By Keith Laing
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Sunday said that "justice will prevail" in his state's investigation of the controversial killing of Trayvon Martin.
Martin, an unarmed African American teenager, was shot and killed weeks ago by a self-identified volunteer neighborhood watchman. The killing has sparked protests around the country and a nationwide debate on the role race played in the shooting.
"Your heart goes out to them because no family ever imagines this could happen to their child," Scott said about Martin's family. "We've got to find out exactly what's going to happen…and make sure justice prevails."
Scott said he was not sure if race played a role in either the shooting of Martin or the handling of the case since. Critics have alleged that police would have arrested Zimmerman, who is of Hispanic origin, more quickly after the shooting took place if he was black and the victim of the incident was white.
"There's nothing I know about that," Scott said of the racial bias allegations. "I think we'll find that out in the investigation. You hope that's never the case. I think we'll find that out in the investigation. You hope that's never the case."
In widely-publicized comments about the case this week President Obama suggested race may have been a factor in the shooting.
"If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon," Obama said Friday in remarks that have been criticized by some Republicans, including presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
"When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local, to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened,” the president said in remarks at a Rose Garden ceremony after unveiling his nominee for the World Bank.
"I think all of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out, how does something like this happen," Obama said.
Martin was killed on Feb. 26, but both Scott's administration in Florida and the U.S. Department of Justice did not launch investigations in the shooting until last week, when national protests about the incident reached a fevered pitched.
"Everything you do in life, I love it if you could do things faster," Scott said. "You get more information and you see about problems faster.
Scott said he would "make sure there's justice for Mr. Martin's family and for Mr. Zimmerman."
But when he was asked to predict if charges would be issues in the controversial case, Scott said "I'm not sure.
"We've got to make, see what the facts [are]," he said.