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This is why the history of the Sanford, Florida Police Department is in question.

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-12 03:54 PM
Original message
This is why the history of the Sanford, Florida Police Department is in question.
Adam Weinstein at Mother Jones has done some fine investigative work here:

March 18, 2012

Why is the history of the Sanford Police Department in question?

Sanford PD's officers have suffered a series of public missteps in recent years, according to local reporters. In 2006 two private security guardsthe son of a Sanford police officer, and a volunteer for the departmentkilled a black teen with a single gunshot in his back. Even though they admitted to never identifying themselves, the guards were released without charges. In 2009, after an assailant allegedly attempted to rape a child in her home, the department was called to task for sitting on the suspect's fingerprints, delaying identification and pursuit of the attacker.

Perhaps the most significant incident occurred in late 2010: Justin Collison, the son of a Sanford PD lieutenant, sucker-punched a homeless black man outside a bar, and officers on the scene released Collison without charges. He eventually surrendered after video of the incident materialized online. The police chief at the time was ultimately forced into retirement. "Bottom line, we didn't do our job that night," a Police Department representative told WFTV of the incident. The TV station later learned that the Sanford patrol sergeant in charge on the night of Collison's assault, Anthony Raimondo, was also the first supervisor on the scene of Trayvon Martin's shooting death.

As a result of these incidents and their initial handling of Martin's death, the Sanford Police Department has been under increased scrutiny. Martin's parents have suggested they might call for Police Chief Bill Lee to resign.


From some late updates at the end of the piece:

UPDATE 11, 7:00 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, March 20:

Mother Jones has received an exclusive statement from NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, weighing in on Trayvon Martin's death:

It appears that Trayvon Martin was stalked and murdered by a neighborhood watch volunteer. In recent years, people with connections to the Sanford Police Department have gotten away with assaulting and even killing black men. We requested and welcome the Department of Justice's involvement. Trayvon's killer must be brought to justice. The people of Sanford deserve to understand why the police did not lock him up the day the killing happened. And the nation must ensure that this pattern and practice of people attacking and killing black men with impunity is ended.

From TIME:

March 20, 2012


As astonishing as it sounds, Sanford police have refused to charge Zimmerman although the state attorney's office now says it will convene a grand jury next month to investigate the case. The cops have been balking in large part because, under the stand-your-ground statute, they're virtually obligated to accept his argument that he was acting in self-defense even if it was Martin who may have felt more threatened, according to recordings of 911 calls by neighbors that were released over the weekend. The 2005 Florida law permits anyone, anywhere to use deadly force against another person if they believe their safety or life is in danger, and it's the state's usually futile task to prove that the act wasn't justified. Little wonder the St. Petersburg Times found that five years after the law was signed by then Governor Jeb Bush who called it a "good, commonsense anti-crime" bill claims of justifiable homicides in Florida more than tripled, from just over 30 to more than 100 in 2010. In that time, the stand-your-ground defense was used in 93 cases involving 65 deaths and in the majority of those cases, it worked.

Pro-gun advocates like the National Rifle Association, which pushed hard for stand your ground, say it simply broadens citizens' capacity for self-defense. But if Dooley and now Zimmerman do walk, there may be an understandable public backlash against a statute that in reality has made the streets, bars and parks of Florida and of the at least 16 other states that have enacted similar laws since 2005 more dangerous spaces. Stand your ground, which many Floridians sardonically call "shoot first," didn't broaden self-defense as much as it broke with centuries of British and American common (and commonsense) law that absolved such deadly force only in cases involving the "castle doctrine," that is, defending one's home against a violent intruder.


This is what we have:

1. A local police department that has a questionable history of protecting its officers who have committed improper, some racially motivated, actions against the community it is sworn to serve and protect.

2. A controversial state law pushed through the Florida Republican legislature in 2005 at the bidding of ALEC and the NRA and signed by Jeb Bush, that enables more of that behavior, with impunity, by like-minded vigilantes across the state.

Swift and decisive action must be taken to combat this.

Let's start with an arrest and prosecution of one George Zimmerman.

Then, a repeal of the "Stand Your Ground" abomination.

Then, an investigation into the Sanford Police Department.

Then, this November, vote out every last one of these harshly ideological conservatives who have ripped the throat out of Florida from the comfort of their leather chairs in Tallahassee since 1999.

