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Old 03-08-2012, 12:50 PM  
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Neighborhood watch captain shoots innocent black youth and doesn't even get arrested

http://news.yahoo.com/family-florida...044537742.html




ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - The family of a 17-year-old African-American boy shot to death last month in his gated Florida community by a white Neighborhood Watch captain wants to see the captain arrested, the family's lawyer said on Wednesday.

Trayvon Martin was shot dead after he took a break from watching NBA All-Star game television coverage to walk 10 minutes to a convenience store to buy snacks including Skittles candy requested by his 13-year-old brother, Chad, the family's lawyer Ben Crump said.

"He was a good kid," Crump said in an interview, adding that the family would issue a call for the Watch captain's arrest at a news conference on Thursday. "On his way home, a Neighborhood Watch loose cannon shot and killed him."

[Related: Fla. teen avoids deportation]

Trayvon, who lived in Miami with his mother, had been visiting his father and stepmother in a gated townhome community called The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, 20 miles north of Orlando.

As Trayvon returned to the townhome, Sanford police received a 911 call reporting a suspicious person.

Although names are blacked out on the police report, Crump and media reports at the time of the shooting identified the caller as George Zimmerman who is listed in the community's newsletter as the Neighborhood Watch captain.

Without waiting for police to arrive, Crump said, Zimmerman confronted Trayvon, who was on the sidewalk near his home. By the time police got there, Trayvon was dead of a single gunshot to the chest.

"What do the police find in his pocket? Skittles," Crump said. "A can of Arizona ice tea in his jacket pocket and Skittles in his front pocket for his brother Chad."

Zimmerman could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening at a phone number listed for him on the community's newsletter.

Crump said the family was concerned that police might decide to consider the shooting as self defense, and that police have ignored the family's request for a copy of the original 911 call, which they think will shed light on the incidents.

"If the 911 protocol across the country held to form here, they told him not to get involved. He disobeyed that order," said Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the family.

"He (Zimmerman) didn't have to get out of his car," said Crump, who has prepared a public records lawsuit to file on Thursday if the family doesn't get the 911 tape. "If he never gets out of his car, there is no reason for self-defense. Trayvon only has skittles. He has the gun."

Since Trayvon, a high school junior who wanted to be a pilot, was black and Zimmerman is white, Crump said race is "the 600 pound elephant in the room."

"Why is this kid suspicious in the first place? I think a stereotype must have been placed on the kid," Crump said.

(Editing By Cynthia Johnston and Peter Bohan)

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Old 05-21-2012, 05:00 PM   #3451
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:04 PM   #3452
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:05 PM   #3453
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:09 PM   #3454
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
No he wasnt. You are either dumb, or intentionally dishonest.
He said "you probably don't need to do that. "

I don't understand how that goes against what I said.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:16 PM   #3455
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Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco View Post
That's all irrelevent once that kid started beating his head nto the concrete. He's also allowed to carry a gun under state and federal law.
It's not irrelevant if trayvon believed he was in danger and reacted to that. I've already pointed out that Zimmerman left his car when he shouldn't have. He did not let trayvon know he was on patrol vs being some creepy stranger. And he ended up within close enough distance to be punched, and which indicates that either or both zimmerman and trayvon went and proactively went after the other guy.

Those details matter. The fact that Zimmerman broke protocol and given his track record of aggression, and it's more than fair to ask if he incited a scuffle that never needed to be incited.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:20 PM   #3456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
He said "you probably don't need to do that. "

I don't understand how that goes against what I said.
Needing to do it, and SHOULDN'T or DONT do it, are very,very different. I already explained it to you. It is standard procedure any time a citizen makes a call like that to tell them they don't NEED to help. But, then they go on and continue to ask questions from the caller. If they truly didnt want the help or wanted the citizen to not help, they would say 'sir STOP now' and then not FACILITATE the citizen helping. I'm sorry you don't get it, I have tried to explain...they just say 'you don't NEED to help' to limit their own liability. Period...they appreciate help, believe me.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:34 PM   #3457
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
Needing to do it, and SHOULDN'T or DONT do it, are very,very different. I already explained it to you. It is standard procedure any time a citizen makes a call like that to tell them they don't NEED to help. But, then they go on and continue to ask questions from the caller. If they truly didnt want the help or wanted the citizen to not help, they would say 'sir STOP now' and then not FACILITATE the citizen helping. I'm sorry you don't get it, I have tried to explain...they just say 'you don't NEED to help' to limit their own liability. Period...they appreciate help, believe me.
And i dont know why you ignored the part where the police explicitly trained him weeks before nevwr to pursue a suspect. Or that i said the phone call was a reminder of that training, even if the dispatcher said "probably. "

Its naive to suggest he didnt know. He was told several times.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:50 PM   #3458
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
And i dont know why you ignored the part where the police explicitly trained him weeks before nevwr to pursue a suspect.

