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Sheriff: Violence Not Expected in Flagler Reaction to Trayvon Martin Verdict, But Cops Preparing Anyway

| July 12, 2013

A picture of Trayvon Martin dead is not available.

A picture of Trayvon Martin dead is not available.

Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday law enforcement across Florida is ready for “whatever happens” after the verdict as the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman gets closer to wrapping up in Sanford.

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Friday morning on WNZF, Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre said he doesn’t expect a potentially violent reaction to spread to Flagler County, but that he’s been receiving daily briefings and bulletins on the matter and coordinating a response with Bunnell and Flagler Beach police while keeping tabs on social media and concerns from the local NAACP.

“People have a first amendment right to either for or against, whatever occurs, to broadcast their views,” Manfre said. “However, they don’t have a right to destroy property or put any of the lives at risk, and we will be monitoring any of those kinds of reactions.”

The jury might begin deliberations in the racially charged case as early as Friday. Closing arguments were being presented Friday morning.

“We’re getting daily briefings, sometimes twice a day,” Manfre said. None of the information so far, he said, “indicates any reaction, any violent reaction. But I think everyone is sitting back and waiting to see exactly what the verdict of the jury is. I’m sure—this has been a very passionate prosecution because of the issues that are involved. We expect some reaction, but hopefully people will do it in a safe manner.”

The governor has ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to coordinate local sheriff’s and city police agencies’ responses to the verdict, whichever way it may go.

“Obviously we feel right now that if there’s going to be any reaction, it’s probably going to be within the Seminole County-Sanford community,” Manfre said. “However, Orange County and Volusia County are coordinating with Seminole to provide any resources they may need. We are providing resources if Volusia County needs them. And we are also looking at any issues that we may have in our community. I’ve met with the chiefs this week to talk about this issue, anything that they may need in terms of resources. We’ve contacted the local NAACP to try to elicit any comments they may have or any concerns they may have. So we’re going to be alert to any issues.”

Scott addressed the issue during a morning appearance on WPEC TV in West Palm Beach Thursday.

“We’ve got great sheriffs, police chiefs, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, I’ve been in contact with them, they’re ready for whatever happens,” Scott said. “But hopefully the right thing happens here, and we’ll have a verdict that everybody understands.”

A number of agencies, including the FDLE, have been coordinating potential responses with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the Sanford Police Department, which have been the lead agencies since the February 2012 shooting by Zimmerman of Trayvon Martin, a Miami Gardens teen who was staying with his father in Sanford.

“We’re assisting if they need us for anything,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Ginette Rodriguez.

FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said Sanford-area law enforcement requested the state assistance.

“As always, we will assist local law enforcement if they request any assistance,” Plessinger said.

Still, most agencies, such as the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, are monitoring the case, but don’t expect any local public backlash whichever way the jury rules. A spokeswoman for the Florida National Guard also said no directives have been made to be on alert with the verdict pending.

A spokesman for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said it is not releasing details, other than to repeat that the agency continues to ensure adequate staffing and resources are in place and that there will be support from multiple local, state and federal agencies.


The Broward County Sheriff’s Office has created a public service announcement intended to convince people to remain calm if Zimmerman is acquitted.

The video, which features two teenagers, a Hispanic female and a black male, and members of the sheriff’s office, tells the public, “Raise your voice, and not your hands! We need to stand together as one, no cuffs, no guns. … I know your patience will be tested, but law enforcement has your back!”

Members of Martin’s family attended a town hall meeting Tuesday at the North Dade Regional Library where the possibility of violence was discussed. A member of the Martin family has also set up a Facebook page to urge people to conduct peaceful protests.

Miami-Dade Police Deputy Director Juan Perez told WFOR TV in Miami that the plans have been discussed to avoid a riot similar to the 1980 race riots in Liberty City that followed the death of Arthur McDuffie, an insurance salesman and former Marine who was beaten to death by a group of white Miami police officers.

One way to reduce the chance for post-verdict violence may be to set up zones for people to protest, Perez said.

