President Obama’s spokesman described the murder of Australian baseball player Christopher Lane in Oklahoma as a “pretty tragic case,” saying that Obama’s comments after the Trayvon Martin case apply to Lane.
“This sounds like a pretty tragic case,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest replied when told about the murder of Christopher Lane. Earnest said that he hadn’t heard about the murder previously. Police say that the three teenagers who allegedly shot Lane in the back while he was jogging said they did so out of boredom.
The murder has developed into a bit of an international incident, with Australian leaders calling for a boycott of the United States. “People thinking of going to the USA for business or tourists trips should think carefully about it given the statistical fact you are 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the USA than in Australia per capita per million people,” Australian deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer said, per NBC.
“The United States is deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of the death of an Australian citizen in Oklahoma,” State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said. “This is clearly a tragic death, and we extend our condolences to the family and the loved ones. We understand that local authorities are focused on bringing those responsible to justice. Clearly, we would support that.”
Earnest said that Obama’s comments after the Trayvon Martin case apply here. “[T]he president I think himself has spoken pretty eloquently about violence,” Earnest said when asked why Obama commented on the killing of Martin but not of Lane. “He expressed his concern about the impact of violence in communities across the country,” he added, referring to Obama’s comments after the Martin case.