Its naive to suggest he didnt know. He was told several times.
Again you are confused. They do not say not to PURSUE. They say not to apprehend them or get physical with them. You can certainly ask someone what they are doing. All of the evidence so far suggests that Zimmerman DID back off his pursuit when the cops were en route...I'm not sure what your point is really. You can ask someone what they're doing....you just cant put your hands on anyone. You pretend like you KNOW that zimmerman broke protocol...but no one has all the facts yet. I think if all he did was ask what TM was doing...then he didn't break the protocol. You seem to think that him asking what TM is doing in the neighborhood is some ultra aggressive confrontation that is violent. That just isn't the case.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:39 PM   #3459
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
Again you are confused. They do not say not to PURSUE. They say not to apprehend them or get physical with them. You can certainly ask someone what they are doing. All of the evidence so far suggests that Zimmerman DID back off his pursuit when the cops were en route...I'm not sure what your point is really. You can ask someone what they're doing....you just cant put your hands on anyone. You pretend like you KNOW that zimmerman broke protocol...but no one has all the facts yet. I think if all he did was ask what TM was doing...then he didn't break the protocol. You seem to think that him asking what TM is doing in the neighborhood is some ultra aggressive confrontation that is violent. That just isn't the case.
Zimmerman left his car. The dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following Trayvon. Zimmerman said "yes." So yes, he was factually pursuing Trayvon Martin.

We can argue all we want about what "pursue" means, but the overwhelming sentiment among people who underwent similar training and the materials pretty directly indicate that the program is not police. That their duty is to observe a crime, call it in, and let the police do their job.
Quote:
"Neighborhood Watch is an observe and report type of program. Neighborhood Watch members are encouraged not to stop and question people, but to observe and report their observations to the Sheriff's Office and a trained officer will respond and investigate the incident."
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"It should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers and they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles. They should also be cautioned to alert police or deputies when encountering strange activity. Members should never confront suspicious persons who could be armed and dangerous." - (Neighborhood Watch manual Zimmerman was provided with)
Let's not make excuses for the guy. The guy was being overzealous. And there seem to be plenty of testimony from neighbors that this is something Zimmerman did regularly. One guy accused him of circling the block on patrol on a regular basis. Another guy accused him of trailing him all the way to his house. So with all that, we are supposed to buy his story that he was on his way to the store and that he gave up pursuit because the dispatcher told him to stop. You can choose to believe that if you want. I think it's naive to think the pattern doesn't indicate he probably pretty clearly didn't stop pursuit. By the way, there is no evidence to suggest Zimmerman stopped pursuit, except for the leap of faith that he's telling the truth.

I am not speaking to the confrontation as much as I'm challenging you to put yourself in Trayvon Martin's shoes. It's dark outside. You have a strange man following you (fact). The area isn't exactly the safest. Trayvon had every reason to be: 1) scared; 2) threatened; 3) potentially defensive. I've said a million times, Trayvon picked option 3 and wildly overreacted (unless Zimmerman did something that made Trayvon believe his life was in danger -- e.g. flash his piece), which you can't rule out. The cop who wrote him up summed it up well. He said Zimmerman should have stayed in the car and if he didn't, he should have announced his intentions.

If it's true that Zimmerman was basically trying to do the police's job, then he was being an idiot. Just as I've said Trayvon, if he was not legitimately threatened, was an idiot for the way he assaulted Zimmerman.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #3460
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post

I am not speaking to the confrontation as much as I'm challenging you to put yourself in Trayvon Martin's shoes. It's dark outside. You have a strange man following you (fact). The area isn't exactly the safest. Trayvon had every reason to be: 1) scared; 2) threatened; 3) potentially defensive.
Maybe....but as soon as he puts his hands on someone he opens himself up to the chaos of combat. If he felt threatened he should've continued home....not punched someone in the face who hasn't touched you yet, then jump on them and pound their head into the ground. Thats not how it works...

You can be those things yes. But you cant punch someone in the face and expect zero consequences.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #3461
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
Zimmerman left his car. The dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following Trayvon. Zimmerman said "yes." So yes, he was factually pursuing Trayvon Martin.

We can argue all we want about what "pursue" means, but the overwhelming sentiment among people who underwent similar training and the materials pretty directly indicate that the program is not police. That their duty is to observe a crime, call it in, and let the police do their job.
Pusuing for what purpose though? To see what he was up to and where he was headed most likely. Pursue doesn't mean intent to kill or doing something wrong. Haven't you ever mistakenly been on property that is private, unintentionally or otherwise, and have someone pursue you to see who you are or to tell you to get out. I have.

Pusuing is not a crime. Police pursue. Nor is disregarding the dispatcher something a private citizen has to follow. Nor is it a crime.

