Nightly News   |  July 21, 2013

Nation debates race, law after Zimmerman trial

More than one week after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin, the nation debates self-defense laws and whether President Obama has done enough to address racism. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

while race has dominated the national conversation in the wake of the george zimmerman acquit tall, questions of race barely figured in the trial. the question of self-defense did. the politicians are lining up on either side of that law that gives citizens broad latitude to defend themes.

>> reporter: lester, good evening to you. protesters took to the streets in some cities. the calls for renewed conversation and change growing louder. today, protesters turned out in houston flanked by police on horses. a day after nash wide rallies. all of this as the debate shift focused to stand your ground laws.

>> i think it will be useful for us to examine some state and local laws.

>> reporter: and there was some support for that today from arizona senator john mccain .

>> is word looking at again?

>> i think that -- yes, i do. and i'm confident that the members of the arizona legislator will. and because it is a very controversial legislation.

>> reporter: but those laws found in some form in more than 20 states have strong support. arizona governor has made her position clear. i support stand your own ground. i think it's a squugsal right. on meet the press, the chair of the congressional black caucus said preventing another tragedy like this death is broader civil rights issue.

>> i don't care how many laws you put into place, you can't legislate against this type of thing.

>> reporter: meanwhile, the remarks of president obama has sparked debate.

>> pressure pushed him to that podium.

>> i disagree with that. president obama has been talking about race and doing things about race for a long time. he walked to the podium he went pushed there.

>> he called on the president to stay endpamged.

>> he can't be the only voice. but he has to be a primary entity garrett.

>> reporter: despite those pleas, president obama has no immediate plans to convene public conversation about race. he will continue to push states to review their laws.