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Subject: Zimmerman Case....do you have armed non-professionals "patroling"
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MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/12/2013 10:52 AM  
Closing arguements in the Zimmerman murder trial have concluded.

As you may know, Mr. Zimmerman was touted as the "go to guy" for security issues in his HOA newsletter.

He shot and killed an unarmed 17 year old, shortly after calling police to report him as "suspicious".

How would you find with regard to Mr. Zimmerman if you were on the jury?

Guilty of Murder?

Or acting in self defense?

MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/12/2013 11:35 AM  
Based on what I have read and seen in this case I would simply find Zimmerman "Not Guilty" due to the lack of clear and convincing evidence otherwise. Only two people knew for sure what happened; one is dead and the other chose not to speak to the jury.

One should keep in mind that Not Guilty is not the same as Innocent. Not Guilty means the state failed to provide enough evidence for jurors to say without a doubt that the defendant is guilty. In this case, there were no eyewitnesses, no video surveillance footage. There are no forensics that significantly dispute Zimmerman's statements to police.

Some may find Zimmerman's actions a bit aggressive but following another person in a car or on foot is not illegal. The 9-1-1 dispatcher had no legal authority to demand that Zimmerman not follow Martin.

The evidence indicates that the two scuffled on the ground. I cannot help but wonder why, if Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin, did he not draw his weapon and fire it before he and Martin got close enough to engage in physical combat? What little evidence there is seems to be consistent with Zimmerman's story that Martin surprised him by jumping out the bushes and taking him to the ground.





MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/12/2013 12:52 PM  
I agree with everything you said.

Who is really to say what happened.

A verdict of Not Guilty is not only possible, but also possibly just.

That said....

I have a Class A Large Capacity, No Restrictions License to carry firearms here in MA.

Rule #1 of carrying a concealed weapon is that you NEVER go looking for trouble.

Mr. Zimmerman obviously did just that, and found it with some kid who had no problem beating the daylights out of him for

"following him around".

So personally, I would find that idiot guilty of at least manslaughter.

But we will see what a jury of his peers decides.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9320


07/12/2013 1:02 PM  
I believe once Zimmerman stepped outside his car and challenged the person then Zimmerman was asking for and/or starting trouble. It escalated to a horrible end, but Zimmerman started it by paying cop. He has he punished in some form.



CarolR11


Posts:0


07/12/2013 1:48 PM  
Despite the subject line, Mike15, your real question has nothing to do with HOAs, but opinions about Zimmerman. Is there nowhere else to discuss this online? Really!!??

To answer your bogus question: we have professional unarmed "access control officers" at our urban high rise HOA. We also have 26 cameras which they can monitor from two sites.
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/12/2013 2:38 PM  
Well that was the point, and why it is relevent here.

Zimmerman was acting in his capacity as "HOA go to guy for security"

So by all means tell us about your hired security, and what problems (if any) you have had.

Because I can imagine a wide range of issues with community security officers.

In this case, it resulted in the killing of a minor, which obviously is a disaster.


I heard that the HOA (wisely) settled the case for 7 figures.

Hardly a "good deal" for its residents

MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/12/2013 3:34 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 07/12/2013 1:02 PM

I believe once Zimmerman stepped outside his car and challenged the person then Zimmerman was asking for and/or starting trouble.



Herein lies the problem. We do not know whether Zimmerman challenged Martin or, as I recall the story he told to the police, if Martin jumped him from the bushes. Without a witness or other evidence we will never know.

MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/12/2013 3:52 PM  
No we don't, or likey ever will know.

Here is what we do know.

Zimmerman strapped on his gun.

Zimmerman called the police to report a "suspicious" guy.....Martin.

The police dispatcher told him to back off.

Zimmerman and Martin fought, Martin was probably on top and beating Zimmerman down.

Zimmerman pulled his weapon and shot Martin dead.

So.....can Zimmerman be found guilty of murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter for going out armed,

looking for the boogie man...finding him and...in self defense at THAT point...shooting him.

We will soon find out.



TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


07/12/2013 4:14 PM  
I'm not on the jury. Therefore, what I think is not relevant.

As Carol pointed out, the subject line and the actual content of the message are not the same topic.

The topic of neighborhood patrols have been discussed previously. If your interested, I'd suggest looking at those threads. Do a search for "neighborhood watch" by clicking the search icon and you will find 330 threads on the topic.

MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/12/2013 5:02 PM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 07/12/2013 3:52 PM

The police dispatcher told him to back off.



And his/her authority to order someone to do something would come from what body of law?

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9320


07/12/2013 5:37 PM  
I am not nor do I play a lawyer.

Zimmerman per se is not the issue. Sorry I posted as such.

The issue of the Zimmerman case for all HOA's should be that if you need security, then hire them as an outside agency/contractor with their own liability. There might be other ways of doing it, but the bottom line for the association is do not become responsible for their actions in any way shape nor form.

Like signing a contract for say a landscaping service that says all employees of the service will be legal aliens, bonded, insured, etc. This basically relieves the association of the responsibility if they are not such. Action to be taken will be against the contractor, not the association.

Now let me add one thing. The only difference between your scumbag lawyer and my scumbag lawyer, is one of them scumbags is mine.......LOL



MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


07/12/2013 7:41 PM  
If you have ever noticed Mike we do NOT advocate HOA's being part of a neighborhood watch. Matter fact, a neighborhood watch should NEVER be funded nor associated with the HOA. It is a complete and different entity. Which does not require you to be a "member" but someone who resides in the community. Which is another reason why the HOA should not be involved. It may have the SAME members but they are completely separate entities. FYI: I was captain/organizer of our Neighborhood Watch and President of the HOA. It was a result of several robberies that had occurred. It was known that the two were separate and not to mix.

As for the Zimmerman case - BOTH are at fault. Wrong place, wrong time. It's an example of those who own guns that claim "I see a bad guy I am going to shoot them". The reality is that a person knocking on your door or out of place doesn't deserve to die. If that person is busting in your door or is dressed in a flack jacket and shooting, that deserves shooting. This situation is exactly what happens when you have ignorant gun owners who don't get the concept that they can go to jail for their poor decisions of when to use the weapon. Life isn't in danger by a stranger walking down the street. Your life is in danger if he's doing it in a tank...


Former HOA President
MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/14/2013 6:29 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 07/12/2013 5:37 PM

The issue of the Zimmerman case for all HOA's should be that if you need security, then hire them as an outside agency/contractor with their own liability. There might be other ways of doing it, but the bottom line for the association is do not become responsible for their actions in any way shape nor form.

Like signing a contract for say a landscaping service that says all employees of the service will be legal aliens, bonded, insured, etc. This basically relieves the association of the responsibility if they are not such. Action to be taken will be against the contractor, not the association.



This sounds nice but it is wrong. Whenever you hire a contractor, whether for security or for mowing the lawn, you may be held liable for their actions. HOA's that assume security functions assume the risk that goes along with it, regardless of who is doing the actual patrol.

My advice to any HOA that hires/sponsors/allows security patrols of any type is to discontinue it. Even though Zimmerman was found not guilty in his criminal trial, his HOA shelled out a bundle. The way to avoid that liability is to not get involved in security in the first place.

MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/14/2013 6:32 AM  
Posted By MatthewW4 on 07/12/2013 11:35 AM
Based on what I have read and seen in this case I would simply find Zimmerman "Not Guilty" due to the lack of clear and convincing evidence otherwise.



Turned out just that way.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3060


07/14/2013 3:56 PM  
I would have found him builty of manslaughter. There are a number of things people tend to overlook in this matter:

Trayvon wasn't doing anything "suspicious" - since when is walking down the street "suspicious"? If one is hell bent on commiting a crime, one would expect he/she to do something like things like looking into windows to see if someone was home or fooling around with a door knob or a window, all the while looking around to make sure no one sees him.

Since when is it illegal to wear a hoodie? Lots of people of various races, nationalities, religions, ages and even gender preference wear them. Of course he had the hoodie up - it was raining outside!

