MIAMI (AP) — Police and city leaders in Florida say they've taken precautionary steps for possible protests or civil unrest if George Zimmerman is acquitted in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
For months, officials have been working with pastors, youth coaches and community activists to stress a non-violent approach once a verdict is announced. But police also have quietly been making plans to deal with potential violence.
In South Florida where the 17-year-old Martin was from, police may set up "First Amendment Zones" in the Miami area for peaceful rallies. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel also is airing TV ads stressing non-violence.
Zimmerman is on trial for second-degree murder in the shooting of Martin in Sanford. Martin's supporters say the shooting was racially motivated, while Zimmerman claimed self-defense.