Trayvon Martin Town to Allow Gun-carrying Neighborhood Volunteers

Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 04:19 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Police in the Florida city where George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin have backed off a plan to explicitly ban neighborhood watch volunteers from carrying guns while on duty.

Earlier this month, police in Sanford, Florida, announced new rules on how civilian patrols can operate in an attempt to revive the program's reputation.

Sanford was thrust in the national spotlight last year when Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, gunned down Martin, an unarmed black teenager. Prosecutors accused Zimmerman of chasing down and killing Martin, but a jury acquitted him in July of murder.

Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith, in a phone interview on Wednesday, refused repeated requests to explain the reversal.

"That was the choice of the chief. That was my decision," Smith said. "What my thought is is unimportant."

Smith introduced the new rules and a new handbook for the town's neighborhood watch program at a community meeting on Tuesday.

Last week, his spokesman told Reuters the new rules would explicitly state that residents acting under the authority of neighborhood watch may not carry a firearm or pursue someone they deem suspicious.

The Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported the ban upset gun advocates, but Smith told Reuters he felt no pressure to make the change.

Neighborhood watch consists of residents who volunteer to be the eyes and ears of police in their neighborhoods, and simply report to police any suspicious activity.

"We are strongly suggesting, strongly recommending, strongly urging people not to be armed in the performance of neighborhood watch," Smith said.

Neighborhood watch programs, formally organized in 1972 under the National Sheriffs' Association, began in reaction to the notorious 1964 murder of Catherine Susan "Kitty" Genovese.

Her cries for help during an attack outside her Queens apartment reportedly were ignored by neighbors, one of whom was famously quoted as saying she did not want to get involved.

Today's neighborhood groups often are untrained and unsupervised by police, vary in their dedication to the job, and remain unregistered with either the sheriffs' association or local police agencies. (Editing by Kevin Gray and Richard Chang)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Border Patrol Agent Fires at Armed Militia Member

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 20:14 PM

The Border Patrol says an agent shot at someone near the Texas-Mexico border who later identified himself as a militia m . . .

Calif. Senate Approves Sweetened Tax Credits For Hollywood Studios

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 19:50 PM

The California State Senate has approved legislation on a 32-2 vote to extend and expand California's movie and TV tax c . . .

Groups Appeal GOP-Backed Fla. Congressional Maps, OK 2014 Vote

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 19:35 PM

A coalition of voters rights organizations that successfully sued Florida over gerrymandering is appealing the state's n . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved