Lessons to Learn from Trayvon Martin's Death
A message from SafetySmart Lilburn for neighborhood watches.
Many of you have heard of the recent incident in Sanford, Florida in which Trayvon Martin ended up dead, allegedly at the hand of George Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman called in a report to the police department stating that a young black man in a hoodie was entering his gated community and he (Zimmerman) was the neighborhood watch. Despite advice of the dispatch person that Zimmerman allow the police to handle the situation, he persisted and the 17-year-old ended up dead.
Lessons that neighborhoods can learn from this situation:
- Neighborhood Watch is a great way to become friendly with your neighbors and recognize what is unusual and suspicious. It is not about enforcement.
- Neighborhood Watch is a passive exercise. Neighbors are discouraged from putting their lives or lives of other people in jeopardy: get a tag number or description, but remain unengaged and at a safe distance.
- The role of watch members is to notify the police or sheriff of suspicious activity and then step back to let officers of the law to resolve the issue.
- Carrying a weapon is ill advised, but particularly when threat to life is a possibility.