PSA Warns Against Violence Over Zimmerman Trial Verdict

Florida authorities are sitting back and observing the George Zimmerman trial like millions of other people. As the defense rested its case yesterday, and Zimmerman declined to take the stand, how the next days and weeks play out will be interesting. Of course no one knows how the trial will end, but the worst case scenario involves Zimmerman walking out of the court-house a free man.

What happens after that could be devastating.

The Sheriff’s Office released a statement explaining that it was “working closely with the Sanford Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies” to coordinate “a response plan in anticipation of the verdict.”

In preparation for the verdict, authorities have released a public service announcement on YouTube, encouraging residents to “raise your voice, not your hands.”

The video, titled “Raise Your Voice, Not Your Hands,” focuses on attempting to channel reaction into non-violent response. It depicts two youngsters, one black teenage boy, one Hispanic teenage girl. “Raise your voice!” says the girl. “And not your hands!” says the boy. “We need to stand together as one, no cuffs, no guns,” says the girl. “Let’s give violence a rest, because we can easily end up arrested,” says the boy. “I know your patience will be tested,” says the girl, and then both conclude, “but law enforcement has your back!”

“Let’s back up and choose not to act up, and deputies are with us, so no need to act up,” says the boy. “Let it roll off your shoulders,” says the girl, “it’s water off your back, don’t lack composure, because in one instant it could be over.” Both conclude: “So let’s make the choice to raise your voice and not your hands.” Sheriff Scott Israel says, “I’m Sheriff Scott Israel, and law enforcement does have your back.”

“Freedom of expression is a constitutional right,” the Sheriff’s Department states. “While raising your voice is encouraged, using your hands is not. BSO has created a public service announcement with the help of kids from the Jason Taylor Foundation, H.A.N.D.Y. (Helping Abused, Neglected, Disadvantaged Youth) and basketball star James Jones of the championship Miami Heat team urging young people not to let their emotions get the best of them.”

Sheriff Scott Israel said, “We don’t have information about a specific event that might take place at the conclusion of the trial, but we encourage everyone to keep any protests peaceful.”


What do you think about the PSA?

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  • Lynne

    It seems to me that blacks have moved on from that sort of anger. I doubt any rioting will occur.

    If rioting DOES occur, it’ll be the perfect time for blacks to say to the fickle and faddish white liberal establishment, “Hi, remember us?”

    • The Other Jess

      if rioting does occur, we should all hang our heads in shame for being idiots.

      With high profile cases in the news of Black children being slaughtered day in and day out by other Blacks, we should riot over that. There are absolutely no more excuses for the levels of violence in the Black community for us to riot over one racially-based crime.

      I’m tired of the pseudo-outrage over “the value” of a Black male’s life, only when, on the now-rare occasion, whites committ a heinous crime. Black men are killing Black men, women, and children wholesale and everybody is “mum” about that.

    • Lynne

      You’re totally right about the double standard.

      I don’t condone rioting, but I was speaking from a place of frustration over the way black political issues seem to be on the back burner lately.

      Why do you think the black community is so quiet over the fact so many black men have declared war on their own people?

      Why do you think blacks don’t seem outraged to the point of demanding change?

      Is change even possible?

      I’m serious about these questions. Any one can answer.

  • Lauren

    Eff that PSA! Rioting doesn’t accomplish anything but I would understand if people do it. People are fed up and quite frankly it’s about time Blacks got angry. Too many of us are passive. If Zimmerman walks, hopefully people will wake up and take real action.

    • The Other Jess

      Funny how we don’t riot over all of the Black youth being slaughtered by other Blacks – at 1 million times the rate of the GZ’s of the world. When will we get outraged over that?

    • The Other Jess

      what’s Paula Deenish about pointing out the obvious fact that we are killing each other wholesale, yet noone does anything about it, or holds riots or protests over the injustice of that???

      Why is it we only find things important if a white person commits a crime against us, but continuously allow our own to kill us at unprecedented rates??? Again, where is the outrage over that??

      The majority of crimes committed against Blacks by other Blacks go unsolved – and nobody makes any effort to find the killers.

      The amount of crocodile tears over the Trayvon Martin case is ridiculous, the laughable conversations around the value of Black boys – only now because of one case of white(ish) on Black crime – are insulting. What, Black youths were not valuable when being mowed down by other Black youths??

