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Thread: Family of Florida boy killed by Neighborhood Watch seeks arrest

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Family of Florida boy killed by Neighborhood Watch seeks arrest

    Article.

    What do you think? Do you think the neighborhood watch guy took appropriate action?

    I've been a neighborhood watch block captain twice, and can tell you firsthand that confrontation isn't a part of the description, unless absolutely necessary to protect life and life. Since he was in a vehicle and the kid was walking, his life and limb had no need of being protected, at least not with a firearm. Perhaps an accelerator pedal i.e. "drive away from an undesirable situation." I can't see how it's possible this is self-defense.
    Our rights are not subject to "interpretation" by well-meaning but Constitutionally illiterate politicians. They are absolute and unwavering, as are We the People. Some rights are specifically mentioned; many are not. ALL are protected by our Constitution, especially the Ninth and Tenth Amendments

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    Too much unknown information. As for the whole "he didn't have to confront him" him bit, it's kinda hard to remove those that are causing problems if they are never confronted and (imo) it is time for the citizens to quit relying on cops for every little thing. If someone sees suspicious behaviour it should be completely acceptable for them to investigate it should they choose (which means accepting all the risk that goes along with that) and not have to cower in fear and wait on police to "check it out." And if the person who's being approached decides they want to do something foolish simply because the person approaching them isn't a cop, well that is on them. Though I do think OCing in these types of situations would be a very good thing as it can help prevent a person from making a move that could be viewed as hostile (such as quickly reaching into a pocket after some heated words and in a manner that could be taken as reaching for a weapon).

    Now with all that said, again there just isn't enough information to say with this case. I don't blame the watchman for approaching a "suspicious indvidual" in his neighborhood. But before even trying to say if I think the shooter was/wasn't justified I would need to know what all transpired prior to the shooting (exchange of words, actions of the dead person, why the shooter felt reasonably afraid of death/grave bodily harm, etc).

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    "600 pound elephant"

    I really hope they don't make it all about race. Make it about the shooting justified or not. Murder is murder and self defense is just that. Based on the limited info....not good.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that Neighborhood Watch was like volunteer security officers - there only to observe and report. Give a solid description of the person, the activity, and the location/direction of travel.

    We will only get one version of what took place, and I'll bet that there is no dashcam video with sound to support the version we do get. A NW captain who gets in his car and goes to confront a "suspicious person" sounds - and remember I'm saying "sounds like", not asserting that he is/was - like someone who wanted to be more than just the observer/reporter.

    I agree with aknazer that anybody ought to be able to, and should, "investigate it should they choose (which means accepting all the risk that goes along with that) and not have to cower in fear and wait on police to 'check it out'." I also agree that "if the person who's being approached decides they want to do something foolish simply because the person approaching them isn't a cop, well that is on them." But this has to be balanced with the "observe and report" function of Neighborhood Watch. The common law obligation/ permission to intervene with deadly force in a violent felony* in progress has, to my understanding, no place in Neighborhood Watch but falls into the realm of citizen arrest. Neighborhood Watch does not arrest - if that was the captain's intent he left his NW role and assumed a different one.

    I'm intellectually curious to find out how justified/excusable homicide would play out in this set of circumstances. But there needs to be a whole lot more info before that question can be answered. In the meantime, absent publication of how this fits into FL's "stand your ground" law I am wondering why the NW captain was not arrested on the spot.

    In closing, a response to aknazer's "I do think OCing in these types of situations would be a very good thing as it can help prevent a person from making a move that could be viewed as hostile...." - I understood that NW volunteers were not supposed to be armed and to remain fixated on the observe-and-report function. Always thought they were there to shine a light into the dark corners and make the virmin scurry away, rather than to confront and attempt to detain/arrest the vermin.

    stay safe.

    *violent felony = that which presents the danger of death or serious bodily injury. Actual violent act(s) against another need not be occurring during the commission of the criminal act.
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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Article.

    What do you think? Do you think the neighborhood watch guy took appropriate action?

