I don't often pontificate on matters outside of Fort Lauderdale, but I think I might have some special insight into how this terrible tragedy of the killing of Trayvon Martin  happened.

     You see, I was a neighborhood watch guy.

      Let me start by saying that I don't believe that George Zimmerman is guilty of murder or manslaughter.  ..... I've thought that from the beginning..... And if you've never lived in a neighborhood with a lot of crime,  never had to concern yourself with it, I understand why you might not see it this way, but  ...

                                    This is my opinion - and here's how I see it....



     For almost a decade during the 1990's, I  spent lots of time with neighbors trying to stop criminals from destroying  neighborhoods. Crime was out of control. We formed anti-crime groups after it seemed the Police were losing the battle with the street criminals. We marched the streets, started bike patrols,  called the press, demanded action. We were mad as hell and were not going to take it anymore!

     The criminals then were mostly drug dealers.  [And yes, there was a racial component then. The dealers were almost all young black men, and the drug addicts (buyers) were most often white guys]. We followed the dealers, (and the buyers), profiled both, called the cops incessantly. 

     We never confronted the dealers, just followed and called the cops. And on a few occasions, the dealers got mad at our meddling into their profitable business and tried to assault us, but we'd back off and call the cops some more.

      I'm glad we did not carry guns.

    In Sanford, Florida, the crime that frustrated the neighborhood was burglary. Even though Trayvon Martin was not a criminal,  Zimmerman thought he was.


      Zimmerman said as much to the 911 operator - these "fucking punks always get away". So Zimmerman followed Martin, profiled Martin, called the cops on Martin, made sure Martin didn't get out of his site. None of that is illegal, but it certainly pissed Martin off.

     Martin told his friend on the phone that this "creepy ass cracker" was following him. I think Trayvon  knew that he was being profiled, that Zimmerman was calling the cops on him. But Trayvon knew he wasn't doing anything wrong.!


      Why should he put up with this dude disrespecting him like that? Why should he go run into the house? He had a right to walk there!

     Then Martin's anger built, and he did what many 17 year-old males might have done  - set out to teach Zimmerman a lesson..... Got the drop on Zimmerman -  clocked him - climbed onto him, not stopping to think things out.

      Zimmerman was armed, he fired, and the rest is just tragedy.









