It is neighborhood "watch" not neighborhood LEO or confront or enforcement - he fulfilled that watch function by calling and should have continued to watch so he could be a good reporter/witness - and only intervened if/when the "subject's" behavior met the criteria for intervention by a civilian (much less an armed one). He turned it into neighborhood "harass" and over-stepped his rights and responsibilities. Even if, at the time he shot, he was in fear for his life, the available data suggest he created the jeopardy where none had existed.
Perhaps more evidence will surface to change this what is currently being reported, but at this point, he seems a bad example of responsible carry and a higher standard of care.
Those of us in Florida are now having to watch anti-gun and anti-stand-your-ground attempt to use this against us, a matter that is not unexpected.
Si vis pacem para bellum
This is what you interpret your responsibility as, then okay. You've participated in being a positive part of your neighborhood. But by Florida law, at this point you could have affected a citizens arrest. Being in the 2nd floor changes the aspects of the situation. If you were standing on your front porch and witnessed the same thing would have done anything differently, is the real question.Originally Posted by the dark
Look, I'm not defending the actions of anyone in the OP incident. What I am saying is there is a huge section of our society that would simply look the other way when they see suspicious activity even in the neighborhoods they live in. If I'm driving downtown Orlando and I see someone breaking into a car, if I can I'll make the 991 and get a picture of the perp for the police. If I'm pulling into my neighborhood, where my family lives, and I see the same thing my reactions to the same scenario will be different.
It's all a matter of what and how we are willing to do to stand against the people that want to do us harm. Some of us are sheep, some are sheep dogs and some are wolves. Everyone at some point will need to decide which they are.
I haven't seen the results of the trial for this particular incident so I'll hold off on judging the man until the jury decided on the evidence.
To not stand against injustice is to stand for it.
Don't confuse my personality and my attitude.
My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.
I finally had the opportunity to view some news reports of this incident. It seems that there are only 2 people who knew what happened, and one of them is now dead. I still draw my own conclusion, that the shooter went after the kid with an itching trigger finger. Zimmerman has been itching to hear his gun go bang, and he did it by killing an innocent 17 year old kid walking down the street with some candy and iced tea. Makes me sick.
I do not know any more about this incident than what I have learned from this thread but it sure sounds to me like Mr. Zimmerman as well as few people on this board are looking more for an excuse to use their gun than a need to use it.
It is obvious that Mr. Zimmerman made some unwise actions. Primarily, he should not have followed/pursued Mr. Martin as instructed by the dispatcher (BTW - Zimmerman did NOT call 911 in this incident. He called the standard police number). Actually, equally negative was the fact that neighborhood watch people are not supposed to "carry" while on neighborhood watch duty/patrol (although, I'm pretty sure I would in Central FL).
However, as SBG pointed out, the burden of proof to charge him with something is on the police, and unfortunately, there is NO proof currently available to indicate it was NOT self defense. If anything, there is a smattering of proof that Zimmerman was on the attackee side of the altercation (bloody nose, blood on back of head, grass on his back). So far, all indications are that he was within his legal rights under FL's "Stand Your Ground" law. Please note: I don't necessarily think he's innocent by reason of self defense, but we can't base judgement on our gut feelings. ABC seems to be the network stirring this incident up the most. They are getting many of the known facts twisted/wrong, and calling it the "Vigilante Murder" is not helping to calm the victim's family and outside militias. Referring to the callers to 911 as "eye witnesses" is incorrect as well. None of them, including the young man walking his dog, actually saw exactly what happened (the dog broke loose, the kid went after it, the shot rang out).
The police don't have a lot to go on, and are trying to piece together what they can. The one error it appears they made, was to NOT test Mr. Zimmerman for alcohol or drugs (although, they did perform those tests on Mr. Martin's body). One of the witnesses, Ms. Cutcher, has been said to give conflicting reports, and allegedly refused to say anything when asked by police the first two times. I certainly would not want to be on this police team for this incident. There are just too many folks with excellent hindsight making statements to the media.
It is truly a tragedy that one would think could have been prevented. Unfortunately, a young man is dead, and his family is grieving deeply.