      Sorry, but you’re a prime example of why so many Black communities are hell holes right now, because you prefer to bury your head in the sand and pretend the biggest problems in Black areas are whites. At one time that was true -but not anymore.

      Black youths mowed down by other Blacks should have garnered as much effort from Black groups as the TM case. It’s shameful that they never do.

      If anyone should be at a Deen rally, it’s you. Actually a KKK rally would serve you better since you are so willing to sit back and be uncaring about so many Black peiple slaughtered daily. The KKK and Black gangsters, and their enablers (like you) should all join together and form a new hate-based group. You’re all basically equal.

    • The Other Jess

      the only one deflecting is you, fool. i’m far from a racist and am proudly black. which is why i don’t mind pointing out hypocrisy and fakeness when i see it.

      i’ve known of/heard of too many black people to be MURDERED by other black men, but ZERO community attention, zero media efforts to bring their killers to justice, zero tears for all the black kids slaughtered every friggin day.

      you, SMH, are the real racist – you only think things involving whites are important. you could care less about blacks killing each other because you basically hate black people. you holler when whites do something, not because you care about the black victim, but because it gives you a chance to play the “woe is me, i’m a poor black man running from the white man” card.

      i, on the other hand, can see that white crime and black crimes against us is equally wrong. i can also see that black crimes against blacks far outnumber white crimes against blacks. and we need to be as concerned for he victims of black-on-black slaughter as we are when the perpetrator is white.

      but i guess since the majority of those killing folks in the BC are black men, you choose to play ignorant, because it would mean that you would actually have to be held accountable and take some responsibility for allowing the damage done in our communities.

      but go ahead, keep sticking your empty head in the sand and proving you could care less while black babies all around you keep being murdered. Zero respect for idiots like you.

  • BeanBean

    Zimmerman will walk, and I don’t think blacks will riot. I really hope the use of social media will take the place of getting angry, burning down our own neighborhood, hurting each other, ect. It will be truly embarrassing if people start rioting. Rioting over a trial doesn’t make any sense. Especially sense rioting does nothing to change the verdict. Hopefully, the black community will come together, organize, talk, like how things were done during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The pen is mightier than the sword.

  • FrannieFlowers

    while anyone’s death at the hands of another person is a tragedy i want to point something out.
    most crimes, violent or otherwise are committed by a person of the same race. that’s just national statistics. “Black on Black Crime” was used in a rallying cry for Blacks as a people could go beyond the law enforcement system and fix the crime problem ourselves, by self-monitoring out engagements with each other. it came into being as a call to action for a system that wasn’t will/able/motivated to address the problem in the Black community and that by and large is still unable to address.

    as of late the use of “Black on Black Crime” as a term had caused people, Blacks included to thing the issue of inter-racial crime is specific to Blacks…yea no its not. while violent crimes perpetrated by “Blacks on Blacks” does tend to hit the younger generations hard, we do need to keep it in context. “White on White”, “Hispanic on Hispanic”, and “Asian on Asian” crimes exist as well, but why aren’t they addressed, because those communities don’t dwell on it to the point were it’s the only prism where crime is discussed and misanalysed. it was a call to action they was allowed to gloss over the crime issue as a whole. and honestly, it’s a byproduct of many broken systems, education, fair/trusted/equatable law enforcement, etc but high crimes generally are.

    as to the PSA, yes it was targeted to the masses on youth home on summer vacation, added to the point crime increases every summer (young foolish kids with nothing to do and hot irritated people in general), but if Florida law enforcement really wants to make lasting in-roads with the youth they missed their opportunity. because maybe even more so then youth across the country, Florida’s youth feel their mortality a little more acutely now, they may feel like their death’s wouldn’t cause a media-frenzy because they generally don’t, and that their lives may not be as valuable to a random person who could take their life.

    no PSA on what to do if you feel threatened, huh? no PSA for adults either, looks like we need them too.

    and lets be real those feelings are real, even as a college-educated, professional adult with a clean record and nothing but positive interactions with the police-the fact that i am a black woman alone means a violent crime perpetrated against me is statistically less likely to result in an arrest or a closed case then any other group, no matter if they are Black, White, Hispanic, Asian anybody does it. so the fear of those kids is real.

    (transsexuals/transgendered people not being included in most statistics, they might be the new group, especially given the rise in hate crimes against them-more research is needed.)