Here is a copy of the letter written by Sanford, Florida City Manager: http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Zimmerman_Martin_shooting.pdf

Here are the statues listed in that letter above: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/FileStores/Web/Statutes/FS09/CH0776/Section_0776.012.HTM, http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/776.013, http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/florida/statutes/florida_statutes_776-031, http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/filestores/web/statutes/fs07/CH0943/Section_0943.10.HTM.

Here, you may listen to the 911 phone calls and get more information: http://www.sanfordfl.gov/index.html

Here is the Florida information for Citizen Watch communities like the one in Sanford, Florida: http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/BurglaryPrevention.pdf, http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/NeighborhoodWatchProgram-SPDPowerPoint.pdf, http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/NWProgramHandbook.pdf

I strongly advise informing yourself before continuing to read this blog entry so that you full understanding of statutes, their definitions, and clarification information concerning the actions of that night and applicable law definitions as outlined in the information listed above. I am fully aware that it is a large amount of information to consume, but in doing so full understanding is afforded by the links provided. Thank you for your cooperation, I also apologize for taking so long to write this informational post as I wanted to make sure I had the information correct before commenting to it in whole or in part. Thank you again for your patience and thank you again for reading my blog. Now, let’s commence shall we?

As you will notice in the Neighborhood Watch Handbook, it stresses that the member of the Neighborhood Watch is not advised to become physically involved in the crime taking place in a manner that would prevent it. That, it says, is the job of law enforcement not the job of a civilian member of the Neighborhood watch. The question then remains, upon further reading of the handbook, it states again that a member should not take it upon one’s self to apprehend or arrest a suspect in their neighborhood. I do believe it is interesting to note that unless Mr. Zimmerman was given a badge and a reasonable recognition that he was an extension of the Sanford police force, every indication that he had no legal means to follow Mr. Martin is apparent in the Handbook and repeated twice. However, the statues sited in the City Manager’s letter seem to contradict this handbook and affords Mr. Zimmerman more legal support. While I am not a lawyer and by no means do I ever even want to forward myself as a legal analyst or criminal lawyer representative of defense or prosecution. However, I can read and reason, bringing forth information applicable to the shooting.

According to statute section 776.012, it is perfectly legal for one to use deadly force in order to defend themselves if a reasonable presentation of great bodily harm is imminent. In statute section 776.013, home protection, further defines that if one is suspicious that may commit a felonious crime or forcible entry into a car, residence or dwelling that deadly force may be used in order to prevent such a crime for occurring. However, in the same statute it mentions that should the lawful resident of such an area who does not have a order of protection against them or supervisory pretrial written no contact order has the right to be in the space as well. Interestingly, I find it distracting that the definition of who can be in a space and how the definition of that space is presented in the statute seems contradictory to one another. If one were to argue who had the right to retreat or who had the right to “stand one’s ground”, it seems reasonable that both Mr. Zimmerman and Mr. Martin both had the right to be in that space at the same time. Sometime between their initial meeting and the actual shooting, there was applicable force used by Mr. Zimmerman that lead the police to not arrest him. However, statute 776.031 defines that the use of deadly force is permitted to prevent the commission of a felony. In section 943.10, the definition of law enforcement official is defined. In forthcoming information about Mr. Zimmerman, I am uncertain how this statute adequately defines him, but its quite informational concerning to whom law enforcement titles apply.

The real problem is that media outlets report on what is most sensational in order to get the most viewers in the shortest amount of time. Reporting is brief, with commentary from various experts, and is generally used in order to achieve ratings. There have even been reports on Mr. Zimmerman’s 911 call edited by a media outlet in order to achieve that inflammatory level of news reporting. Many, who listen to news and do not actually take the time to gather specific information pertinent to clarification between journalistic sensationalism and actual truth, have tried Mr. Zimmerman in failure of having a complete picture of the events that occurred in a two minute time span between the end of his 911 call and the arrival of well defined law enforcement officials and paramedic or other emergency medical services arrival. The fact that no one truly knows what happened in that time span, as several witnesses report totally differing accounts in testimony, the truth of that matter lies within the report of Mr. Zimmerman to law enforcement. It is supposition to claim that Mr. Zimmerman was lying in his statement to law enforcement at the time he was arrested and questioned as it is to determine that Mr. Martin was somehow suspicious. The truth of the matter remains that only two people truly knew what happened in that two minute span. One is alive, the other is tragically deceased.

Whether or not the entirety of Mr. Zimmerman’s impression of Mr. Martin appearing “suspicious, on drugs or something” is directly relative to the racial discrimination Mr. Zimmerman had is somewhat questionable. Considering that Mr. Zimmerman viewed someone in a hooded sweatshirt that may be utilizing its design in order to keep dry as it was raining is “suspicious, on drugs or something” seems inflammatory at best, perhaps even a bit paranoid considering Mr. Zimmerman’s opinion. I honestly do not believe or have been given evidence otherwise to conclude that Mr. Zimmerman may have been waiting for something to happen as he patrolled his neighborhood with a gun in his waistband. I also, upon being a person that has been deemed suspicious by the way I dress sometimes, find that behind such motivation is a preconceived notion that I somehow am a “terrorist” or is religiously charged as I follow hijab. I wear a headscarf and dress modestly, often doing so creates open prejudice, impolite treatment, and outright hatred for what I “represent”.

There are many seemingly racially charged reports, spurring protests all over the US, that may or may not be accurate. However, the truth lies within in his 911 call and the manner in which Mr. Martin is pursued. Mr. Zimmerman’s actions as a Neighborhood Watch participant in following Mr. Martin can be discerned in the communication he had with 911, the communication Mr. Zimmerman had with Mr. Martin, and the resulting death of Mr. Martin which is not heard by the dispatcher. Questions remain: Did Mr. Zimmerman attempt to apprehend Mr. Martin, spurning the teen to defend himself resulting in his grappling for Mr. Zimmerman’s gun? Did the voice heard shouting for help come from Mr. Martin or Mr. Zimmerman? Did the police do their job in failing to detain Mr. Zimmerman for killing Mr. Martin? Which eyewitness can be trusted? Did Mr. Zimmerman wrongfully shoot Mr. Martin or was it self defense? These questions may always be unanswered unless a Grand Jury or special prosecutor actually investigates further into the two minute altercation between the two men. Until that happens, perhaps it is best to remain informed and draw one’s own conclusion utilizing the links provided above.

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