Archive for Thursday, March 22, 2012

Was Florida shooter a vigilante or good neighbor?

March 22, 2012


— George Zimmerman once took criminal justice classes at the community college and was practically a one-man neighborhood watch in his gated part of town, calling police close to 50 times over the past eight years to report such things as slow-driving vehicles, strangers loitering in the neighborhood and open garages.

Now, suddenly, people are wondering if the 28-year-old Zimmerman is an earnest if somewhat zealous young man who was just looking out for his neighborhood, or a wannabe cop who tried to take justice into his own hands.

He has been at the center of a growing furor over vigilantism, self-defense and racial profiling since he shot and killed an unarmed black teenager who was walking through his neighborhood Feb. 26 carrying only a bag of Skittles and an iced tea.

Zimmerman, a light-skinned Hispanic, has claimed self-defense in the slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and has not been charged, but many black leaders are demanding his arrest, and state and federal authorities are investigating. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law on self-defense gives people wide latitude to use deadly force.

Attorneys for Martin’s parents say Zimmerman is a “loose cannon.”

“He’s a wannabe police officer,” lawyer Benjamin Crump said. “Why did he have a gun?”

But some neighbors welcomed his vigilance, at least before the shooting.

Samantha Leigh Hamilton, an auto-dealership employee who has lived on Zimmerman’s street for about a year, said that she once left her garage door up and Zimmerman noticed it while out walking his dog. He notified another neighbor, who let Hamilton know.

“The only impression I have of George Zimmerman is a good one,” Hamilton said Wednesday.

Hamilton said another neighbor, a black woman, would regularly inform Zimmerman when she was out of town so that he could keep an eye on her place. Hamilton said that when she moved into the middle-class, racially mixed community of about 250 identical townhouses, the black neighbor told her, “Hey, if you need anything, you picked a really good area, since George is part of our neighborhood watch.”

Zimmerman, who was captain of the neighborhood watch and licensed to carry a gun, made 46 calls to police since 2004, according to department records.

In one police call report, the dispatcher noted that Zimmerman was calling about a vehicle “driving real slow, looking at all the other vehicles in the complex and blasting music.” In another call from last August, Zimmerman reported on two black male teens in the neighborhood. He considered them suspicious.

A police spokesman in Sanford, a city of 53,000 people outside Orlando that is 57 percent white and 30 percent black, did not return calls for comment about Zimmerman’s repeated reports.


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

George Zimmerman has been found guilty in the Court of Public Opinion, and the sentence is that this tragic event will follow him the rest of his life.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Maybe if the police had done their job, he'd be judged in a court of law, instead.

I'm curious, though-- do you think the kid deserved to die?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

George Zimmerman will be judged in a court of law, I'm sure. Do you really think the case won't be prosecuted?

But even if he's not convicted, what I was claiming is that he'll be in O. J. Simpson's position in that the notoriety of the event will follow him the rest of his life.

Why are you even asking me if "think the kid deserved to die"?

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

And the innocent kid will not have the rest of his life. And his father and mother and other relatives and friends will have an empty hole in the rest of their lives.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 2 months ago

No justice,No peace. Justice for Trayvon Martin!

Lisa Medsker 6 years, 2 months ago

Aha! I KNEW they put Skittles in our MREs for a reason! They're deadly weapons!

woodscolt 6 years, 2 months ago

Was Florida shooter a vigilante or good neighbor?

Well, one thing is for sure. He is a murderer, does that answer your question. He was allowed to operate in a society that the right wingers are relentlessly pushing to change this country into.

mom_of_three 6 years, 2 months ago

A kid is dead and all you think about is what the left says and liberal nutcases.

But I bet if he was still a fetus, you would be up in arms.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 2 months ago

Thanks Rush, for dipping into our little midwest news rag.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 2 months ago

And the bigoted sock-puppet rears its ugly head once again.

Katara 6 years, 2 months ago

It was a period of 15 months, actually, not over 8 years.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

A tragic fact is that until recent decades there was no electronic communication that would allow millions of people to know at least a bit of what happened and become outraged within 24 hours, and therefore there were hundreds, or more likely thousands, of very similar cases that were simply covered up by local authorities.

And, almost all of them were very quickly forgotten about, except for the families and friends of the victims.

think_about_it 6 years, 2 months ago

Normally in the lefts mind a minority isn't capable of being racist.

