by Yvette Carnell
As the prosecution continues to drop the ball in the Trayvon Martin murder case, (first by presenting the world with a star witness, Rachel Jeantel, who hadn’t been adequately prepped, and then presenting a slew of prosecution witnesses who sounded more like defense witnesses), many are beginning to steady themselves for a ‘not guilty’ verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Among those who are bracing themselves for such a verdict is Sanford police chief Cecil Smith, who has a plan to deal with a violent reaction to the Zimmerman verdict. His plan includes a police plan, which he wouldn’t detail, as well as using black pastors to keep their flock in line.
Police and city leadership fear that violence could be ignited by outside rabble-rousers.
“Our worst fear is that we will have people from outside of the community coming in and stirring up….violence in the community,” Smith told CNN’s David Mattingly.
City Manager Norton Bonaparte also fears a racial riot could like the one we saw after the Rodney King verdict could erupt in Sanford.
“I’m saying that’s a scenario that’s certainly a possibility,” said Bonaparte.
Police have a team on standby in case of violence but Chief Smith told CNN that “as far as the particulars of the plans, we’re not releasing that.”
The police department has also enlisted the help of local black pastors who have been sitting in the courtroom during the trial acting as “observers.” One of the pastors interviewed, Valarie Houston, said she would tell her congregation that justice has been served if Zimmerman gets acquitted.
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