“I think now we’ve come a long way as a community and as law enforcement in merging together and bridging together our resources,” Perez told the television station.

–FlaglerLive and the News Service of Florida

George Zimmerman Trial Jury Instructions

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22 Responses for “Sheriff: Violence Not Expected in Flagler Reaction to Trayvon Martin Verdict, But Cops Preparing Anyway”

  1. Merrill Shapiro says:

    I love this picture of George Zimmerman. The rest of us, if we thought we might be bleeding from the back of our heads, would put our hands back there and wipe some of it. Do you see any wipe marks? The same goes for the picture of his bloody nose. No evidence of wiping it with a hand or anything else. Looks very well prepared.

  2. Karma says:

    Just as there where protest zones set up in Tampa for the RNC. The county could setup zones where people could demonstrate. This makes it much easier to control and would lessen any damage to innocent people.

  3. Marvelous says:

    If the trial followed the law and the jury makes a verdict either way then justice is done. Why would there be violence?
    Justice is being judged by a group of peers in this country.

  4. m&m says:

    Merril admit to the fact that it was self defense and the jury will also.

  5. The Truth says:

    The fact of the matter is: Mr. Zimmerman PUT himself in this position and it’s clear from the 911 audio. He was concerned about the safety in his neighborhood which I respect. He called the police and decided to then pursue this young boy as he started running. Whether it was due to the fact that Mr. Zimmerman wanted to be a police officer and he lived this dream through being neighborhood watch, who knows.

    The fact is that this man pursued Trayvon based on the fact that he was a “suspicious black boy in his late teens” who was wearing a hoodie and up to no good. The audio of the person screaming in the 911 call is clearly Trayvon Martin. I don’t understand the thought process behind screaming over and over when YOU are the one with the gun. If you listen to the tape, the screaming occurs nearly a second before the gun shot. Why would the person holding the gun be the one screaming?

    I respect firearms and I support the 2nd amendment and stand your ground – TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. This was far past anything I support. Mr. Zimmerman decided to follow this boy. If I were being followed by a man and I had no idea what this man’s intentions are I would stand up for myself too. The only reason that doesn’t matter is because Trayvon Martin is dead.

    I’m not interested in the “political back and forth” about this case. I’m interested in the facts. The facts are that Zimmerman overstepped his boundaries and went too far. He had a loaded gun, followed this young, UNARMED boy and put himself in the position that occurred. In the end, one life is ruined and another life is gone.

    • Peter Falk aka Columbo says:

      “The audio of the person screaming in the 911 call is clearly Trayvon Martin.”

      No it is not clear! And EXPERTS have concluded that it is difficult to say exactly whose voice it was. And, according to the father’s initial statement, the voice did not belong to his son. And he ought to know more than anyone else. But he changed his statement after advisement from his advisors….just sayin.

      From the NY Times:

      “Two days after the shooting, Mr. Martin went to the Sanford police for an update on the investigation. He listened to the 911 call, where cries for help could be heard in the background. Asked by an officer whether he heard his son’s voice, a distraught Mr. Martin responded, “No,” Officer Chris Serino, the investigator, told the jury. A second officer within earshot of Mr. Martin that day also testified that Mr. Martin responded “no” to the question.

      “I heard it and saw the movement of his mouth,” said Officer Serino, who was the lead investigator in the case.

      But about two weeks later, Mr. Martin changed his mind, the defense said.”…

      (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/09/us/friends-testify-that-zimmerman-is-the-one-screaming-for-help-on-911-call.html?_r=0)

      • NortonSmitty says:

        It was never mentioned at trial, but the holler for help is in a steady, constant level. This is not possible if you are having your head beaten off a sidewalk or even if you are doing the beating. I don’t believe there was a fight, just a murder.

