The sheriff's office announced that it was "working closely with the Sanford Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies" on a "response plan in anticipation of the verdict." Sheriff Scott Israel appeared in a video alongside a rapping duet of two teenagers, one a Hispanic female and another a black male, who tell the public, "Raise your voice, and not your hands! We need to stand together as one, no cuffs, no guns. ... I know your patience will be tested, but law enforcement has your back!"
Despite the passions elicited in both the black community and the white community over Zimmerman, one fact remains clear: Americans are far more concerned with the possibility of a minority riot over Zimmerman's acquittal than they are with the possibility of a white riot over Zimmerman's conviction. That's not unreasonable. Al Sharpton of MSNBC, among others, has threatened civil disobedience in Sanford before, and Americans still remember the Crown Heights riots of 1991, the Los Angeles riots of 1992, the St. Petersburg riots of 1996, the Cincinnati riots of 2001 and the Oakland riots of 2009, among others.
Why, exactly, are Americans so seemingly complacent about the notion of another riot over a case about a Hispanic man shooting a black teenager, presumably in self-defense? It's thanks to a media that continues to maintain the fiction that every case allegedly involving a non-black suspect and a black victim is a test case for American racism. The media pretended that the case against George Zimmerman was unshakeable; it simply wasn't. There wasn't just reasonable doubt about whether Zimmerman engaged in self-defense when he shot Martin, there was virtually zero countervailing credible evidence to the proposition that he shot Martin in self-defense. Furthermore, there was literally zero evidence for the proposition that the shooting was racially motivated, or that the police didn't initially arrest Zimmerman thanks to their institutional racism.