    I've been a neighborhood watch block captain twice, and can tell you firsthand that confrontation isn't a part of the description, unless absolutely necessary to protect life and life. Since he was in a vehicle and the kid was walking, his life and limb had no need of being protected, at least not with a firearm. Perhaps an accelerator pedal i.e. "drive away from an undesirable situation." I can't see how it's possible this is self-defense.
    Not enough info to judge, but the report would indicate wrongful death to me. Walking while Black is not a crime, last time I looked. And if there were circumstances where threat of death or grievous bodily injury were likely to occur, why the hell didn't he just back off and wait for the cops? I will say that I'm amazed he wasn't arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter or 2nd degree murder. He has the duty to present an affirmative defense, clearly, so arrest would be warranted.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Regular Member rscottie's Avatar
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    More to the story?

    This is in the comments of the article and is backed up by references to a struggle in other articles I found when I Googled.

    ":Posted earlier by Blake: This is not the real story. George called 911 to report a suspicious person. As he got off the phone the kid attacked him and started beating the crap out of him and slamming his head against the walkway. All the while saying "you're gunna die tonight motherxxxxxx" George was screaming help when someone in a nearby apartment called 911 again. George's shirt came up while the kid was beating him, revealing the gun that he is licensed to carry. The kid went for the gun and they struggled for it, George ended up shooting the kid and saving his own life. All these people on yahoo saying that he should be in jail when they don't even know what happened. George is the brother-in-law of one of our good family friends, works with my parents, and is one of the nicest most gentle people you will ever meet. He's completely devastated that this happened and has barely been functional from the guilt. No one shoots someone for no reason, and especially not George. And they need to stop pulling the race card, George is hispanic, not white."

    If you read some articles it reports that the altercation happened in the back yard, not up front on the sidewalk.

    The 911 calls would surely help the man out if this was truly self defense.

    The first page of Google Results concentrate primarily on the race card but if you go to the second or third page of Google Results you will find articles with more information and where the discrepancies are.

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    Campaign Veteran ComradeV's Avatar
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    Google news is our friend, apparently.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    Too much unknown information. As for the whole "he didn't have to confront him" him bit, it's kinda hard to remove those that are causing problems if they are never confronted and (imo) it is time for the citizens to quit relying on cops for every little thing.
    I agree with your last statement. However, standard Neighborhood Watch protocol is to avoid confrontation (yeah, I know - I'm not very good at that, either), act as the reliable, detail-oriented eyes and ears, and report all suspicious activity to the police. The guy did that, in his 911 call. What constitutes "suspicious" in his mind is anyone's guess. I might have been race, it might has been the kid jumping the fence in the gated community. Who knows? As he was his only witness, I'm sure that information won't come out except in trial.

    If someone sees suspicious behaviour it should be completely acceptable for them to investigate it should they choose (which means accepting all the risk that goes along with that) and not have to cower in fear and wait on police to "check it out."
    In most communities, neighborhood watch programs are run by citizens coordinating with the police. Here in Colorado Springs, there's a short but sweet handbook with very good, smart, rational, well-thought-out guidelines. They don't tell people they can't carry as part of their neighborhood watch program. They simply recommend they don't, as people who do tend to take matters into their own things.

    Nine times out of ten, "suspicious activity" amounts to nothing higher than a hill of beans. It's the 10% (or 1%, or one out of a thousand) times when confrontation leads to conflict. Personally, I like breathing, so I'm very reluctant to stick my nose into a drug deal. The police are better equipped and trained to observe, stop, detain, and arrest the bad guys than I am, and they get paid to do it. As I member of the Neighborhood Watch program, my annual salary was $0.00. As a block captain, it was precisely $0.00 higher than that.

    Having said that, if I observed some man trying to wrestle a resisting girl into a vehicle, I wouldn't hesitate to get involved. It might be an abduction, or it might be a father who found his teenage daughter taking a romp in the back of her boyfriend's vehicle. Regardless, the situation warrants immediate involvement.

    But I'd make the 911 call first.

    And if the person who's being approached decides they want to do something foolish simply because the person approaching them isn't a cop, well that is on them.
    Yes, it is. Imagine the above situation if the guy turned out to be the girl's father, and he wound up dead simply because he was hopped up on adrenaline and did something foolish, like rush at me after I told him to unhand the girl. Scratch one father, scratch one husband, scratch one family, scratch one human being who may very well have been an honest, law-abiding citizen who was merely at his wits end with respect to trying to deal with a wayward daughter, and all because I took the attitude, "I'll stop this, and if he resists, I'll shoot, and that's on him."

