MEDIA
07/13/2013 08:48 am ET | Updated Sep 12, 2013

CNN's Don Lemon Condemns Warnings About Possible George Zimmerman Riots (VIDEO)

CNN's Don Lemon condemned on Friday the people who have raised the prospect that Florida communities will riot if George Zimmerman is acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, saying it appeared to be little more than thinly-disguised racism.

Jury deliberations began on Friday afternoon after both sides in the legal battle wrapped up their cases.

The fear that riots will break out if Zimmerman is found not guilty has been a recurring theme in media discussions. Bill O'Reilly, for instance, wondered aloud to Juan Williams, "is the case all about race and if so, are you seeing bad things if Zimmerman is acquitted?"

Piers Morgan raised a similar prospect on CNN, saying, "there is a concern that this will create a lot of ill feeling, particularly in the black community around America. There may possibly be riots."

On Friday, the police in Sanford, the town where Martin was killed, held a press conference calling for restraint. Speaking just after, Lemon did not disguise his feelings in response.

"No one should ever be violent about anything, and especially in this particular case," he said. "And I want to say this as judiciously as possible. I'm not just saying this because I'm African-American. But to hear people come out beforehand and talk about the possibility of violence and not rioting, it strikes me as, 'those barbarians can't contain themselves.' And it strikes many people as that as well."

He added, "I don't remember any talk about this surrounding the Jodi Arias verdict or the Casey Anthony verdict."

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