(CNN) – President Barack Obama said Friday that “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago” in his first live comments since the verdict last weekend in the case of Martin’s shooting death last year.

Americans, Obama said, are aware of the “history of racial disparity in our criminal laws” in the country.

He added that a perception of the Trayvon Martin killing exists in the African-American community that “if a white male teen was involved in the same scenario, top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.”

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