msnbc | March 31, 2012
>>> demonstrators and activists are gathering in sanford , florida, right now demanding justice for trayvon martin. in fact, a large crowd is rallying outside the police department there as we give you a look at that. the hope is to keep pressure on the local officials. among the organizers of today's event is naacp president and ceo ben jealous . ben joins me live from sanford . ben , thank you for being here.
>> thank you.
>> so the overall message of this rally, it is what?
>> it is that it's time to finally bring mr. zimmerman to justice. it's time for the wheels of justice here to really get traction and start rolling quickly. it's been 34 days. and folks here are tired of waiting. it's time for mr. zimmerman to be brought to justice.
>> ben , have you been contacted by sanford police officials to explain their reasoning for not getting george zimmerman with an arrest inside that police station thus far?
>> no. and it's very disturbing because the reality is that we'll never be able to go back to that day and gather crime scene photos that weren't gathered, gather evidence at the scene that wasn't gathered, gather evidence from mr. zimmerman that wasn't gathered on that day. and that's part of why folks here are so impatient and say, look, it is time to just bring him in and get him processed. one of the things that someone said here when we were at a church meeting, they were talking about a specific case that happened about two years ago, in which a man walking down the street was attacked by a dog and shot it and they threw that man in jail the next day. they say if you kill a dog in this town, you'll be locked up the next day. here we are 34 days later, this beautiful young boy is dead and no one's been brought to jail to even start the basic process.
>> ben , what can be done immediately? i spoke earlier with bob herbert . and we were talking about the wheels of justice churning very, very slowly in this case. i know the police department is looking for a new police chief . they've organized through an outside independent firm. it's not as if they're going through members of their own police department . they're looking elsewhere for a police chief . what else can be done immediately to help get to the point that you're trying to make, that you want justice -- something for trayvon?
>> we need all the evidence to be gathered. it's good to see the changing of the state's attorney. them really beginning a true investigation. this department didn't do their job on day one. it's important when you listen to people in this community, the folks actually go deeper and look at this department. young black men in this town have been attacked and killed and the police have not responded in the way that you would expect people who are paid to respect and protect all of us should respond.
>> yeah. ben , i'm going to ask another question but want to let you know that a man who needs no introduction, reverend al sharpton , a colleague of mine here on msnbc and one of our hosts. very quickly, ben , is this, do you believe, a case of lone racial injus or is there a bigger problem here? sanford , florida?
>> both. both. and the reality here -- this isn't about whether mr. zimmerman is a racist, we have no idea. but it's about young black men being profiled, by white cops, by black cops, by people in the neighborhood watch program, by private security agencies in this town. the reality is that young black men have been treated different for centuries in our society. it's time for us as a society to move beyond racial profiling , to start focusing on what people do, not what they look like. we can do it. we have done it in some places in this nation. it's time for us to do it throughout this nation. it's just been too long, too many young men been humiliated, mistreated and even killed because their very color is considered suspicious.
>> naacp president and ceo, ben jealous . thank you very much