By adding "light-skinned Hispanic" to the description of Mr. Zimmerman the author is trying to make him more white which in turn automatically makes him a racist. Fortunately for the left he wasn't a dark skinned Hispanic

Bob Forer 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't know what the writer's motivation or political perspective is, but I don't think the reference to his "light skin" is appropriate--or even relevant-- and certainly has racial overtones. What's next? Do we start distinguishing between light skinned and dark skinned African Americans?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

The "get whitey" mob is in full cry. The Department of (selective)Justice is getting involved since this case seems to fit the narrative they are pushing.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 2 months ago

"The Department of (selective) Justice" is far less narrative driven than your drivel.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

+1 Because it's getting publicity? Black-on-black crime is not a big deal to most folks, the families of the victims excepted.

Bob Forer 6 years, 2 months ago

No murder is better or worse than another murder. The reason the victim's skin color is relevant is that many folks believe, with some justification, that had the young man been white he'd still be alive. You've heard to the crime "walking while black," haven't you?

The racism comes into play because of the prejudice surrounding the shooter's presumed concern that the young man didn't belong there because he was black, i.e., all blacks are poor and steal for a living.

Rae Hudspeth 6 years, 2 months ago

If you truly have liberal friends, then you would know that most of them are not strangely silent about the deaths of any person, of color or not. You do make an interesting point, though, because it is true that no one cared about inner city kids killing each other at school until it happened in affluent or mainly white middle class schools.

Thankfully, it did create such things as metal detectors at ALL schools and a reduction in gun-related crime in the large inner city schools.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 2 months ago

Apparently you do, but your incorrigible nature would remain meaningless.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 2 months ago

October surprise conspiracy theory.

October 15–20: Meetings are held in Paris between emissaries of the Reagan/Bush campaign, with Mr. William Casey as "key participant", and "high-level Iranian and Israeli representatives".

October 21: Iran, for reasons not explained, abruptly shifts its position in secret negotiations with the Carter administration and disclaims "further interest in receiving military equipment"

October 21–23: Israel secretly ships F-4 fighter-aircraft tires to Iran, in violation of the U.S. arms embargo, and Iran disperses the hostages to different locations.

January 20, 1981: Hostages are formally released into United States custody after spending 444 days in captivity. The release takes place just minutes after Ronald Reagan is officially sworn in as president.

July 18, 1981 The USSR's TASS news agency reports the emergency landing near the USSR/Turkish border of an Argentine-registered transport aircraft leased and flown by Israelis, carrying a full load of US weaponry and military spare parts. The US Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East, Nicholas Veliotes, investigated this occurrence and concluded that the downed aircraft was on its third such flight in a series of shipments of US weapons to Iran which had been authorized by high officials in the Reagan Administration.

And then came the Iran-Contra Affair.

Sunny Parker 6 years, 2 months ago

It's too bad all this effort isn't going into the black on black murders that happen every weekend in Kansas City. Why is it ok for blacks to gun down each other? Where is the outrage?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

A recent poll actually demonstrates a bit of what you're saying. But the flip side of that poll also shows that conservatives really do tend to dislike people of color.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"conservatives really do tend to dislike people of color."

And liberals are all coffee house hippie misanthropes who hate their country, smoke weed all day, and have no work ethic.

One heaping piece of BS deserves another.

Richard Payton 6 years, 2 months ago

Zimmerman was an altar boy in Prince William County Virginia. He lived in Manassas and relocated to Florida in 2002. The Washington Post posted this from the Orlando Sentinel.

somedude20 6 years, 2 months ago

Yep, everyone having a handgun makes the world safer. The crime watch became the crime and Zimmerman's trigger finger (note I did not say the gun) took an innocent boy's life (listen to the 911 calls from multiple people).

Getting a gun and being able to carry is way to eay these days, it takes more effort to get divorced than to get a gun.

I am not saying that people should not be able to own or carry guns (that is our right), just that the screening process needs to be tougher. This is Florida folks, home of the hanging chad....justice will have to be forced by the goverment

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 2 months ago

Having a handgun obviously does not make a person a murderer. Not having one can make a person an innocent victim.

Perhaps we should worry about nuclear weapons and real justice before we prevent people from protecting their lives within the insanity of our current environment.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

Good weapons make good neighbors? (With apologies to Robert Frost.)

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 2 months ago

He was a gun-toting, paranoid, violent, misguided vigilante wannabe living in a wild west fantasy world.

And he must be protected at all costs.

Sunny Parker 6 years, 2 months ago

And where did you get that information?

It's just stupid to let your mind wander like that!

