a can of iced tea when he was shot.

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Just prior to the shooting, Zimmerman called 911 to report what he said was suspicious behavior on behalf of Martin. Zimmerman then began to follow Martin, despite the emergency dispatcher telling him not to do so.

Police questioned Zimmerman but did not arrest him. A Florida state law known as the "stand your ground" law permits citizens to use deadly force when acting in self-defense, but a grand jury is being called to investigate the incident.

The Department of Justice also has stepped in to investigate the shooting, and the Sanford, Fla., chief of police has stepped down.

Speaking Thursday on CNN, Newt Gingrich called the shooting a “tragedy.”

“I think Americans can recognize that while this is a tragedy — and it is a tragedy — that we're going to relentlessly seek justice, and I think that's the right thing to do,” Gingrich said.

CNN host Piers Morgan asked Gingrich if the stand your ground law were dangerous, and the former House Speaker defended the law.

"That’s like cities that have rules that even if somebody breaks into your house, you can’t defend yourself. Both extremes taken in the wrong direction are false."

However, Gingrich said he didn’t think the law applies to this case.

"The young man apparently was not following the person who's being investigated," he said. "Apparently, the shooter was following the young man. That's not a stand your own ground, that's a chase the other person into their ground. And I think you're going to find the law, as interpreted normally, doesn't apply to this case."