    • Ben Dover says:

      That is just ridiculous, the neighbor John Good was right there , didn t know who they were before any police arrived and said the guy in the red was on the bottom screaming , because the guy on the top was beating the snot out of him, the state attorney`s office didn t arrest Zimmerman the first time , it was open and shut case of self defense , it was made racial till Al Sharpton , Jessie Jackson , Mr Crump and the city manager all got involved, got the black community all riled up , so much so the Gov had to fire a Sheriff that only had the job 4 months , poor guy worked his way up from patrolman in the state of Florida, earned that position and gets fired, and kept from doing the job right ,and interviewing the family individually about who`s voice it was, like your supposed to , no the city manager who looked guilty as hell on the stand ,because he knew he was wrong and should have been the one fired by the Gov , not the sheriff, for his part in perpetuating this incident into a racial issue, Zimmerman is hispanic not white , he got sucker punched and had his head pounded in on concrete , but because the black community was going to riot , a man that the state had already deemed innocent , was arrested , his life and family threatened by the black panthers, and is now facing a certain death sentence if he is found guilty and sentenced to prison where he`ll be shanked for sure , all because Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson started their race riot non sense , and then black people wonder why they are profiled , maybe because if they hadn t arrested Zimmerman , ya`s would have smashed store windows stole TV`s , set the places on fire and and start shooting and beating innocent people who had nothing to do with it , if blacks hadn t been coming into that housing project and invading people`s homes where a woman has to cower in a closet with a pair of scissor, to protect her child and herself from black thugs robbing her house and a bunch of others in Twin Lakes Trayvon Martin would still be alive , and maybe if Tayvon had gone home with the 4 minutes he had to do so , instead of back tracking and sucker punching Zimmerman he`d be alive , it crazy the lengths our government has to go through to prevent riots , you look at New Orleans , looting , rapes , murders , look at Haiti and we were giving them people enough food and supplies for everyone , but …….they still starting looting , raping and killing , Japan worst earth quake and tidal wave in history , no looting , no rioting , no killings , just people helping each other , there`s a black president , I know, cause I voted for him twice, no one is being held back from succeeding in this world , theirs multi racial couples every where , but more importantly no one alive today was ever a slave owner or been enslaved , its ancient history , if anything , black people get more then their fair share , just so they can t claim they are not being treated fairly , everyone is made to go to school in this country , you either choose to learn a career , and go out and work like everyone else , or you choose to skip school and make nothing of yourself, and both blacks and whites and Hispanics , Chinese whatever make that choice themselves , the only one in this case that threw racial slurs around was Trayvon Martin calling Zimmerman the N word and a creepy cracker , he did what he had to do , what anyone would do if they were getting their skulls bashed against concrete , while they choked on their own blood from a broken nose , so enough , if he`s found innocent it will be twice now , he`s not white ,its not racial ,it was unfortunate circumstances that made him think Trayvon was up to no good from previous burglaries by young black males and trayvons choice to not go home and instead choose to confront and beat Zimmerman till he had no chice but to shoot his way out of the beating he was taking

    • Steve says:

      He’s allowed to have a loaded gun. He has a concealed carry permit. Martin was a 6’2″ man who jumped zimmerman and started BASHING his head into the cement sidewalk. I would have shot him too.

      • NortonSmitty says:

        If I was getting my ass kicked by a barely 17 year old kid, I’d shoot myself out of embarrassment!

      • The Truth says:

        He jumped Zimmerman? What evidence gave you that conclusion? He was running FROM Zimmerman which the evidence of the 911 call shows. Zimmerman CHASED him. Why is it okay for Zimmerman to defend himself but Trayvon Martin can’t?

        Obviously, there is a double standard with the gun nuts in this state.

  6. Jon Hardison says:

    The truth tells the truth! This case doesn’t threaten anyone’s gun rights. It’s about simple law and right and wrong.

    If you believe this was self-defense, then you also believe that you could walk into a predominantly Hispanic church’s Sunday School half nude while doing fake karate moves and aggressively screaming “SPICKS!”, and should someone get upset and attempt to knock your ass out before dropping you on the curb outside face down, you’d be perfectly within your rights to “protect yourself”. Is that what you’re saying?