If you're up to no good, wouldn't you be carrying something to commit a crime - baseball bat, gun, a brick to break open a window??? Trayvon had a bag of Skittles and a bottle of Snapple iced tea - maybe it's just me, but I fail to see how anyone could do any sort of damage with that.

ANYONE would be concerned if a strange car was following him/her - why was it so wrong for Trayvon to do this?

Zimmerman wasn't a cop so if one is going to say the dispatcher didn't have a right to tell him not to follow Trayvon, then that also means that Trayvon had every right to ask Zimmerman why he was following him.

(By the way the line about the dispatcher not having a right to tell Zimmerman not to follow him is really dumb, in my opinion. You're concerned enough about this guy to call the cops - don't you think that if you continue to follow the guy you just might run into trouble?)

Trayvon was six houses away from home - SIX! If Zimmerman hadn't decided to make all types of assumptions and did what the dispatcher said, he might have gotten home safe and sound, and if the police had shown up, it might have been reolved quickly and we'd be talking about something else. Instead, a 16 year old is dead.

Finally, Zimmerman's the one with the gun - that automatically puts him at an advantage. How can it be self defense when HE's the one who got out of the car? I

In the end, I'm sorry to say the police AND prosecution blew this case would really like to hear the jury's side of this. That said, I'll accept their decision - and I hope the family files a civil lawsuit.

This case concerns me because I have two nephews who live in a community similar to where Trayvon was at (17 and 14 - and yes, I'm African American). Everyone knows my sister and her family (and my brother in law has served in their homeowner association) and while I'm pleased they've never had any trouble and they're good kids (the older one's a budding track star and the younger is a music and computer genius), who's to say the same thing wouldn't happen to them? Some cop wanna-be or some other kook with itchy trigger finger who knows nothing about them could easily be inclined to make the same assumption or want to shoot them because they hate N-words anyway (sorry for the language, but it has to be said)



ValerieS2
(Michigan)

Posts:244


07/15/2013 5:50 AM  
Sheila I agree with your statements. Zimmerman was the instigator and aggressor in this situation. There was no problem until Zimmerman decided to create one by disregarding a dispatcher directive to stop following Martin.

In my opinion, what resulted from Zimmermans aggression was entirely his fault. I would have like to see him do 5-10 for manslaughter.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9320


07/15/2013 6:07 AM  
I also believe that Zimmerman was the instigator and aggressor in this situation. He was playing cop. There was no problem until Zimmerman decided to create one.

I believe he deserved some punishment but the prosecution went with those charges. I do not think the jury is saying Zimmerman is not guilty. I believe what they are saying is the prosecution did not prove its case.

MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/15/2013 9:41 AM  
I see it much differently. Martin was walking down the sidewalk doing nothing illegal. Zimmerman saw him and decided to follow first in his car and later on foot. Zimmerman was also acting legally, even if a bit creepy. The operator on the phone has no lawful authority to order anyone to do anything and Zimmerman was under no obligation to follow his/her directions.

Martin knew he was being followed as he told his girlfriend on the phone that some "cracker" was behind him. Even though Zimmerman was armed, he was apparently not displaying his gun as Martin never mentioned a weapon.

At some point the two got close enough to engage in a brawl. The question is how did that happen? Did fat George Zimmerman outrun the wiry 17-year-old in a foot chase? Or did Martin stop so he could have it out with the "cracker." Did the armed Zimmerman initiate a fistfight with Martin? Or did Martin start throwing punches not knowing that Zimmerman was armed?

Seventeen year olds do stupid things. Getting into a fistfight with a stranger on a sidewalk is stupid. Getting into a fistfight with someone who may be armed is even more stupid. In this case, it cost the kid his life.

ValerieS2
(Michigan)

Posts:244


07/15/2013 11:17 AM  
So fistfight with someone armed should cost your life!?! Scary society we live in.
MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/15/2013 11:53 AM  
Posted By ValerieS2 on 07/15/2013 11:17 AM
So fistfight with someone armed should cost your life!?! Scary society we live in.



