Social media was abuzz late Saturday with reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Antioch police chief Allan Cantando posted a lengthy response to the verdict and the life of Trayvon Martin on his department's Facebook page.
Here is the entire message:
Tonight the Trayvon Martin verdict was released to the public. The verdict "Not Guilty."
I must admit I did not follow this case on a daily basis....I heard excerpts from the case and formed my own very limited opinions as the case moved through our court system. I had no idea of what verdict the jury would reach. I was optimistic the jury would be everything a jury should be...fair...impartial...and willing to have the integrity to live with their decision of "justice."
I spent today with family and friends in the comfort of my backyard, but once I heard of the decision, I watched my television intently. I must tell you I was emotional after hearing the verdict for many reasons. Not because I agreed or disagreed with the jury, but rather I knew the emotions so many of US would experience.
A young boy lost his life, a family lost a son, a brother.... friends lost a friend, a man on trial for his life was vindicated through our justice system. Cities throughout this nation are asking "was justice served?"-- what will be the aftermath once the masses learn of the verdict....and so much more.
I then heard the attorney for the Martin family, Benjamin Crump, speak. Although Mr. Crump has been addressing media during this trial on behalf of the Martin family, I cannot tell you how his message after the verdict tonight positively impacted me.
Mr. Crump noted the family was not at the courthouse, but rather in their church when the verdict was read. Although I am simplifying his message, he relayed the family wanted to be around family and friends when the verdict was read. The family wanted to have peace after the verdict. Mr. Crump was bated by the media multiple times to say negative things about this case...the defense....the Judge.....HE DIDN'T!
Mr. Crump showed amazing integrity which I will always admire and will strive to exemplify. In this case, Mr. Crump is a professional in every sense of the word. Mr. Crump talked about the race relations in this country and quite candidly said they cannot be ignored. Mr. Crump is right.
Mr. Crump talked about his conversation with a relative of Dr. Martin Luther King's family today and noted no matter what the verdict, the response must be peace and continue to work towards Dr. King's dream.......Mr. Crump is walking that path.
Regardless of your opinion on the verdict today, understand that this case has impacted America as a whole. My sympathies go out to the Martin family....I can't imagine the loss you have experienced. The Zimmerman family can get on with their lives and hopefully move past this incident. I truly hope these families find peace.
Tomorrow is another day and I am optimistic we all understand how this single event has impacted us all. When we wake up tomorrow, I am hopeful we will reflect where, we as a society have been...where we are....and where we want to be. I am confident we have all learned something about ourselves as we reflect on this incident, and that is a good thing.
Chief Allan Cantando