Reporting Brian Andrews
MIAMI (CBS4) – The Miami-Dade NAACP is preparing it’s Zimmerman verdict plan.
On Thursday, the NAACP will hold a special meeting at the Martin Memorial AME Church at 147th Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard in Richmond Heights.
The goal is to unite the community to be calm, whatever the outcome.
Wednesday night, the NAACP brought together community leaders at the New Harvest Missionary Baptist Church on NW 27 Avenue just north of 119 Street.
NAACP Legal Redress Committee Chair Christopher Benajmin, a Miami lawyer, briefed the gathering on the trial.
“The defense has rested,” he said. “We could have a verdict very soon.”
UM Law Professor Donald Jones said the Zimmerman case reflects a massive racial divide in the country.
“If Justin Bieber was wearing a hoodie, throwing gang signs, wearing gold, have a tattoo, but no one is going to shoot him on his way home from the 7-11.,” said the Professor.
“I think there is an unmistakable issue of racism,” he added.
George Zimmerman claims self defense in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and Wednesday night’s meeting talked about the fact Zimmerman claimed Florida’s “Stand your ground law” which led to a delay in his being arrested.
State Senator Dwight Bullard and State Representative Cynthia Stafford says the law needs to be fixed.
“Around Christmas time, if I’m looking for a parking place, waiting ten minutes and then some one scoots into the space I was waiting for, If I go up and knock on the window, I might be dead,” said Stafford.
In the audience, NAACP Youth Leaders, who will be sharing the message of “Keep Calm for Trayvon.”
“We want you to do the right thing when the verdict comes down,” said Louyankkah Justilien. “We don’t want you to go to jail.”
State Representative Barbara Watson says Miami doesn’t need a repeat of the riots 30 years ago. “In some areas, we have never overcome some of the tragedies that impacted our community in the 80′s,” she said.
“When we make smarter choices, it advances the cause of unity and peace and progress, not just for people of color, but for humanity as a whole,” added Pastor Marvin Lue of Miami’s Trinity CME Church.