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  • 7/10/2013 11:14 PM Marie wrote:
    I don't think it is murder, but I do think it is manslaughter. If Zimmerman didn't follow him, if he didn't ignore the instructions of the police, 17 yo Trayvon, who was doing nothing wrong, would be alive. I'm not a lawyer. What is that? Manslaughter? Depraved Indifference? I don't know the proper charge. But he should receive some significant punishment. I don't care who threw the first punch. If George Zimmerman did not follow that child,if George Zimmerman had followed the police department's instructions, that child would still be alive.
    Reply to this
    1. 7/11/2013 11:46 AM Frank Link wrote:
      Marie you are 100% correct and Tim, I disagree with you. Zimmerman was some wannabe cop who couldn't mind his own business sort of like these condo commando's. As for the Police, I think they are to blame. They are lazy, lack ambition and training. Here on the strip, all I ever see during events are the policemen congregating in groups of five to ten Police Officers just standing around and talking to one another and observing nothing going on around them. If they want to socialize or bond with one another, they should do it on their own time. They should disperse and spread themselves around. If crime was a problem in that area, they should have stationed a Police Car or had a foot Police Officer on site. With a planet of 6 Billion people, we can't have 6 Billion people with guns walking around playing Policeman.
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  • 7/11/2013 4:38 AM Pragmatist wrote:
    Marie, do you proof read? IF, If If ..good thing you arent on any jury where My life depended on it. I find it amazing you could speculate over the actions of a person who on their own time and risk to their own person who goes out to patrol their own neighborhoods in defense of persons like yourself who are too lazy or too dependant on persons like George Zimmerman and or Tim Smith to keep YOU safe. Your comment goes to prove you have no concept of what a neighborhood watch actually does. (Thats why I am deducting you never involved yourself in one).Face it, you dont like the idea he was carrying a firearm. The old adage of "dont take a knife to a gunfight" comes to mind. What you and others dont understand, is a right carry license is more precious than ones driver's license. A great deal of responsibility and liability comes with that right and trust me, any person with a CCL is more cognizant of the law than someone like you who armchairs anothers actions. Marie, ya might want to quit throwing under the bus those who are out there protecting your crap in spite of the fact your too lazy to return the favor.
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    1. 7/11/2013 12:26 PM Marie wrote:
      Boy, Pragmatist. Talk about speculation!
      Reply to this
    2. 7/12/2013 10:28 AM Realist wrote:
      and here's another adage for you "those who live by the sword, die by the sword." BTW, why are we calling guns "firearms" now? Is it PC?
      Reply to this
      1. 7/13/2013 9:59 AM Pragmatist wrote:
        Thats it thats all ya got? Those who are "living by the sword" are getting their arms and legs blown up before being transported back on U.S. Soil..I'll bet you dont have the balls to go into an airport and walk up to a serviceman who just fought for your chicken bible thumping backside and say that to his face. Jeez another one who doesnt take his comments to a completed thought. You must be married to Marie.
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        1. 7/13/2013 11:37 AM SMRCA resident wrote:
          I don't think he's Married to Marie, She is a rug muncher.
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  • 7/11/2013 7:44 AM activist wrote:
    Tim- One thing you omitted in your piece was the fact that over the years of your crime fighting efforts, you built up a repore with the drug dealers-a lot of them knew who you were, and understood that you were not going to tolerate what they were doing, so they moved on when they saw you...
    Perhaps if Zimmerman had identified himself that night to Trayvon,and explained he was neighborhood watch.....I don't know...
    What I do know, is that yes, we all have the right to bear arms, but if we are civilians in a neighborhood watch capacity, weapons of any kind should not be allowed.
    By the way Tim, thank you for all of the years you invested in making neighborhoods safer...
    Reply to this
    1. 7/13/2013 10:43 AM Pragmatist wrote:
      Yea "activist" you go on out there and buid a repoire with a couple of those MS13 gang members selling drugs on your block..lets hear you rehearse your planned speil to appeal to their sense of fairplay and respect for the Drug laws of our fair city, but hey dont worry I'll have your back with a "GUN" in case they dont quite feel the "Love" you want reciprocated, which is more than you would do for someone else..at least you thanked Tim for his efforts which is better than nothing.. and alot easier than actually hitting the streets yourself.
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  • 7/11/2013 4:21 PM Lester Zalewski wrote:
    When the public losses faith in their government they will act on their own.
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    1. 7/15/2013 7:43 PM just saying wrote:
      Killing is Killing!
      contrast the outrage of parents, whether single moms or two parent families, on this verdict after a 17 year old dies, and most women, married or single, not wanting laws on the books prohibiting abortions by choice AFTER 20 weeks, which is 5 month old fetuses. They accept killing by their own free choice of innocents, but not 'innocents' by the 'free will' of the streets.
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  • 7/11/2013 6:56 PM City Activist Robert Walsh wrote:
    First the State screwed up. They over-charged. Secound degree murder -no way. They should have tried him w/ involuntary manslaughter to begin w/. The media tried Zimmerman after this happened. The State did the same thing w/ Casey Anthony-overcharge-I mean to give her the death penalty, of course she was going to be found not-guilty-when she didn't even know how the baby died-poisioned, suffocated, who knows. Again the State overcharged. I think he should be charged w/ manslaughter. Why didn't Zimmerman state to Martin"I am the nite-watch men , what is your name, and what are you doing here. He approached a total stranger , only to get punched in the face. Then after receiving a beating basiccly shot the boy. Why didn't Zimmerman show that he had a gun? Then Martin would have ran home. You basiccly have a boy dead, from Zimmerman "assuming Travan was going to commit a crime. He did racial profile Travan. This boy paid for this assumption w/ his life. Although if you go by the law esp. the "stand your ground" theory you would have to acquit Zimmerman. Sometimes the law is not morally right. However for Zimmerman to walk away would be a travesty. I think that aggreviated battery esp.. is the right verdict. To say that it was all Martin 'fault is unacceptable. This all could have been avoided if Zimmerman just listen to Dipatch and did not pursue Martin. He chose to approach Martin, after he was told to stand back, he didn't, a brawl then was started by Martin, Martin was on top, Zimmerman was in fear of his life, shot Martin. So w/ "Stand your ground" theory , unfornuately the Jury would have to acquit. If Zimmerman 'att's are on the ball they would make sure the Judge(ain't she pretty)instruct the Jury of "Stand your ground". Then he would have no choice but to acquit him. My take the State screwed up under the supervision of who, the Barbie doll, Att.Gen. Pam Biondi(you stink). I feel bad for the Martin family. Although I see disaster for Zimmerman if he is acquitted. I am not fearful for riots, but am fearful Zimmerman will pay(street justice). So either way Zimmerman life will never be the same. I hope the Jury comes back w/ something. Will see. This whole thing stinks. This has also compromised race relations w. the Black community(shame). Zimmerman should spend some time in jail. It is the right thing to do. ....
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  • 7/12/2013 11:40 AM Donna Collins wrote:
    I looked this up for my own understanding and will share....the legal description for proving manslaughter is unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation (ie. thoughtfulness in decision or action) premeditation and malice .. there is also involuntary manslaughter...the charge in this case is second degree murder not manslaughter although the judge approved the jury to consider manslaughter...2nd degree murder is proved in court by intent to kill or reckless conduct with intent to kill...so Zimmerman was a person with a permit to carry a weapon...poorly trained to analyze possible outcomes for his stupidity in following a perp alone..but did he really desire to shoot a person? and I know that if I was attacked I would draw my gun rather then experience possible life long debilitating injuries to my physical body but there is always a spectrum of horror that follows should any decent person have to kill another even in self defense which even a knucklehead like Zimmerman must be feeling....as for profiling...I do it everyday in SMR because I know what suspicious behavior looks like and the police ask for the physical description of the perp...as for racial attitudes...anyone can have them they should not be the burden for white people only....I have been called a cracker Ho and white bitch by school children passing by me when I work in my yard in unprovoked verbal attacks...now where are they learning that ????
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  • 7/12/2013 11:54 AM Donna Collins wrote:
    The outcome for this heinous accident after the announcement of the jury decision may become uncivilized. The BSO and local churches are already preparing for the worst. Persons that feel they must deal with their anger through violence are not acting honorably towards Trayvon. They are better off crowding into the hearings for the review on the stand your ground law to make their point and actually do something constructive. I pray that no persons are harmed should those with intent to cause violence use this as an excuse to riot or murder as in(intent to kill) Then anything of value we have learned will be tarnished.
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  • 7/13/2013 10:23 AM Pragmatist wrote:
    The problem with some of the above posters Marie and Activist is they form opinions based on "oneliners in the press" and want to infer a police dispatcher has the same authority as a police officer, case in point:
    The prosecution also portrayed Zimmerman as eager to pursue Martin, although it is unclear from the recording of the call whether he got out of his car at his own initiative or because Noffke asked him in which direction Martin was running. After we hear the sound of door chimes and wind, we hear Noffke say, "Are you following him?" Zimmerman says yes, and Noffke replies, "OK, we don't need you to do that." Noffke testified that, because of liability concerns, police dispatchers are trained to make suggestions to callers rather than issue commands. In any event, Zimmerman says "OK" in response to Noffke's suggestion. While defense attorney Mark O'Mara suggested that Zimmerman stopped at that point, the prosecution's theory seems to be that Zimmerman continued pursuing Martin after the call, provoking the confrontation that ended in Martin's death.the prosecution in George Zimmerman's trial presented testimony from Sean Noffke, the police dispatcher who handled Zimmerman's call the night he shot Trayvon Martin. Both the prosecution and the defense (during cross-examination) repeatedly played parts of the call. The prosecutor sought to portray a couple of Zimmerman's comments—"****ing punks" and "these *******s, they always get away"—as evidence that he shot Martin out of "ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent," which is an element of the charge he faces, second-degree murder. Yet Zimmerman sounds calm throughout the call, and Noffke repeatedly testified that he did not find anything alarming about his manner. Noffke said people often curse during 911 calls, so he did not consider that a "danger sign". (So Marie, Frank and Activist) if the police dispatcher did not consider Zimmerman a crazy wanna be cop, hell bent on shooting someone, why do you three? Oh dont tell me its your OPINION? Remind me not to take stock tips from you three.
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  • 7/14/2013 8:19 AM Donna Collins wrote:
    On Saturday around 3PM my daughter and granddaughter were out shopping. They stopped at a dollar general and my grand daughter went in the store alone. The woman at the counter that rang up the purchase told her to get out of that neighborhood because she might get shot. When they came home several hours later and told me this I was very upset. I said why did you not call on that. They were stunned and said ..call the store? NO call the police and report the comment! Of course no one did. I have to wonder is this playing out all over now due to the verdict? Please report any incidents right away before something tragic happens. No one should feel intimidated or threatened due to the result of a trial.
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  • 7/15/2013 11:29 AM Jesse wrote:
    I always felt that the justice system has disenfranchised blacks and evidence of that is clear by looking at our prison system. But I won't let that fact
    allow me to become a victim nor will I blame another race for the
    decisions I make. We can go blaming the justice system and ask for
    change everytime a case doesn't go our way, but the reality is American
    Justice has never been perfect or fair. What good would it do if God forbid, something like this happens again and we're back to where we started with no lesson learned?

