When President Barack Obama addressed the death of Trayvon Martin last year, he did so passionately, declaring that if he had a son, he would look like the teenager.
His commentary marked a rare public reflection on race from the nation’s first black president.
But now, with the acquittal of the man who fatally shot the 17-year-old and the burden of any future charges on his own administration, Mr Obama is seeking to inject calm into a case that has inflamed passions.
In a statement on the verdict, the President implored the public to respect a Florida jury’s decision to clear George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watch volunteer charged over Trayvon’s death in Florida.
Mr Obama’s restrained response underscores the complicated situation for the White House as it grapples with the fall-out from the racially charged case.