Colin Powell: Trayvon Verdict "Questionable"

The former secretary of state says he wants to see President Obama be more compassionate about issues of race.

Posted: 08/26/2013 08:53 AM EDT

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said the verdict in the case of Trayvon Martin's death was "questionable" and that President Obama should be more passionate about racial issues.

"I think that it will be seen as a questionable judgment on the part of the judicial system down there, but I don't know if it will have staying power," Powell said Sunday on Face the Nation. "These cases come along and they blaze across the midnight sky and then after a period of time, they're forgotten."

As thousands mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., Powell said that progress still needs to be made in racial equality. "If Dr. King was here, I'm quite sure he would say, 'Congratulations on all the progress that's been made, but let's keep going. The dream is not fully achieved yet,'" said Powell.

He added that all presidents have a responsibility to address the country's legacy of racism.

Associated Press reports:

"I'd like to see him be more passionate about race questions," Powell said of Obama, whom he endorsed during the 2008 and 2012 presidential election.

"For the president to speak out on it is appropriate. I think all leaders, black and white, should speak out on this issue," the Republican added.

Powell said he didn't fully grasp the civil rights upheaval happening during the early 1960s until he returned from Vietnam. His wife, Alma, didn't share the developments with him from their home in Birmingham, Ala., and his service blocked him from engaging in the political upheaval.

Read more here.

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(Photo: AP Photo/CBS News, Mary F. Calvert)

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