    Now more than ever we must look at ourselves and change the attitudes of
    our youths that being a thug is cool, you live and die by the gun, or
    there is no future for person in America because of their color. Look at
    the White House and see who's there. No longer can we use the excuses
    of the past because we're in a new generation long removed from Jim crow
    who need to step up and change our environment if we ever want these
    negative stereotypes to disappear.
    Reply to this
  • 7/20/2013 3:51 PM rjp3 wrote:
    Really disappointed in this opinion from a usually on point man. Zimmerman shot an unarmed person dead. He could have shot him in the leg or arm but shot him in the heart to kill him.

    The jury WAS instructed on Stand Your Ground once they left to make a decision.

    You obviously support shooting unarmed people during a fist fight.
    Shameful post Tim.
    Reply to this
    1. 7/22/2013 9:15 AM Tim wrote:
      I don't think Zimmerman had a choice...I think Martin was on top of him slugging ....Zimmerman was crying for help to no avail and finally got to his gun and shot ..... It's very sad, but had Martin not started the violent altercation,( or if Zimmerman wasn't allowed to carry the gun in public) Trayvon would be alive today....
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    2. 7/23/2013 4:23 AM Pragmatist wrote:
      ""He could have shot him in the leg or arm but shot him in the heart to kill him""

      That has truly got to be one of the dumbest post I have ever read. Please tell me you dont vote..
      Reply to this
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