    Nice...

    This is precisely why law enforcement is fine with Neighborhood Watch programs, provided its members call the cops to engage the bad guys. Contrary to popular misconception, the vast majority of cops do not shoot first, but rather, are well-trained to handle a variety of situations, and will resort to deadly force only if other options (take-down, taser) are not available. I know that here in the Springs if I reported an "abduction in progress" the response time would be just a few minutes, and yes, in order to stop it I would have to step in. My goal wouldn't be to kill the guy, but to stop and detain him for the police to handle when they arrive.

    Though I do think OCing in these types of situations would be a very good thing as it can help prevent a person from making a move that could be viewed as hostile (such as quickly reaching into a pocket after some heated words and in a manner that could be taken as reaching for a weapon).
    I agree completely! And if it looks like the guy is preparing to do something foolish, drawing is certainly an option.

    Now with all that said, again there just isn't enough information to say with this case. I don't blame the watchman for approaching a "suspicious indvidual" in his neighborhood. But before even trying to say if I think the shooter was/wasn't justified I would need to know what all transpired prior to the shooting (exchange of words, actions of the dead person, why the shooter felt reasonably afraid of death/grave bodily harm, etc).
    Also agreed, with the exception that I believe there is enough information to draw some tentative conclusions:
    1. The kid was visiting relatives in the neighborhood.
    2. The kid was unarmed.
    3. The man was armed.
    4. The man was in a car.
    5. The kid was on foot.
    6. The man made a call to 911, reporting "suspicious activity."
    7. The man shot the kid.

    From this alone, I can indeed draw some conclusions. From the standpoint of the Neighborhood Watch program, the man violated two guidelines, that against being armed (I don't blame him a bit on this one) and that of allowing police to make contact. Yes, it's Monday morning quarterbacking, but discretion is the better part of valor, and the man had several options available to him which he did NOT take. He could have:
    A. Sat in his car, made the phone call, never approaching the kid.
    B. Observing the kid to see which house he enters.
    C. Remaining inside the car while striking up a friendly conversation through a partially rolled-down window, with foot on the accelerator, ready to withdraw from a bad situation.
    D. Engage, but as the child was unarmed, instead of shooting him, use other take-down measures if necessary.

    Instead of taking any of these options, he chose to engage, and an unarmed child is dead.

    I cannot conclude what I am about to say next, but I suspicion they got into an argument, possibly a physical altercation. That it was avoidable, however, is beyond reproach.
    Our rights are not subject to "interpretation" by well-meaning but Constitutionally illiterate politicians. They are absolute and unwavering, as are We the People. Some rights are specifically mentioned; many are not. ALL are protected by our Constitution, especially the Ninth and Tenth Amendments

    "One of the best things about our Republic is that we're as free to have our own opinions as we are from having the opinions of others forced upon us."

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rscottie View Post
    This is in the comments of the article and is backed up by references to a struggle in other articles I found when I Googled.

    ":Posted earlier by Blake: This is not the real story. George called 911 to report a suspicious person. As he got off the phone the kid attacked him and started beating the crap out of him and slamming his head against the walkway. All the while saying "you're gunna die tonight motherxxxxxx" George was screaming help when someone in a nearby apartment called 911 again. George's shirt came up while the kid was beating him, revealing the gun that he is licensed to carry. The kid went for the gun and they struggled for it, George ended up shooting the kid and saving his own life. All these people on yahoo saying that he should be in jail when they don't even know what happened. George is the brother-in-law of one of our good family friends, works with my parents, and is one of the nicest most gentle people you will ever meet. He's completely devastated that this happened and has barely been functional from the guilt. No one shoots someone for no reason, and especially not George. And they need to stop pulling the race card, George is hispanic, not white."
    This certainly paints a different picture, and is just very similar to the scenario I mentioned. Regardless, questions remain: Why did he approach the kid? Why was he out of his car?

    On the other hand, if the kid was the aggressor as depicted in the other stories, then George had every right to use lethal force and should NOT be charged with anything, much less in jail.
    Our rights are not subject to "interpretation" by well-meaning but Constitutionally illiterate politicians. They are absolute and unwavering, as are We the People. Some rights are specifically mentioned; many are not. ALL are protected by our Constitution, especially the Ninth and Tenth Amendments

    "One of the best things about our Republic is that we're as free to have our own opinions as we are from having the opinions of others forced upon us."

