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Community Hopes Zimmerman Discussion Brings Peace

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George Zimmerman prepares to exit court for the day in his trial in Seminole circuit court June 27, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Jacob Langston-Pool/Getty Images)

George Zimmerman prepares to exit court for the day in his trial in Seminole circuit court June 27, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Photo by Jacob Langston-Pool/Getty Images)

maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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Trayvon Martin

MIAMI (CBS4) — A meeting was held in Overtown Friday evening to discuss issues raised during the George Zimmerman trial.

A panel of lawyers, pastors, and law enforcement discussed Friday’s developments, analyzed closing arguments, and answered questions about the trial process and what happens now that the case has gone to the jury.

“I don’t know that much about the case, I know the gist of it and I just wanted to know more,” said Brittany Jean.

Jean, 19, says it’s important for people her age to educate themselves about the issues facing their community.

Many of the meeting participants hope community conversations before the verdict will lead to peace afterwards.

“I think that having forums with different people who are knowledgeable of the law come in and actually explain the law to not only me but to other people as well of different color and ethnicity groups,  I think really helps the process,” said Andre Williams, an Overtown business owner.

Terrance Cribbs-Lorrant works with youth in Overtown and added,”This is something much bigger than the Trayvon Martin case and the George Zimmerman case.

No matter what the verdict, Cribbs-Lorrant said he’ll focus on peaceful ways to react.

“Everyone’s going to deal with it differently; my choice is really going to be to write .. I’m a blogger,” Cribbs-Lorrant added.

He said he’ll also express his views in the next election.  As for the youth he works with, he said discussion will help them process the verdict whatever happens.

“We’re going to have a lot of focus groups and we’re going to have a lot of pow-wows and invite a lot of therapists to come.”

“It’s better to discuss it and just get everything off our chest rather than being violent and going into a riot because it’s not going to solve anything,” said Jean.

On social media, some Twitter followers are using #keepcalmfortrayvon.

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