Quote:
Let's not make excuses for the guy. The guy was being overzealous.
Or just not trained enough to handle it.

Quote:
Trayvon had every reason to be: 1) scared; 2) threatened; 3) potentially defensive. I've said a million times, Trayvon picked option 3 and wildly overreacted
I agree that Trayvon was most likely scared but this is one of those cases where both sides perceived falsely about what was happening.

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(unless Zimmerman did something that made Trayvon believe his life was in danger -- e.g. flash his piece), which you can't rule out.
Perhaps but it's unknowable and can't be proven.

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The cop who wrote him up summed it up well. He said Zimmerman should have stayed in the car and if he didn't, he should have announced his intentions.
So. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. It's still just advice—not a law. It was probably sound advice due to cops having more experience and are trained. They probably know it leads to no good. How many young people follow sound advice. They don't always. It's just NOT a crime.

Quote:
If it's true that Zimmerman was basically trying to do the police's job, then he was being an idiot. Just as I've said Trayvon, if he was not legitimately threatened, was an idiot for the way he assaulted Zimmerman.
I think they both acted like idiots and both have paid a price—one worse than the other but still a tragedy.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #3462
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
Maybe....but as soon as he puts his hands on someone he opens himself up to the chaos of combat. If he felt threatened he should've continued home....not punched someone in the face who hasn't touched you yet, then jump on them and pound their head into the ground. Thats not how it works...

You can be those things yes. But you cant punch someone in the face and expect zero consequences.
I have never defended Trayvon Martin. Unless he had any reason to believe he was in any danger, he shouldn't have assaulted Zimmerman the way he did. And definitely a distinct possibility he doubled back to meet up with Zimmerman.

Like I said, I believe this is a tale of two idiots, not one.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:49 PM   #3463
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Pusuing for what purpose though? To see what he was up to and where he was headed most likely. Pursue doesn't mean intent to kill or doing something wrong. Haven't you ever mistakenly been on property that is private, unintentionally or otherwise, and have someone pursue you to see who you are or to tell you to get out. I have.

Pusuing is not a crime. Police pursue. Nor is disregarding the dispatcher something a private citizen has to follow. Nor is it a crime.
It isn't a crime. But when you're given a duty to patrol the neighborhood and specifically trained not to do so, it is a breach in protocol, which is why I've mentioned over and over that Zimmerman will probably be not guilty, but will have a fight in a civil trial. And when you're armed, you should have an extra duty of care to not create situations where you need to use it. I've said over and over that Zimmerman didn't do anything illegal. But what he did was tremendously stupid and he created a situation that plain and simple never needed to happen. He shouldn't be in jail, but his behavior still pisses me off.

Quote:
Or just not trained enough to handle it.
The directions couldn't have been more clear. Given how gung ho he was about being a cop, plenty of motive to believe he wanted to be the police, not the eyes and ears. That's knowing the protocol and ignoring it.

Quote:
I agree that Trayvon was most likely scared but this is one of those cases where both sides perceived falsely about what was happening.
Agreed. Like I said, I think they both acted like idiots.

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Perhaps but it's unknowable and can't be proven.
I'm throwing the "unless" out there because it's a possibility, though I've been pretty clear that I think Trayvon reacted badly. Probably.

Quote:
So. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. It's still just advice—not a law. It was probably sound advice due to cops having more experience and are trained. They probably know it leads to no good. How many young people follow sound advice. They don't always. It's just NOT a crime.
If he was specifically told not to carry a weapon, that's not advice, that is clear protocol. And when you are explicitly told not to do something, whether it's illegal or not, that means Zimmerman walked into the situation knowing exactly what the consequence was going to be. To me, it's harder to claim self defense when you put yourself into a situation you were told multiple times was going to happen if you did X. Again, I don't think Zimmerman will be found guilty. That doesn't make him any less of an idiot, nor does it make me hate what he did any less. Nor does it make sense to me that people are defending the nutjob.

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I think they both acted like idiots and both have paid a price—one worse than the other but still a tragedy.
Agreed.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:54 PM   #3464
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I hadn't heard he was told to not carry a weapon. You would never make the jury either if you call him a nutjob until ALL the material evidence is in and cross-examined.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:08 PM   #3465
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
I hadn't heard he was told to not carry a weapon. You would never make the jury either if you call him a nutjob until ALL the material evidence is in and cross-examined.
He's a nutjob. There's enough public information about the guy to make that conclusion. In the end, you have to prove if he actually did anything wrong and none of that is provable or disprovable. But we already know that he's a guy who seems to invite aggressive trouble, we've heard multiple stories of him having an extremely short fuse, he abuses 911 for petty non-emergencies, he makes comments about minorities even though he's no saint himself, and he seemed to have a ridiculous obsession with being some kind of patrol hero.

It doesn't make him guilty. It just makes him a nutjob.
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