July 12, 2013
Closing arguments are complete, and the fate of George Zimmerman is in the hands of the jury, who must now decide whether or not Zimmerman acted in self defense against Trayvon Martin or if he deliberately murdered Martin.
In his most recent blog, Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) Chief Darryl Forté asks Kansas Citians to respect one another’s opinions about the trial and not react in a manner of civil unrest, since the case has been described as a “racially charged case.”
“Kansas City is largely a community of good, law-abiding people, and we are confident people will react to the verdict as responsible citizens and respect the criminal justice process, just as we do,” Forté said in his Chief’s blog. “I ask all members of the community to respect each other. Respect one’s right to voice an opinion, but also respect another’s right to be safe… Everyone is responsible for keeping their behavior in check, and if you see someone who isn’t, try to help them redirect their feelings in an appropriate way. If that doesn’t work, call us.”
Martin was found dead by Sanford, Fla., police on Feb. 26, 2012. That night, Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, called police to report “a suspicious person” in the neighborhood. He was told by police not to engage the person; yet Zimmerman followed Martin and moments later neighbors alerted police of gunshots fired nearby.
Rallies have been held by various groups which call upon support for Martin’s family, such as the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation “Day of Remembrance Community Peace Walk and Forum.”
Chief Forté said that KCPD supports everyone’s first amendment right; however, he does not want civil unrest.
“You can be confident police are prepared for whatever might happen,” Forté said. “(KCPD) proactively plan(s) for and train(s) for all kinds of situations, including civil unrest.”
To read KCPD Chief Forté’s Chief’s Blog, check out www.kcpdchief.blogspot.com.