Rochester Police prepare for reaction to George Zimmerman trial verdict

Posted at: 07/13/2013 6:29 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com

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Police and city leaders in Florida are ready for the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.

They are preparing for a mass protest, even civil unrest if there's an acquittal in this case, especially in neighborhoods that are predominantly African American. That's where the passions run strongest.

However, the outcome of this trial may have an impact across the nation and right here in Rochester.

If you have been keeping up with the Zimmerman trial, guess what? So are the police.

News10NBC spoke to Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard about the case and if officers were on high alert like in many cities across the nation.

The reason many people are worrying about the potential verdict backlash is because of incidents in the past, for example, when hundreds of people showed up to rally against George Zimmerman last February.

They were part of a nationwide movement demanding police arrest George Zimmerman.

Chief Sheppard says police are not necessarily on high alert this weekend, but they are prepared for anything.

He says he understands this is an emotionally charged case and if anything erupts they have all the resources in place. Police are also ready to call in additional resources if needed.

The Chief says he hopes that will not be the case.

“One thing I want to stress is that obviously this is something that's important to any number of people, but at the same time I think it's important for the people in the city of Rochester to realize that we have more important issues relative to the violence that happens in this city. We should focus our efforts in making sure that those types of trials and those types of situations are addressed, as opposed to raising up to a level where we have to respond to that verdict in Florida,” said Chief Sheppard.

There is not a verdict yet in this trial, but police do want the public to remain calm whatever the outcome may be.

News10NBC will continue to follow this story as it develops.


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