Sunny Parker 6 years, 2 months ago

I am surprised Obumma hasn't jumped all over this yet!

tbaker 6 years, 2 months ago

The guy sounds a little kooky, perhaps a cop wannabe maybe. The kid he shot was unarmed. It doesn't look good from my vantage, but that's why we have courts and a justice system. The fact he has not been charged means the authorities are either incredibly incompetent, or there is something more to this we don't know about yet.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

The fact that the kid's body laid unidentified in the morgue for two days, even though they had his cell phone, raises several questions.

The police chief failed a no-confidence vote yesterday.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

So who exactly are "the thugs" in this scenario? What rights are these "thugs" trying to take away other than the "right" to shoot and kill unarmed teens who are committing the crime of walking home?

deec 6 years, 2 months ago

It is an AP story, not a local report..

punchee 6 years, 2 months ago

Zimmerman made a series of bad decisions that, in my opinion, should preclude his use of the "stand your ground" defense: He defied the 911 dispatcher and followed Jenkins. Once he did that, none of his subsequent actions are justifiable under any circumstances.

Richard Payton 6 years, 2 months ago

Rev. Al Sharpton is still planning on holding rally tonight despite his mother's passing. Ada Sharpton would want me to continue, said Rev. Al Sharpton in his statement this morning to the press.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

What a nightmare. The police should have done due diligence. No real investigation of a armed man shooting an unarmed boy on the street? They did not do service to either Zimmerman or the boy by not doing their job. How would most feel if their kid went out to the store and some one chased him/her and shot him or her?

I am waiting for more information before I form an opinion on Mr. Zimmerman's actions.

It does make me sick so many racists are burning their crosses on our forum. The clamor that this incident should be a reason that black on black crimes need investigation is unsound. I think that crime and theft of any kind should be investigated. This incident is not a reason to bash the left. Everyone should worry that a proper investigation did not happen. I am sorry for the family and saddened by the loss of the kid.

The law should protect both, not just the guy with the gun. What we are going to get is more shoot outs on the street, both fools "standing their ground". I don't want to have take my gun to take a walk, shoot some attacker because some one might not like my looks, attacks me and demands my business. Stand your grounds doesn't mean that one citizen has to answer to any block head who thinks they can roam the streets and get into other people's face. The stand your ground law is flawed if there is no sound investigation of circumstance.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

People are often very nice -- until they kill someone.

Ain't guns grand!

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 2 months ago

Crazy is the light of our lives. Crazy drives the world. Crazy steals our livings and lives. A gun is not crazy. A failure to properly punish crazy is what is murdering our world.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 2 months ago

Paranoid, gun-toting wannabe vigilantes must be protected at all costs. The police were right in not arresting him.

It would have violated his right to be a paranoid, gun-toting wannabe vigilante. A sacred, protected class.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

Do not follow any of pace's suggestions.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 2 months ago

'it's your thing, do whatcha wanna do...' (from a source)

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 2 months ago

We cannot arrest paranoid, gun-toting wannabe vigilantes. They are a protected class that cannot be subject to the same laws as ordinary citizens.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

I am extremely ticked off. Clipped from:

Sanford city manager says they were barred from arresting Trayvon Martin’s killer

The city of Sanford, Florida has claimed that it did not arrest George Zimmerman despite his confession that he fatally shot Trayvon Martin because it was legally barred from doing so.

"Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense, which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony," Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. wrote in a letter released publicly Wednesday evening. "By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time."

The Sanford Police Department has received widespread criticism for its handling of the investigation. Among other issues, it didn't conduct a drug or alcohol test on Zimmerman, although that's standard practice in homicide probes, and a witness has said a police officer "corrected" her claim that she heard Martin yelling for help.

The letter goes on to address several other issues related to the case. Bonaparte Jr. writes that Zimmerman's failure to obey a 911 dispatcher's request that he not follow Martin can be taken into account in the ongoing investigation, but adds that the request "is not a lawful order that Mr. Zimmerman would be required to follow."

Bonaparte Jr. appears to be saying that disobeying the order wasn't in itself a violation of law.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

In my opinion, criminal charges should be also brought against some of the police officers, and also the public officials that appear to be making very unconvincing excuses for their employee's actions.

bad_dog 6 years, 2 months ago

Don't forget Bonaparte was the former Topeka City Administrator who essentially got run out of town last summer. I believe it had something to do with city employee thefts and subsequent alleged cover-ups/"hand-slaps" for punishment, etc.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

It would not have been possible for me to forget that because no one and no media has ever told me that.

bad_dog 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, now you can consider yourself "told".

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

He was not a Christian, although he might think he is. A Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and he obviously was not doing that.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 2 months ago

If that's the definition of what a christian is, then I'm comfortable declaring there are no christians around today--anywhere.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Everyone really should at least try. He actually did give very sound moral advice.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

But: It was all very, very Jewish moral advice.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Those are very good points. But, on this forum there is a lot of name calling by people who have no idea what they are talking about.

