Twin Lakes Retreat-Neigborhood Watch Program

Discussion in 'George Zimmerman Trial/Trayvon Martin' started by LiveLaughLuv, May 24, 2012.

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  1. LiveLaughLuv

    LiveLaughLuv New Member

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    Issues of George Zimmerman's neighborhood newsletter, "Retreat Reflections," were included in the 183 pages of discovery documents made public Thursday in Zimmerman's second-degree murder case.

    Crime Watch I
    http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/357596/zimmerman-case-neighborhood-watch-1.pdf


    better copy of the above
    http://documents.latimes.com/trayvon-martin-killing/




    Crime Watch II
    http://documents.latimes.com/trayvon-martin-killing/


    Crime Watch III
    http://documents.latimes.com/trayvon-martin-killing-neighorhood-watch-3/



    I do believe GZ took his role wayyyyy too seriously. I believe he truly thought he was acting in a LE role...

    I only see a certificate of completion for WDorival I don't see any for GZ..the title used for GZ was CW liason
     
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  3. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    I'll go on record as saying I think FAR, FAR too much has been made of the Neighborhood Watch angle. NW is an educational outreach program of the National Sheriff's Association. Some of the commentary on the NW association goes so far, imo, as to imply that NW volunteers are "volunteer security guards"-- and nothing could be further from the truth.

    http://www.sheriffs.org/content/crime-prevention

    http://www.sheriffs.org/content/usaonwatch®-program

    An educational outreach program is just that-- educationally focused. There is no "oversight", no organizational chart, no "NW Inspection Team" that will swoop in and critique the NW program policies and procedures, signage, etc. No agency will "revoke" a NW program if the program isn't following some kind of perceived rule.

    NW is a partnership between private citizens and LE, to educate citizens about what to watch for, and what to report, and how to report it. That is ALL it is. It is a volunteer program-- and the degree to which individual neighborhoods are organized into "patrols" varies considerably.

    The guidelines which have been touted so heavily, that NW volunteers should not carry guns, is a common sense recommendation. (Police, by and large, don't really want citizens carrying loaded guns around -- makes their job more complicated, imo.) It is not a commandment, or a legally enforced "anything." A citizen who has NOT had NW training is just as free to contact LE with concerns they have observed, as the NW volunteers are. The volunteers are just the ones who have voiced their committment to the process of working with police to lower crime in their neighborhoods.

    State law clearly supercedes the recommendations of an educational outreach program. And state law in FL allows citizens who have gone thru the legal process to obtain a concealed carry permit, to carry loaded guns concealed, whenever they want, where ever it is legal to do so. GZ was, imo, clearly acting in the role of a private citizen when the situation unfolded in Retreat View. He was not deputized in any way, nor do I believe that the homeowners association should bear any responsibiity for what he chose to do. I think this is a complete non-issue, that has been blown way out of proportion by the MSM. Heck, every single article that even mentions GZ's name follows that with "Neighborhood Watch Captain". The implication is that somehow GZ being associated with NW makes him MORE culpable for his actions. There are some posters on the web who have even opined that they feel GZ pro-actively organized the NW program in his neighborhood specifically to legitimize his "racist" agenda. That is way beyond absurd, imo. Jaw dropping ignorance, imo. It really troubles me to read things like that written by my fellow citizens.

    And, btw, the organizations that make the signs and use the logos are for-profit businesses that have licensed the logos from NSA. NSA does not make the signs, etc.

    "The logo for the National Neighborhood Watch Program is Boris the Burglar® and USAonWatch®. It is a nationally recognized crime prevention symbol, as well as a legally protected servicemark and trademark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This registration is held exclusively by the National Sheriffs' Association. (Registration Number 2,087,058)"

    http://www.sheriffs.org/content/usaonwatch®-program
     
  4. RANCH

    RANCH Active Member

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  5. LiveLaughLuv

    LiveLaughLuv New Member

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    NW are the eyes and ears for LE, they are not LE and should not act as if they are one..

    I do believe he went way above his call of duty in being one NW person. It's told to those who volunteer, they do not get involved in detaining anyone, should not be carrying a weapon...GZ appears to violate orders and is part of his personality. You don't tell GZ what he can or cannot do, he does as he pleases...

    So, if indeed he was playing the Sheriff of Twin Lakes Resort, he certainly was out of line in how far he took it...as even a neighbor made a complaint at how aggressive he is...I believe he's got an aggression he can't control anyway..It doesn't appear those classes helped in any way to keep a handle on his rage...he was a fatality waiting to happen...
     
  6. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    I agree that GZ certainly seemed to take his NW role very seriously, and is perhaps justifiably critiqued as over eager/ over zealous. I'm really bothered by his getting out of the car to follow TM-- even as I acknowledge that getting out of his car wasn't illegal, and following isn't stalking, according to FL law. But it was monumentally stupid, imo.

