On Wednesday, Sanford Chief of Police Cecil Smith told Breitbart News exclusively that there is “nothing out there” suggesting civil unrest will take place in the city following the George Zimmerman verdict. He did state, however, that the Police Department had been coordinating with federal authorities, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. More specifically, Smith stated that the Sanford PD had been coordinating with Community Relations Service regional director Thomas Battles at the DOJ.
Battles is currently under fire for his involvement in the CRS’ work with regard to “marches, demonstrations, and rallies” related to Trayvon Martin, as well as providing support for protest deployment in Florida, and onsite mediation and conciliation during demonstrations.
In 2012, Amy Carswell of the Miami-Dad County Community Relations Board wrote, “Congratulations to our partners, Thomas Battles, Regional Director, and Mildred De Robles, Miami-Dade Coordinator and their co-workers at the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service for their outstanding and ongoing efforts to reduce tensions and build bridges of understanding and respect in Sanford, Florida.” Battles responded, “Thank you Partner. You did lots of stuff behind the scene to make Miami a success. We will continue to work together.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).