Community leaders hope for non-violent reaction if Florida jury acquits George Zimmerman

Experts say acquittal likely, blame prosecutors

INDIANAPOLIS - Legal experts were predicting that Zimmerman is likely to be acquitted, and that has led to worries about possible civil unrest in cities across the country and here in central Indiana. 

Indianapolis criminal defense attorney Jack Crawford said Zimmerman was winning, because the prosecution did such a dreadful job.

He said Zimmerman was overcharged, that prosecutors made a huge mistake showing a recording of Zimmerman explaining what happened, which allowed him to get his version on record without being cross-examined.

And he criticized Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda for focusing on trivia, not the major issue.

"His close, concentrating on the inconsistencies in Zimmerman's statement, that's not what this case is about. It's about that a young, 17-year-old boy was shot to death when he had done nothing wrong and didn't have a firearm. That's what it's all about.  But the state never made it about that," Crawford said.

Pastor David Hampton of Light of the World Christian Church organized a peaceful protest at the time of the shooting last year.

Hampton said he would accept a manslaughter conviction, but believed a complete acquittal would be a miscarriage of justice.

He said he's reaching out to the community to promote peaceful protest.

"There's no need for violence to perpetuate itself. Here in the City of Indianapolis, we want to stop the violence, especially among our young people. And so I would send a message of non-violence. It's got to stop at some point," Hampton said.

The city's Homeland Security Chief, Gary Coons, said police have developed plans, but won't reveal them.

"We always have plans. I mean, I'm not gonna mislead anyone. We always have plans for anything that could happen, one way or another. And we know that people will be angry if certain things happen. But we're asking you to stay, stay very calm and keep the peace," Coons said.

Coons rejected the idea that the convergence of this verdict and the opening of Black Expo Summer Celebration constitute a danger. 

He said Expo is a family event that should have nothing to do with the Zimmerman case.

Follow Norman Cox on Twitter: @normancox6

Print this article Back to Top