    But that doesn't make the NW program bad or wrong. And it doesn't make his 40-odd phone calls to the police wrong-- that is what he was supposed to be doing as a partner with NW. (Some of those calls were pretty absurd-- the potholes, etc, as if he didn't know who to call with complaints OTHER than the police dept.)

    The implications by some commenters on the web that the HOA should be responsible in any potential future civil suits are particularly disturbing to me.
     
  7. persnickety

    persnickety New Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree with those commentators. The HOA at this particular community encouraged their residents to contact George Zimmerman if they had issues or problems as he was with neighborhood watch. They are absolutely 100% liable for a guest in their community being gunned down in cold blood by a person who is supposed to be associated with their neighborhood watch program. What makes it completely laughable; however, is that there are a lot of renters in this community including Zimmerman and his wife but it will be the homeowners and the HOA who will be footing the bill for civil damages that will be awarded to Trayvon's family. The Martin's are much better people than I am because I would have already filed my suit agaist them.


    my opinion only
     
  8. AJ Noiter

    AJ Noiter Little Bunny FooFoo

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    According to one of the recorded witness statements who is a board member (one of three) for the HOA, she didn't know that Mr. Zimmerman was given any title. In fact, he was the only person on the Neighborhood Watch list of volunteers that she was aware of. If the HOA board members didn't know of this title or his "role" as a "captain" would it then be logical that no extra information would've been given to him that the rest of the community wouldn't know? I'm not saying they wouldn't have brought it up and informed the entire community at one of their Tuesday meetings, but I'm not sure that Mr. Zimmerman was privy to extra information based on the role some say he had.
     
  9. cmsg2002

    cmsg2002 New Member

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    BBM...may I ask why that's disturbing to you?
     
  10. tehcloser

    tehcloser New Member

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    I wish ya'll could see our neighborhood "watchers". It's like a group of 12 or so "retired" peeps. They have one of those magnetic signs that says "Neighborhood Watch" and they take turns putting it on their vehicles and driving around. They are experts at finding lost pets, letting you know if one of your children are down at the boat dock unsupervised and delevering fresh garden veggies from each others gardens. lol. I'm blessed to live in a low crime rate area.
     
  11. MaryAnn

    MaryAnn New Member

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    I would think that's covered under this rule included in the manual.

    What you will
    not do is get physically involved with
    any activity you report or
    apprehension of any suspicious
    persons. This is the job of the law
    enforcement agency.
     
  12. LambChop

    LambChop Former Member

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    The officer who came to talk about setting up the program made that quite clear at the meeting, she said. They don't want anyone getting involved who is carrying a weapon. It is true of anyone who is not on the neighborhood watch program. LE does not want citizens getting involved with a suspect, ever. Plus it's suppose to be common sense. Why call LE and then go get yourself involved. What was the purpose of calling LE in the first place if you planned on handling the matter on your own. I guess because once you were done you expected them to finish the job you started. I have a hard time understanding why people who do these things don't get it's interferring. jmo
     
  13. AJ Noiter

    AJ Noiter Little Bunny FooFoo

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    In respect to the topic, the National Neighborhood Watch (not sure about the Sanford specific, but everyone quotes the National on MSM) says you should never follow a vehicle. Just a thought.

    Edit: Also wanted to point out that the same manual says nothing specifically about following an individual on foot - only that you should never confront them.
     
  14. RANCH

    RANCH Active Member

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    So as long as you don't get physically involved its ok to carry a gun?
     
  15. LambChop

    LambChop Former Member

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    Other than physically picking up the phone to call LE, they don't want you physically involved whether you have a gun or not. If you do have a gun on you they want to make sure you are not physically involved and that you need to stay away from any type of confrontation. GZ was never warned about that because he never told LE he had a gun. jmo
     
  16. ariesgodofwar

    ariesgodofwar New Member

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    I am not sure why "Neighborhood Watch" is such a big deal. George was not on some patrol, he was going to Target and saw something suspicious, so he stopped and called police. That said, what does neighborhood watch or their guidelines have to do with the price of tea in China?

    Not sure what it is like in Florida, but here neighborhood watch is an informal group of folks who offer to report suspicious activity, that is it. It sounds like George was working hard to make his community a safer place by working with police to educate residents on the crimes that are occurring. See the letters in the document release.

    Should George have left his firearm in the vehicle? Should folks volunteering for neighborhood watch not have the right to defend themselves? It is quite possible that had George not have had a firearm on him, he would be dead . It is just me, but had he been "on patrol," which he was not, would that not be a time when one would be most likely to need to carry a firearm?
     
  17. ynotdivein

    ynotdivein Retired WS Staff

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    Thread topic: Twin Lakes Retreat-Neighborhood Watch Program.

    Discuss.
     