Katara 6 years, 2 months ago

That "black kid" meant something to a lot of people. He had family and friends who loved him very much.

You are lower than low to suggest that he means nothing and your whole post does exactly that.

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

"Zimmerman, . . . licensed to carry a gun"

ccp 6 years, 2 months ago

Take politics and race out of it, and you have this:

A kid went out for candy and never came home because a stranger killed him. If that doesn't outrage you, then I see no point in arguing the point any further than that.

verity 6 years, 2 months ago


The deflection going on in some of these posts is really quite amazing.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

verity, if this deflection could be used in more constructive ways, bulletproof vests would not be necessary.

Sunny Parker 6 years, 2 months ago

Take race out of it? The black community is screaming about race.

deec 6 years, 2 months ago

What if the killer were black and the victim white? The tighty righties would be screaming the other direction.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 2 months ago

No, you probably don't worry about ANY real problems, as you believe such insanely inaccurate drivel. Your belief in opium den borne "progressives" ruling our world speaks volumes as to your insanity.

Armored_One 6 years, 2 months ago

Screw this left-side/right-side nonsense.

Vigilante justice is about as needed today as hitching posts are needed outside the WalMart out by Free State. That is all this is, pure and simple, and the moron behind the trigger doesn't need the book thrown at him.

He needs a beatdown with that book, after tying it to a baseball bat and handing it to the boy's father. If it was my son, I wouldn't be bothering with the book, though. Then again, anyone that knows me personally wouldn't be suprised in the least.

Kneecap the bastage, then drag him by the back of his head to the police station and claim self defense.

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

No. I thought of it all by myself.

And once again more deflection.

Kontum1972 6 years, 2 months ago

i spent 2 years of my life toting a gun in defense of my country when i was in Vietnam...when i came home i no longer had the desire to carry a gun i sold all my personal weapons when i came home..too many of my good comrades died and took a lot of the bad guys lives....i vowed too never carry a weapon anymore

Rae Hudspeth 6 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for your service. We're grateful you came home, and sorry about how you were treated compared to the troops coming home today.

sassykansan 6 years, 2 months ago

This man used racial slurs in his 911 call. I don't think anything about him is very neighborly. I hope he goes to prison.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 2 months ago

Really? Good to know... I hope we can all agree that paranoia is not the finest tool of constabulary tools.

somedude20 6 years, 2 months ago

worth repeating: Crazy_Larry (anonymous) replies… And a recent study concluded that conservatives have low IQ scores...a.k.a. are stupid.

jesse499 6 years, 2 months ago

It would prove you were not stupid if you stopped calling each other names and and so forth and worked to solve a problem for once just once thats all it would be amazing.But both sides or to stupid to do anything like that!

sissezz 6 years, 2 months ago

The bottom line is this WAS about race.... a young BLACK boy was shot because he was BLACK.. If he had been WHITE this would not have happened. Most black on black crimes are about other type of crime. (theft,drugs,etc.) But there was NO CRIME being committed.... thats why this is sooo much more disturbing than a black on black crime. Either way it is still sickening...

jesse499 6 years, 2 months ago

I would just like to see it taken care of in the courts not in the media or the blogs.Before some other Mothers son is killed for no reason but the media or the blogs stiring people up.It's bad enough what happen with out making it worse.

CloveK 6 years, 2 months ago

Getting it stirred up is the only reason there may even be prosecution. The police department had every intention of closing the case at the murderer's word before it blew up.

People should be outraged. It is absolutely appalling what has taken place regardless of skin color. For things to really change, it could take a lot of outraged people.

tbaker 6 years, 2 months ago

This kid was killed because he was black? Really?

Two weeks ago, a 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl were shot dead, and a baby was wounded in a KCK apartment shooting. This is the third fatal shooting in five years in this part of KCK. The victims and the suspects are black. Just a few miles away in Missouri we have the worst state in the union for black-on-black crime. Chicago has had over 100 murders since the first of the year; the vast majority are black-on-black crimes. The police precincts in South Chicago are more dangerous than Afghanistan.

Where is the outrage? Where is the million hoodie march for all these senseless crimes? The only thing giving this tragedy in Florida any traction at all is the fact the shooter is not black. The sound of the crickets is deafening.

CloveK 6 years, 2 months ago

I imagine most of the murderers in those cases, didn't wait around to tell the police they shot the guy in self defense. Just to have the police say "Yeah, that's cool. I believe you.". The fact that before there was public outrage, the police had no intention of further investigation is appalling. They didn't even try to figure out the truth to what happened. I am supposed to believe that the police couldn't find the phone records, really?

