Nightly News   |  April 11, 2012

Trayvon Martin’s father: ‘we have a long way to go’

After the press conference announcing George Zimmerman was in custody and would face a second-degree murder charge, Trayvon Martin’s parents spoke to reporters, saying they were thankful that there was an arrest, and that ‘this is just the beginning.’ NBC’s Ron Allen reports.

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>>> nbc's ron allen , also in sanford , florida , where who has covered the story for weeks himself with some reaction to the prosecution's decisions. ron, good evening.

>> good evening, brian. we're still waiting to hear from trayvon martin's parents who are in washington, d.c. today, and they have been watching the proceedings of the special prosecutor on television. having spent a lot of time with them and their attorneys, i'm sure they're satisfied with the rest that they have been demanding for some 45 days. the case has consumed the whole town of sanford . many want td to go away, and now there's concern about how people will react and across the country as well. san fard calls itself the friendly city. proud of its historic downtown and tranquil waterfront, and un uncomfortable with what some now see as their symbol as racial injustice. weeks of protests have put the city on edge. outrage and a demand for justice that have erupted in cities across the nation, often fueled by social media . a feeling intesified by the airing of audio and video of what happened to george zimmerman who claimed self defense , and trayvon martin, that has hardened decisions on both sides.

>> for the last 45 days, it has been a nightmare, and this is coming from a mother's perspective. i have been up and down as if i was on a roller coaster. but i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that justice will be served.

>> here in sanford , a city that's about 47% white, about 30% blang, and 17% hispanic, today, religious leaders have been urging patient nls and calm.

>> i believe there will be probable a few that will respond negatively no matter what is presented, but for the most part, i believe they'll be very much in support.

>> there's no way you can please everybody at the same time. but all of us should be aboutrighteousne ss.

>> the filing of charges raises a lot of questions for the sanford police who accepted george zimmerman's claims of self defense . a press conference about to get under way where city officials will be asked some pointed questions about that.

>> on behalf of all of the good people in sanford , florida , this might be a different discussion had today gone another way.

>> indeed. i think, you know, there are people in the middle who are -- who want the truth to come out. i think more than anything, that's what people have been saying. they want to know what really happened. people are going oo be pleased there's an open process, a trial, where all of the fact can get out there, people can make up their own minds and feel a sense of closure when this is over. but of course, it's long road. a federal investigation, and a lot of questions about how the local police have handled this.

>> ron allensanford, florida .