  18. diesel

    diesel New Member

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    They have a magnetic sign they attach to their vehicles? What an idea. Is this mandatory for all Neighborhood Watch programs? If not, maybe it should be. It may have helped in this case.

    Eta: But I guess GZ was not patrolling at that time. Still, he could have put the sign on his vehicle at some point to identify himself since apparently, he didn't do it verbally.
     
  19. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    (Regarding a potential civil lawsuit against the homeowners association.)

    Thanks for your question. (Sorry for the length of this-- it's a hot issue for me!)

    I am very bothered by any suggestion that a civil suit may be pursued against the Retreat Lakes HOA. To me, this makes as much sense as suing the manufacturer of the handgun, or the manufacturer of the ammunition. That would be like suing a diabetes educator for the complications suffered by a diabetic. GZ was acting as a private citizen during the night of Feb 26. NW volunteer members have no special "status" elevating them above private citizens. The HOA has no control or jurisdiction over the actions of private citizens. They are not an employer.

    Remember-- NW is an educational outreach program, not a "security guard" service. The HOA did not "hire" a security service; the NW observations were conducted by private residents-- not paid professionals. I am aware that they CAN be sued civilly (anyone can be sued!)-- but I believe it would demonstrate enormous bad judgment if they were sued by TM's parents, and would be a very socially provocative move. It would smack of misdirected retaliation, imo. It would also be subject to interpretation that money ALONE was the end result for the plaintiffs, because there would be no other purpose to gain by a lawsuit. Nothing was done wrong, and nothing was manufactured incorrectly, etc. What is the lesson?? Where is the negligence? Whose "job" was it to control or babysit the actions of GZ? Is it the job of a HOA to do background checks on all of the residents? Is it the job of the HOA to supercede FL law in regard to concealed carry laws? Is it the job of the HOA to tell a resident they cannot observe their surroundings and call the police if they suspect something is wrong? I just don't see how the HOA has any legitimate responsibility in this situation. Should the HOA stand by idly and watch crimes escalate in their neighborhood? SYG or no SYG, racism or no racism, IMO, the HOA bears absolutely no responsibility for TM's death or GZ's actions.

    IMO- the HOA did absolutely nothing wrong, and exerted no control over the actions of GZ. They neither condoned, nor condemned his actions the night of Feb 26. They were under no obligation to "ensure" GZ did not carry a concealed weapon-- because they had no authority to prevent him from doing so, legally. The "loose" arrangement they seem to have at Retreat Lakes is that GZ, and whoever else is an official "volunteer," are on alert whenever they choose to be-- no scheduled patrols. Because of that, there is no way the HOA can exert ANY influence or control over the "work product" of the volunteers. For that reason, I believe they should not be held accountable for any actions of GZ. Merely organizing a NW educational partnership is not reason enough to me that they should be held accountable for anything that happened Feb 26. They did the right thing, imo, by trying to facilitate some citizen education that might decrease the wave of crimes that was occurring in their community.

    As many have pointed out, the HOA is composed of owners of the condos, and GZ was a renter. The HOA potentially does not have insurance for these kind of lawsuits-- many don't. Which means, innocent homeowners who had absolutely nothing to do with this situation could end up owing thousands of dollars out of their own pockets, if a civil suit was brought and they lost. That is extremely distressing to me. It smacks of unfocused, irrational, illogical financial "retaliation" against anyone that is a potential target, whether they had anything to do with the situation or not.

    These homeowners are not wealthy people-- this is a very middle class neighborhood. A major judgment could crush these innocent people financially-- for no discernible reason. They did nothing wrong. It would set a TERRIBLE precedent for NW programs nationwide, and be an enormous disincentive for people to participate in community crime prevention educational outreach programs. A lawsuit against the HOA would serve no REAL purpose, send no REAL message, and very unfairly penalize innocent homeowners. It would be simply misdirected anger and anguish, imo, and be very inflammatory. A civil lawsuit, imo, would be an opportunistic manuver designed to further manipulate the public response to this tragedy. I hope it doesn't happen. The situation is really bad enough already.
     
  20. tehcloser

    tehcloser New Member

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    We have insurance. And I would fully expect to have to use it if any of our neighborhood watch peeps did anything like this. That is why you should always take someone before the board for a vote.
     
  21. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    Well, I don't know what kind of insurance you have-- "slip and trip", or "D & O" (directors and officers) [or both?], but in FL, neither appears to cover negligence by officers and the board. Any claim involving Neighborhood Watch coordination or endorsement by a HOA would likely include some aspect of negligence.

    http://www.floridacondohoalawblog.com/tags/negligence-claim-against-board/

    I'm clearly not an insurance or legal expert, but I just can't fathom how one would pursue or write a policy shielding HOA board members against the actions of private citizen homeowners. That would be like taking out a policy shielding me from my neighbor's actions. I'm not responsible for his actions-- therefore I don't need a policy shielding me from liability for his actions. Does that make sense?
     
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