Add to it that it could quite possibly turn out to be a hate crime and this murder stands out way more than the gang violence you are referring to.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

The kid was killed because a man shot him. You resent people being outraged about that rather than what you think they should be.

If you are outraged, do what others are doing, stand up and do something. You feel impotent about the crimes you hear about. You feel that other people should get fired up. Don't whine that other people aren't doing enough, you need to do something. I am so tired of people who whine that everything isn't perfect but expect things to change even though they personally do nada. You resent the million hoodie march because they aren't marching to the tune you want. Well play an instrument. My guess is you don't feel you can change anything and it is all hopeless. Well don't worry the games will be on and you can go back to doing nothing. I am thankful for all the people in this country trying to do something. I sometimes wish they would be more sensible, or more articulate but I don't despise people doing something against what they think is wrong.

sissezz 6 years, 2 months ago

tbaker....... that is also just as tragic. And i dont know the motive behind it..... but i am speaking about a person being killed because he was black.. No other reason....... no carjacking, no love triangle, no theft, no other reason then being BLACK. Thats the point.... and i believe we should be just as outraged about ALL murders

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

It might not of been because he was black, that may of a factor, it probably was a factor why the shooter wasn't properly investigated. We know he was smaller and unarmed.. Zimmerman may have snapped, been drunk or high, we don't know because it was not a proper investigation.

Armstrong 6 years, 2 months ago

The really sad part of this whole incident is this story would not have even made news if the shooter was black as well

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Actually, "the really sad part of this whole incident" is the death of a teen who did nothing wrong.

Are you really so obtuse that you are unable to see this blatant fact, or are you only playing insensitive for the internet?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 2 months ago

A kid is dead. The kid was unarmed. The person who killed him did so with one shot to the chest. The police told him to not follow the kid, but he did so anyway. This seems open and shut to me in terms of his guilt. Having said that, I don't know what he should be charged with some form of homicide I think is appropriate. I also thought OJ was guilty though.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 2 months ago

Here are FACTS which have not been discussed here.

The city manager is the former city manager from TOPEKA. This is not surprising his political talk out the arse. He is black.

The cop assisgned to the killer did NOT interview him but only took a statement. This is his testimony.

There in fact are 2-3 witnesses who have NOT be contacted by the police despite their public proclamation they witnesses the crime and nobody has spoken with them.

The kid had a "hoodie" on but did NOT have the actual hoodie on his head until he saw he was being followed. The reason he put it on his head is because it was raining.

Lastly, the murderer has made approximately 45 calls and in each and EVERY one of those the person he was calling about was BLACK. This from media person on TV who listened to all of the prior calls.

Connect the dots folks and you can in fact see this guy was seeking out blacks and tracking them down like a lion to devour.

Katara 6 years, 2 months ago

The authors of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law say that George Zimmerman should be arrested and that their law does not apply to this situation.

“They got the goods on him. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid,” said Peaden, a Crestview Republican who sponsored the deadly force law in 2005. “He has no protection under my law.”

Peaden and Baxley, R-Ocala, say their law is a self-defense act. It says law-abiding people have no duty to retreat from an attacker and can meet “force with force.” Nowhere does it say that a person has a right to confront another."

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

And it especially says nothing about following someone in a vehicle for a while, against the 911 dispatcher's advice, getting out of the vehicle, chasing someone down, and then shooting him, I'm sure!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't think that anyone directly answered the question posed by the title, which was: 'Was Florida shooter a vigilante or good neighbor?'

I tend to think that if he chased down and shot dead your kid or someone that was a guest in your home, the answer is: "Not a good neighbor, for sure."

tbaker 6 years, 1 month ago

When Al Sharpton, Calypso Louie Farrakhan, and the rest of the race baiters finally get done exploiting this incident, lets all hope the criminal justice system will do right by Treyvon and his family. In a perfect world the grand jury would support charging this nut Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder and take this to trail, but the evidence is still pretty thin I'm sad to say. Speaking of court, If it turns out this guy really was in some way sanctioned by this homeowner’s association, they need to be hiring a good lawyer too. BTW, Florida's "Stand Your Ground law" is not a factor in this case. Based on the 911 audio, Zimmerman was not standing his ground. He was in pursuit, and the 911 operators knew he was in pursuit up to a point. The police know this too. The default setting for most cops is to arrest people and sort it out down at the station. Why they didn't do it in this case is very strange. They are either incredibly incompetent, or we don't know the whole story yet.

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