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    Regular Member rscottie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    This certainly paints a different picture, and is just very similar to the scenario I mentioned. Regardless, questions remain: Why did he approach the kid? Why was he out of his car?

    On the other hand, if the kid was the aggressor as depicted in the other stories, then George had every right to use lethal force and should NOT be charged with anything, much less in jail.
    It is very hard to determine what happened solely by the one article and the media slant that is there.

    The fact that the man was not arrested on the spot tells me that the police did not think it was just a cold blooded shooting. Trying not to assume but if there was a second 911 call made, that person is also a witness.

    I also wondered why he got out of the car and then one article said that the kid was in the guys own back yard.

    Neighborhood watch rules or expectations would have went out the window with me to if I saw someone "jumping the fence" (as was reported in one article) of my own back yard. Just sayin'

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    Indeed, entirely too little info to go on, one way or the other.
    Keeping in mind also, the media's tendancy to jump all over any potentially "controversial" stories like this, with a possible race bias issue to it. Mighty interesting how the writer seemed to make zero effort at all to determine what, if anything, the kid was allegedly doing to get himself shot.
    So, could have gone either way- a jumpy,twitchy NW Capt. popping a kid he didnt recognize at night, or the kid could have made some movement or other, or just gotten mouthy (as a lot of kids of any race are quick to do these days) or made some kind of threat..
    Cant really arm-chair this one, based on what little we know so far.


    But, the question of if we-as common citizens, or as NW captains, take lethal action in such situations? Personally no, not unless the guy were in the act of attacking or harming someone. Should we always wait to "investigate" odd things in our areas, until cops arrive? I guess that depends on the area, and what it is someone thinks they are seeing/hearing...

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Basing my comment on the article presented, I'd say this was a sad case of an unjustified shooting of an unarmed young man, which resulted in his death.

    If it was my kid, I'd want to see the shooter's head roll.
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    Do you have a link with the article that has that comment on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by rscottie View Post
    This is in the comments of the article and is backed up by references to a struggle in other articles I found when I Googled.

    ":Posted earlier by Blake: This is not the real story. George called 911 to report a suspicious person. As he got off the phone the kid attacked him and started beating the crap out of him and slamming his head against the walkway. All the while saying "you're gunna die tonight motherxxxxxx" George was screaming help when someone in a nearby apartment called 911 again. George's shirt came up while the kid was beating him, revealing the gun that he is licensed to carry. The kid went for the gun and they struggled for it, George ended up shooting the kid and saving his own life. All these people on yahoo saying that he should be in jail when they don't even know what happened. George is the brother-in-law of one of our good family friends, works with my parents, and is one of the nicest most gentle people you will ever meet. He's completely devastated that this happened and has barely been functional from the guilt. No one shoots someone for no reason, and especially not George. And they need to stop pulling the race card, George is hispanic, not white."

    If you read some articles it reports that the altercation happened in the back yard, not up front on the sidewalk.

    The 911 calls would surely help the man out if this was truly self defense.

    The first page of Google Results concentrate primarily on the race card but if you go to the second or third page of Google Results you will find articles with more information and where the discrepancies are.

    I would like to be able to link to that comment.

    I found the link:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_1...-watch-leader/
    Last edited by ccwinstructor; 03-15-2012 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Found the link

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    Regular Member rscottie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccwinstructor View Post
    I would like to be able to link to that comment.

    I found the link:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_1...-watch-leader/
    The same comment is also posted on the story the op posted. Unfortunately you would have to search through over 18,000 comments to find it.

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    I enjoy how most here thinks that we need the government to do even the simplest task for us. We don't need and shouldn't use the government for everything. If I called the cops every time I thought someone was doing something wrong then they would finally stop even showing up to my calls. You don't know how many times I thought I caught someone trespassing on family land and it turns out that they have permission to be there. Be a bit odd if I call the sheriff to talk to a guy with a key to our gate.

    And those that act like because he is part of neighborhood watch means that he shouldn't see what the kid was up to. It should have been a short talk to figure out the kid was staying in the neighborhood. No problem confronting the kid without police involvement. I don't even think he should have called the police when he did. At that point in time he had no evidence that police was needed.

