All of last week, I was in Sanford, Florida, pursuing justice for Trayvon Martin. I listened to community concerns about the Sanford Police Department, and stood with Trayvon's parents and 30,000 others in Sanford, a town with only 50,000 residents.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton have been pillars of courage. Like Mamie Till after the brutal murder of her son Emmett, Tracy and Sybrina have stood and shown the world what hate and violence have done to their child, and the nation and the world have responded. Their leadership has resulted in a global movement for justice for Trayvon and, most recently, in the appointment of a special prosecutor to review their son's case.
The Seminole County branch of the NAACP has played a critical role in igniting this movement for justice in Sanford. For more than 24 years, Seminole County NAACP President Turner Clayton has served as a community leader, holding the city of Sanford accountable and responsive to community concerns. On Thursday -- in light of pressure from Mr. Clayton and the branch to step aside - Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee temporarily resigned from his post.
The actions of you and millions of others like you have already helped get the wheels of justice in motion. We know Trayvon and his family have been in your thoughts and prayers.
Now stand up publicly and send those thoughts to Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, who will be overseeing the grand jury case:
It is clear that the Sanford police have badly mishandled the investigation into Trayvon's death. The routine mishandling of similar cases by police, prosecutors and judges has eroded the Sanford community's trust and fueled the perception that justice for our young men and boys is of little consequence to law officials.
Now, our most important task is to make sure that the state's attorney assigned to this case will handle it with passion and an eye for justice.
Join our open call for justice for Trayvon and our children:
The strength of this community gives me hope that justice will indeed be achieved in Sanford. In the face of tragedy, the community has banded together and continues to raise its collective voice for justice.
Trayvon's family, the Sanford community and the world lost a precious gift in Trayvon. Unfortunately, he is not the only young person we've lost to senseless violence. Across the country, our precious sons and daughters are being sacrificed all too frequently, with justice arriving far too infrequently, if ever.
We won't let it continue to happen. We will keep speaking out, and we will keep raising our voices for Trayvon and for all of our precious children.
Thank you for your support.
Follow Benjamin Todd Jealous on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BenJealous