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The Unmeritorious Prosecution of George Zimmerman

Analysis by Marty Hayes, J.D.

Note: We deviate from the format of our normal lead article to give Network President Marty Hayes, J.D. the leeway to analyze the recent criminal prosecution of George Zimmerman, as viewed through Hayes’ experience as a former police officer, expert witness and self-defense instructor. The reader will recognize that Hayes’ opinion permeates this article, as removing his observations would reduce the lessons armed citizens should learn from this incident. —Editor

As I absorb the details of the jury trial and acquittal of George Zimmerman, several issues are foremost in my mind. These I would like to share with our members, and unless a new Federal charge is brought against Zimmerman (which I doubt) or a civil suit against him from Trayvon Martin’s estate (more likely), this will conclude our discussion of the Zimmerman case. Additionally, this review of the case is drawn from the court proceedings and other evidence that may not have made it into court.

Pre-Confrontation

Most trial watchers and the media have finally acknowledged that Zimmerman did not ignore or disregard the dispatcher’s orders not to follow Trayvon Martin. Media commentators and other ignorant individuals persist in calling Zimmerman a “night watchman,” though. This is pure, unadulterated crap. The term “night watchman” conjures up images of a guy walking around at night, flashlight in one hand and billy club in the other, keeping an eye on things. This was not George Zimmerman, nor does it describe the role Block Watch plays in our neighborhoods.

Recently the media-driven narrative has shifted from asking, “Why did Zimmerman follow Martin?” to “Why didn’t Zimmerman confront Martin, identify himself as a Block Watch representative, and question Martin’s actions?” This is not the role of the Block Watch program, either. The purpose of neighborhood watch is to observe and report suspicious activity and be a good partner to law enforcement.

The Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood in Sanford, Florida had been beleaguered by burglaries and at least one home invasion robbery. In response to these crimes, the neighborhood invited the Sanford Police to help them form a Block Watch program. Zimmerman was later appointed by his neighbors to act as Block Watch captain, also referred to as a Block Watch contact. This took place several months before the incident we’re discussing, and during the time leading up to February 26, 2012 Zimmerman had called the police non-emergency line at least five times to report suspicious persons, in addition to the call he made to the non-emergency line the night of the shooting, which we have all heard.

Many, many people have called George Zimmerman an idiot for getting out of his car. I fully disagree. He was perhaps guilty of being naïve and uneducated about carrying a gun for self defense (so much for the efficacy of mandatory training for obtaining a concealed carry license), but I cannot see a single thing he did wrong. Let me repeat. HE DID NOTHING WRONG! Are we becoming such a nation of wimps, that a full-grown man cannot even keep an eye on a suspicious person in his neighborhood?

[Continued...]