I don't know if it should but it certain could. Before one starts a fistfight he should consider the possibility that the outcome may not be what he intended. Regardless of who started this fight, I doubt that either party intended it to end in death.

MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/15/2013 1:45 PM  
No of course not.

Zimmerman strapped on a gun and went looking for trouble..

As a gun owner, I would have thrown him in jail for as long as I could for this incredibly irresponsible act.

Was he really surprised when he found it?

And....ooopppps...sorry about that, but the kid I was harassing got mad so I shot him?

He should have taken a beating like a man...

What he did was pure [email protected]#%^ that cost the life of an unarmed kid.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9320


07/15/2013 2:56 PM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 07/15/2013 1:45 PM
No of course not.

Zimmerman strapped on a gun and went looking for trouble..

As a gun owner, I would have thrown him in jail for as long as I could for this incredibly irresponsible act.

Was he really surprised when he found it?

And....ooopppps...sorry about that, but the kid I was harassing got mad so I shot him?

He should have taken a beating like a man...

What he did was pure [email protected]#%^ that cost the life of an unarmed kid.





This must be taken in context. I agree with Mike on this.
MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/15/2013 6:21 PM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 07/15/2013 1:45 PM
No of course not.

Zimmerman strapped on a gun and went looking for trouble..

As a gun owner, I would have thrown him in jail for as long as I could for this incredibly irresponsible act.

Was he really surprised when he found it?

And....ooopppps...sorry about that, but the kid I was harassing got mad so I shot him?

He should have taken a beating like a man...

What he did was pure [email protected]#%^ that cost the life of an unarmed kid.




Mike,

Having compared your recitation of the facts to those presented by the state and the defense during the trial I now understand why the veterans on this site laugh at you.
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/16/2013 2:41 AM  


The facts in this case clearly show that Zimmerman was told to back off when he reported to the police this "suspicous" kid.

If he had, the kid would still be alive.

He should be in jail for disregarding the police, and instead "playing" cop himself while armed with a firearm.



TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


07/16/2013 3:33 AM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 07/16/2013 2:41 AM

The facts in this case clearly show that Zimmerman was told to back off when he reported to the police this "suspicous" kid.




Actually, per the timeline provided by CNN, Zimmerman lost sight of Martin when following him. It was only later when they met again that the altercation happened.

Additionally, per that timeline, Zimmerman wasn't told to quit following he was told that "We don't need you to do that." Per the 911 transcript Zimmerman was initially told to "just let me know if the guy does anything else."

I agree that the shooting was tragic and could have been avoided.

I agree that Zimmerman should not have had his weapon on him while performing a patrol for the neighborhood watch (as this is contrary to the program guidelines).

I know that the public was provided more information than those who sat on the jury.



MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/16/2013 4:29 AM  
CNN just interviewed one of the jurors. She had just signed a "book deal".

She admited to ignoring the Judges instructions several times while deliberating.

The "book deal" was canceled within hours of the interview
MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/16/2013 7:10 AM  
Posted By TimB4 on 07/16/2013 3:33 AM

Actually, per the timeline provided by CNN, Zimmerman lost sight of Martin when following him. It was only later when they met again that the altercation happened.



Zimmerman lost sight of Martin because Martin concealed himself in the bushes waiting to pounce on Zimmerman when he walked past. Martin initiated the attack. Martin was also the only one known to have used racial epithets, describing Zimmerman to his girlfriend on the cell phone as a "Cracker."



Posted By TimB4 on 07/16/2013 3:33 AM

I agree that the shooting was tragic and could have been avoided.



If Martin would have kept on walking it would not have happened. Martin decided to play Mr. Machoman and attack a stranger who was armed with a concealed weapon. That was a stupid decision.



Posted By TimB4 on 07/16/2013 3:33 AM

I know that the public was provided more information than those who sat on the jury.



The public has been provided with a lot of opinion before, during, and after the trial. Few opinions were based on the facts; most were generated by the speakers' political agenda.

The jury was provided with only the facts and asked to render a decision based on the facts.

MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/16/2013 7:34 AM  
I wonder what the police dispatcher would have said if Zimmerman told her he was armed with a fully loaded handgun?

Which of course he was.

And that he was following this kid around like some wanna be cop.

Zimmerman was a disaster waiting to happen, and it surely did!

Only in HOA land is a moron like this deemed "the go to guy for security"

MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/16/2013 7:40 AM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 07/16/2013 7:34 AM
I wonder what the police dispatcher would have said if Zimmerman told her he was armed with a fully loaded handgun?



Since when did police dispatchers become annointed by God to tell us all what to do?
ValerieS2
(Michigan)

Posts:244


07/16/2013 12:24 PM  
Posted By MatthewW4 on 07/16/2013 7:40 AM
Posted By MikeR15 on 07/16/2013 7:34 AM
I wonder what the police dispatcher would have said if Zimmerman told her he was armed with a fully loaded handgun?



Since when did police dispatchers become annointed by God to tell us all what to do?




Zimmerman CALLED the POLICE DISDPATCHER. Then willfully ignored the directive with fatal results.
MatthewW4
(Arizona)

Posts:500


07/16/2013 1:21 PM  
Posted By ValerieS2 on 07/16/2013 12:24 PM

Zimmerman CALLED the POLICE DISDPATCHER.



Well, duh! Isn't that the way it works? You call the cops; they don't call you.



Posted By ValerieS2 on 07/16/2013 12:24 PM

Then willfully ignored the directive with fatal results.




Which part of the question did you not understand? Where does a police operator get the authority to order someone to refrain from doing something legal? Everything Zimmerman did was legal. He legally drove his car. He legally parked his car. He legally walked down a sidewalk. He legally carried a concealed weapon.

The "fatal results" came about because a not-too-bright gang-banger criminally assaulted a person lawfully walking down a sidewalk carrying a lawfully concealed firearm. Martin made the decision to commit a crime and paid a high price for his stupidity.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


07/16/2013 3:15 PM  
Of course this is one of those topics that is emotional for many.

Right, wrong or indifferent, I doubt if what anyone posts here is going to change another persons opinion.

Since this discussion is not what the subject line says, I suggest that we all just agree to disagree and let the topic drop.
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/16/2013 5:55 PM  
Right wrong or indifferent?

An unarmed 17 year old was shot to death by an idiot who provoked him after the police told him to back off.

He was emboldened by the fact that he had a gun and the kid was armed with candy!

This is not shades of grey, this is a crime.

Only in Florida, if the kid you shoot happens to be black, you don't go to jail.

Pathetic

Not to mention that only in HOA land would this guy be elevated to anything beyond the village idiot.

They actually encouraged him to act out his fantasy of super cop.
MikeR15
(Massachusetts)

Posts:389


07/16/2013 5:59 PM  
I understand that he used to knock on peoples doors, warning them about the boogie man.

If he had ever showed up at my door, and I noticed that he was armed...

I would have called the police and demanded that he be disarmed and dealt with.

At least in Massachusetts, they would have understood immediately what a dangerous shmuck he really was.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16704


07/16/2013 8:15 PM  
Posted By MikeR15 on 07/16/2013 5:55 PM
Right wrong or indifferent?




I meant that regardless if our personal opinions were right, wrong or indifferent.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


07/17/2013 1:31 AM  
Sadly this situation is the most likely scenario for most people who owns guns. They may see someone suspicious. Call the police (or not). Think the police are slow to respond or doing nothing... So they think "hey I am armed so I am going to go talk to this person as I am protected". They then go to the person and confront them to ask questions. That person may or may not be up to any good. Not going to like being confronted and give attitude. This then will escalate into a fight. While fighting the gun will come out in a panic rush. Then that's when the line blurs... Crime or self preservation?

That is why this case has hit a nerve. So many people who owns guns think this is self defense. The reality is the law and outsiders perception is that you just shot an unarmed person of which you had no need to confront in the first place. Is it self defense then? or the fact you made it into a situation where self defense is needed?

Gun education is what is needed...

Former HOA President
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