NAACP's Jealous Says Community Must Stand Up for Trayvon Martin

The Wilmington Journal
Wilmington, North Carolina

Progress in the Trayvon Martin case is proceeding, says NAACP President/CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, because communities all across the nation are making it clear that they want to see justice done in the shooting death of the 17 year-old unarmed Florida teenager.

Meanwhile this week saw right-wing media, led by Fox News and various conservative websites, attempting to smear Trayvon Martin with reports of bad school behavior, numerous suspensions, and photos of a much older teenage than previously seen. Martin's parents blasted the conservative pushback, saying that after ''murdering'' their son, forces are now also trying to kill his reputation.

With a Seminole County grand jury being impaneled April 10, and investigators from the state and Florida governments interviewing witnesses who heard the violent confrontation between Trayvon and his killer, the call for justice nationwide is getting louder.

NAACP Pres. Jealous says the pressure must continue.

''The situation in Sanford remains tense because George Zimmerman is still at-large,'' Jealous said, referring to the 28-year-old neighborhood watch vigilante who fatally shot young Martin Feb. 26th in Sanford, Fla. ''That is the number one objective of the NAACP and [Trayvon Martin's] family - that Zimmerman is brought to justice, see his day in court, and justice is done.

Zimmerman had remained in hiding since the Martin case exploded in the media two weeks ago. His father has already secured a defense attorney to represent the shooter.

In an exclusive interview with The Wilmington Journal during his visit to the 59th Annual NAACP Southeast Regional Conference in Raleigh last weekend, Jealous said while a lot has been accomplished by young Martin's parents and their attorneys, black leadership, black media and others in building pressure on Florida officials and the US Justice Dept. to probe more, they haven't turned the corner yet.

''That work is happening because people like your [readers] and our activists have raised their voices across the country and around the world, saying that it's time for George Zimmerman to be brought to justice,'' Jealous told The Wilmington Journal, ''… and it is time for justice to work in Sanford.''

Read more here.