South Florida Remains Calm After Zimmerman Verdict
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Less than 24 hours after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin, many protests broke out around the country.
However, Miami–Dade police said their community, where Martin was from, remained calm.
According to Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson, the night was busy in a normal sense after the verdict was announced but nothing unusual related to the trial.
Police were prepared if the community decided to act violently based on a not guilty verdict, but never saw any indication of trouble.
Patterson believed that not only the police but the community talked about what would happen after the verdict came back in favor of Zimmerman.
“We were glad to hear from the Martin family about peace and justice and calm and we also heard it from the some of the local pastors as well as the social and youth groups,” said Patterson. “That was the message that was going out and even the police department said be vocal and not violent and it seems like everybody heard and that is a good thing.”
Just as others throughout the country, Florida state senator Chris Smith was shocked about the outcome.
“I thought they’d come back fairly early with a guilty verdict but when they didn’t come back I kind of saw it coming this way, but still shocked that it happened,” said Smith.
Congresswoman Fredericka Smith spoke about this case being one of the lessons that black men will have to fear that no matter where they are, they could be subject to violence.
“People in the communities say they see a young man walking down the street with Skittles and Iced Tea, not starting any trouble or anything, and an altercation ensued,” said Smith. “He is dead and now no one is held accountable.”