Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued the following statement yesterday on the charges filed against George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin:
“Forty–five days after Trayvon Martin’s life came to a violent end, the wheels of justice have finally begun to turn. This is an important first step toward bringing justice for Trayvon and his family.
As we have seen, the system does not always work perfectly. But we have shown that when we stand together as a nation we can compel it to work. For the NAACP, this case has always been about the rule of law. We are encouraged by today’s charges, but we know that this is just the beginning. We anticipate and expect a thorough federal investigation of the Sanford Police Department and their role in exacerbating this tragedy.
Trayvon’s case moved the nation because it underscored the twin tragedies that affect so many of our young people: Trayvon was profiled because of his race—looked upon as a threat rather than the loving son he was. And then, once he became a victim, he was neglected by the very police department tasked with protecting our communities and families. As a nation, we’ve got to address the issues of racial profiling and the valuation of Black mens’ lives by law enforcement. In the months ahead the NAACP and our allies in the civil rights community will continue to take these issues on as well as the urgent need to repeal stand your ground laws.
Tonight our thoughts and prayers are with Trayvon’s family. We are grateful for the courage and tenacity of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin that continue to help shape a national movement for justice for their son and for all of America’s children.”