    Zimmy was dead wrong. I also support the 2nd. Read the terms of your carry permit. You can NOT arm up and walk into trouble! If you’re aware of danger, YOU ARE OBLIGATED to move away from it. That’s why you can’t carry at bars or sporting events. How does this rule apply to you and me but not him?

    If he walks I’ll be so pissed.

    Sorry. This just makes me so mad. I can’t believe they’re still deliberating.

  7. Outsider says:

    Mr. Shapiro, it is comments like your’s, from so-called leaders that simply fan the flames of potential violence. The comment right below your’s should make you realize you are one of these leaders who is speaking without knowing all of the facts. Even Al Sharpton at this point is urging calm, quite an evolution from his chanting “No justice, no peace” just a few months ago. This whole notion that the degree of injuries is some barometer as to the level of force needed to protect oneself is ridiculous. If someone swung a machete at you three times but missed, no one would disagree with the need to defend yourself against it, but you would have no injuries to show for it. Therefore, by your and and others’ reasoning, you would not have been justified in defending yourself at all. Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries, while not in themselves life-threatening, certainly prove he was under attack and the real potential for further injuries existed. And if deception is truly your concern in this case, then explain why Martin’s handlers’ first move was to seal his school disciplinary records, which were fairly extensive.

  8. confidential says:

    I think Zimmerman will go to jail for the killing of this teen, if justice is to be served.
    It is simple, figure it out if would have been Trayvon the one with the gun…
    Concerns me the fact that there is only one black lady in the jury, should have been 3 instead, because Trayvon was and African American teen. Sometimes like in this case, a fair sentence only will set and example of intended deterrent for what NOT to do, will not resolve anything while creating one more expense for the taxpayers….but will be justice served.

  9. RG says:

    If i was being followed, by a suspicious person i would of dialed 911, knocked on a someones door, or run to my home. I would not of hidden in the dark waited and confronted a stranger by punching his nose, and throttling him till he felt like he was going to die. And if i was that stupid to do that i surely would of stopped when someone came out and got involved. You dont beat someone for following. You dont act like a wild animal and expect not to be put down.

    • A.S.F. says:

      And you don’t confront someone with a gun in your pocket after you have called “911” and heard them state CLEARLY AND EMPHATICALLY NOT TO DO SO. George Zimmerman was (and is) a hot-headed wannabe cop who couldn’t make the grade. His anger issues were well-documented before fate had him cross paths with Trayvon Martin. The fact that he also has minority blood only makes this incident more incomprehensible and disgusting. Zimmerman targeted, stalked and then confronted Trayvon Martin because HE decided, in his vast wisdom, that Martin was a threat. But the fact is, Trayvon Martin did not have a weapon with which he intended to harm anyone–He had Skittles and an iced tea. George Zimmerman was the older individual and he should have been wiser. I do not feel the least bit sorry for him. He does not show any remorse that I can see. He only seems to be feel sympathy for himself now that he finds himself in a tragic situation that he created out of poor judgement and a lack of impulse control. The actions George Zimmerman took that night left an unarmed young person dead and now has our entire country in an uproar. He will, no doubt, have to look over his shoulder for the rest of his life. Ironically, now, he really DOES have a reason to feel threatened. And he has only himself to blame for that. Sad doesn’t even begin to describe it. I hope we can all learn something from this–but prejudice, by its nature, is blind to reason. One only has to read a few of the comments posted here to realize how sickeningly true that is.

  10. westresident says:

    Jon Hardison…
    “If you’re aware of danger, YOU ARE OBLIGATED to move away from it.”
    You really haven’t heard of stand your ground huh?

  11. Anonymous says:

    If Trayvon was afraid of Zimmerman he would have ran home or to someone else’s home for help if there was any concern of being followed. He didn’t. He was aggressive and lost his life because he was not afraid.

  12. farmer says:

    It is amazing that allmost all the photos of Martin show him as a 13 yrold white hoodie innocent person.

    • The Truth says:

      Actually, I have seen many pictures of Trayvon Martin months before his death. Please stop spreading the Fox News propaganda.

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