LA Leaders Create "Rumor Control Line" For Zimmerman Verdict

City rights leaders say they're concerned about the possibility of violence

Saturday, Jul 13, 2013  |  Updated 11:53 AM PDT
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Zimmerman Surrenders

AP

George Zimmerman listens to the charges against him read by Judge Debra Nelson, in Seminole circuit court on the eighth day of his trial, in Sanford, Fla., Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

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Whatever the jury decides in George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial, authorities are bracing for the possibility of violence.

In Los Angeles, 2,500 miles away from the Florida courtroom where Zimmerman is being tried in the the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, civil rights leaders have created what they've dubbed a "rumor control hotline."

“Disturbances of any sort are often triggered by rumors so it’s not just a hotline but a rumor control line,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable.

The 24-hour hotline number to call is 323-383-6145.

It is now open and will be that way until after the verdict is decided.

Jurors deliberated for about three hours Friday. The all-female panel resumed deliberations Saturday.

They did so as police and civic leaders in Orlando went on national television to plead for calm in Sanford and across the country, no matter what the verdict.

"There is no party in this case who wants to see any violence," Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said, according to the Associated Press. "We have an expectation upon this announcement that our community will continue to act peacefully."

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