    Then the race card. I didn't read anything that made me suspect that the kid was shot because he was black. I think the media made that part up, like they sometimes do.
    No man alive can beat me in a fair fight: It's not fair to chase a man down and beat him.

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    Still very scarce on actual details- whether it was as some claim, that the kid was attacking him somehow-or not-but Sanford PD seems to side with the NW cpt.


    "Police said they have not charged Zimmerman because there are no grounds to disprove his story of what happened.

    "The evidence and testimony we have so far does not establish that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. We don't have anything to dispute his claim of self-defense, at this point, with the evidence and testimony that we have," Lee said."






    http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-12/j...?_s=PM:JUSTICE

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Family: Man didn't kill teen in self-defense
    http://usat.ly/yDXup0

    The above story seems to indicate that the 911 tapes speak against it being a self-defense case. It appears that the man chased to teenager through the woods before shooting him, or so the family says.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Family: Man didn't kill teen in self-defense
    http://usat.ly/yDXup0

    The above story seems to indicate that the 911 tapes speak against it being a self-defense case. It appears that the man chased to teenager through the woods before shooting him, or so the family says.
    If that is the case, then the police wouldn't have reason to claim that 'no evidence disproves self-defense.'
    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    "Police said they have not charged Zimmerman because there are no grounds to disprove his story of what happened.

    "The evidence and testimony we have so far does not establish that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. We don't have anything to dispute his claim of self-defense, at this point, with the evidence and testimony that we have," Lee said."

    http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-12/j...?_s=PM:JUSTICE
    I would assume that the police do have the 911 calls in hand.
    Last edited by wrightme; 03-17-2012 at 05:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    Basing my comment on the article presented, I'd say this was a sad case of an unjustified shooting of an unarmed young man, which resulted in his death.

    If it was my kid, I'd want to see the shooter's head roll.
    What article presents evidence that leads you to that conclusion? If you are speaking of the article linked in the OP, you must be basing that statement on the words of the lawyer, who hasn't even reviewed the 911 tapes yet. In other words, you are basing your statement upon the press release of the family's lawyer, not on an actual account of events as they transpired.
    Last edited by wrightme; 03-17-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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  20. #20
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    This is unfortunately looking more and more like a bad shoot.


    Shooter in racially charged death called eager
    http://usat.ly/yGXNQo
    Last edited by thebigsd; 03-18-2012 at 09:34 PM.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  21. #21
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    This incident definitely brings to mind HankT's Postulate of Civilian Self-Defense (HPCSD):


    It is a bad strategy to shoot an unarmed person.



    Once again, HPCSD is found to be supported. Alas, it is unfortunate that Mr. Zimmerman did not take heed of it.

    It is amazing how accurate and robust this postulate has been throughout the years...

  22. #22
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    well,,,

    Welcome back HankT after an 8 month absence...

    Once again your postulate has been proven accurate and robust,,
    It is indeed always true that ,,, it is a bad stategy to shoot an unarmed person, or man, or boy.

    BTW I have missed your guidance...
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  23. #23
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Things are now geting out of hand. What does the FBI have to do with this case?

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...trayvon-martin
    Last edited by thebigsd; 03-19-2012 at 11:02 PM.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Things are now geting out of hand. What does the FBI have to do with this case?

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...trayvon-martin
    It may well be that the neighborhood watch guy is protected by Florida's "2005 stand your ground" statute and there is no state crime that can be prosecuted. In that event, the FBI will look to see if a federal crime was committed. Those crimes would include civil rights violations and hate crimes, given that the dead kid was black and the neighborhood watch captain was white. Not saying any of that's right, not saying who did what or who's at fault, but I imagine that's what the FBI is going to do. If he can't be prosecuted at the state level, see if there's an applicable federal crime.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    I have not seen a single article that states what happened between the initial phone call to 911 and the shot being fired other than pleas for help.

    He probably shouldn't have followed the boy, but no one knows what happened. I don't know why people are jumping on the "bad shoot" bandwagon. Seems like that is most people's go to response in most cases of a shooting, even without knowing anything.
    Last edited by Jack House; 03-20-2012 at 04:03 AM.

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