By Benjamin Todd Jealous
NAACP President & CEO
Over the past six weeks you joined our tireless call for George Zimmerman’s arrest, and now we can take solace in knowing the wheels of justice are moving and the voices of millions of Americans have been heard.
Your hard work, petitions, and prayers contributed to this moment.The arrest of George Zimmerman will not heal the hole that Trayvon’s murder left in our hearts. It will not bring him back to his family, nor will it bring back the countless other young, black victims of similar crimes.
But Zimmerman’s arrest can serve as a turning point. 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 justice, fairness, and the rule of law. We anticipate and expect a thorough federal investigation of the Sanford Police Department and its role in exacerbating this tragedy.
In the weeks since Trayvon’s death, we have stood up to say our sons and daughters will not be victims of such senseless crimes, our nieces and nephews will not be taken from us far too soon, and our grandchildren will not be forced to walk the streets wondering, “What if?”
At this moment we can declare, “Trayvon is the last one.” Elected officials, law enforcement officers, and our nation as a whole must understand that racial profiling and the official neglect of the murders of young men of color will not be tolerated. Together we can make sure the world we leave to all of the Trayvons in our lives is a better and safer place.