On Mon, 22 Jul 2013 16:41:42 +0000 (UTC), Tracey12
Post by Tracey12
Now that the smoke has cleared, it sure looks as though the white
establishment was supposed to convict George Zimmerman for the sake of race
relations, not because he was or wasn't guilty.
He was guilty of targeting, stalking, chasing, confronting,
assaulting, and murdering somone NOT committing any crime or activity.
The Zimmerloon was the aggressor.
Post by Tracey12
SANFORD, Fla. -- Neighborhood Watch evokes scenes of get-to-know-you
barbecues and folks keeping an eye on neighbors' homes while they're
out of town or working late.
Until last month, it did not conjure images of teenagers being shot to
death by the people who run a program designed to help keep
Then George Zimmerman, who coordinated the Neighborhood Watch at a
town-house community in Sanford, shot and killed unarmed Miami Gardens
high-school student Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, sparking a collective
rage that has spread nationwide and beyond.
Chris Tutko, director of Neighborhood Watch for the National Sheriffs'
Association, said Zimmerman broke some cardinal rules.
First, he approached a stranger he suspected of wrongdoing.
"If you see something suspicious, you report it, you step aside and
you let law enforcement do their job," Tutko said. "This guy went way
beyond the call of duty. At the least, he's overzealous."
Second, Zimmerman carried a handgun. Police departments and sheriff's
offices that train volunteers advise them never to carry weapons --
though Zimmerman broke no laws by doing so because he has a
"There's no reason to carry a gun," Tutko said.
Police said Zimmerman was running an errand in his SUV -- with his gun
-- when he first spotted Trayvon walking back from 7-Eleven about 7:15
p.m. Zimmerman called police to report Trayvon as suspicious, and
although a dispatcher said he didn't need to follow the teen, the two
got into a scuffle.
Zimmerman shot Trayvon once in the chest with a 9 mm handgun, officers
said. The 17-year-old died steps from the home of his father's
fiancee, where he had been visiting. Zimmerman claimed self-defense
and was not arrested. Because of public outrage, a special prosecutor,
the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating.
Now, with Neighborhood Watch in the spotlight, organizers want people
to know what it is -- and what it is not.
"I'm disappointed that people are trying to put blame onto the program
when it's not the program's fault," said Wendy Dorival, who
coordinates volunteer programs, including Neighborhood Watch, for the
Sanford police. "Neighborhood Watch is not what took his life away."
The program was created in 1972 by the National Sheriffs' Association
to help prevent crime as people relocated more often and more women
entered the work force, loosening community ties. After the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks, the initiative expanded to include emergency
response, terrorism awareness and disaster preparedness.
Its core mission has not changed, however: to build a sense of
togetherness so people care enough to look after one another.
Some Neighborhood Watch groups patrol their communities. Others simply
observe in the course of their daily routine and report anything out
of the ordinary to law enforcement.
The Neighborhood Watch at Retreat at Twin Lakes, where Zimmerman lived
and was coordinator, was formed in September, Dorival said. It is not
registered with the national group, but there is no registration
requirement. The Sanford Police Department provides training and
community signs, and informs residents about crime trends and
Zimmerman raised no red flags during an organizational meeting Sept.
22, and no one had complained about him before the shooting, Dorival
Sanford and the Volusia County Sheriff's Office have another volunteer
program called Citizens on Patrol. In Volusia, those volunteers ride
two to a Sheriff's Office-issued car. They undergo background and
driver checks, an hourlong interview and 60 hours of training.
"We don't want any cop wannabes or people thinking they're going out
and acting like cops and making arrests," sheriff's spokesman Gary
Davidson said. "If we think that's the motivation, we're going to weed
Neighborhood Watch, by contrast, is less formal and is run by
residents -- although volunteers in both programs are told not to
confront anyone. Their job is to observe and describe suspicious
people or cars to law officers and help make their neighbors aware of
"We tell people, 'Don't be a hero,'" Dorival said. "Don't risk it."
Watch group improved other Sanford neighborhood
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