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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-12 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. Probable Cause for Zimmerman's arrest? (in response to the WFTV news report)
Edited on Wed Mar-21-12 04:24 PM by Leopolds Ghost
m_eavey on "State Attorney's Offices overwhelmed by emails demanding justice for slain teen" Sunday, 09:25 PM

I find it interesting that many people are even thinking for a minute that Martin provoked Zimmerman. Zimmerman was told in the 911 call..NOT not to follow the suspicious individual, Interference with a Police Investigation & probable cause right there. In the 911 call he stated that the officer could call him to get his location when PD arrives on scene. Why? He was following Martin and did not know at the time where he would be further proof he was following Martin.....

Also, Neighborhood watch is a "watch & report" program, The federal and state level criminal justice code specfically prohibits a neighborhood watch "volunteer" to carry or use a firearm. That moron of a police chief had his probable cause for arrest, on that single fact alone.

I love the misguided fools who actually believe the self-defense claims of Zimmerman, The law specifically states you must be protecting "your" home, person or vehicle from a forcible felony. Even if Trevon Martin and Zimmerman were engaged in a fist fight that was more than likely instigated by Zimmerman, that is no reason for the use of deadly force. The fact that two women had attempted to give their statement to Sanford PD, the detectives told at least one witness it was Zimmerman crying for help, that is leading a witness which is very odd for a PD to do. Although I have never heard of a single case where the man with the gun is the one doing the begging and pleading. And in every case it's is always the person at the shooting end of the gun that "IS" begging and pleading.

To shoot an unarmed man or teen in self defense in a backyard that wasn't even your property is certainly illegal since there is no forcible felony in that scenario. I'm sure once the FDLE reviews this case Zimmerman will be arrested, there are several instances of probable cause that were blatently overlooked. Zimmerman is a loose cannon and did wrongfully murder a teen.

Posted by m_eavey (at) yahoo (com) on March 18 at 9:25 p.m.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-12 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Here's an example of the typical attitude many folks have about gated communities
Edited on Wed Mar-21-12 04:31 PM by Leopolds Ghost
harveyh48 on "State Attorney's Offices overwhelmed by emails demanding justice for slain teen" Friday, 06:10 AM

There are a few things about this, that haven't come out yet. If it were a gated community, the teenager shouldn't have been able to come and go as he pleased, the person he was visiting should have needed to let him in or out the gate. He was by himself, apparently. Zimmerman took a beating, but still no story as to why, or for what reason confronted the teen in the first place. A candy run, while visiting a friend? Seems a little odd as well, something you do before, or after visiting, but not something that can't wait. Could have been just an excuse to get out for a few minutes of mischief. At 17, pretty sure he was aware of how a gated community works, and neighborhood watch. If he wasn't doing anything wrong, would (he) have needed to beat up the vigilante (?) the friend's family could have straightened out. Does armed mean that they actually have to be displaying the weapon, or simple implying that they have one in their pocket? Think there is a lot more to this to come out. It's an active investigation, and no charges filed, so the details aren't public information.

Are most suburbanites like this? I grew up in an actual town, so I don't know.
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tnlefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-12 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I don't know but harveyh48 is an asshat, and an incorrect one at that....
the slain young Mr. Martin was visiting his father. Seems as if the aforementioned asshat is trying to make excuses for the murder of a 17 yr. old young man.
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tnlefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-12 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. I caught an interview earlier that Tamron Hall did with Rep. Baxley,
who wrote the law, and he basically said that what Zimmerman did was against the intent of the law. That the law was to protect people who felt threatened in their homes or cars. /

I heard an interview earlier that Ed Schultz did with Joe Madison and they discussed the history of Sanford, some if what you've posted about. This is outrageous and sickening to me.

Sorry, sad state of affairs.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-12 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Sanford police did not test Zimmerman for drugs/alcohol at the scene, as req'd in homicide invest's
There are some serious problems in the Sanford Police Department.

When will justice make an appearance in Florida for Trayvon, his family and the furious public?

It is absolutely crucial that George Zimmerman be arrested and prosecuted for this murder.

And, the steady stream of right wing legislation that is tearing this state apart must be slammed down.

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tnlefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-12 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I swear that Joe Madison mentioned that Trayvon was tested for
Edited on Wed Mar-21-12 07:08 PM by tnlefty
drugs and alcohol and that Zimmerman, as you mentioned, was not.

My youngest is 17, and I can't imagine what Trayvon's parents and family are going through. Sometimes, when I allow my thoughts to go there, I can't imagine what his father is dealing with living in the same community with the vigilante, full of himself, (not enough swear words), shithead who murdered his son. I honestly don't think that I could control myself.

I'll mention a warning for this link, but if you missed it, I know what I heard, and my 22 year old knew nothing about what was supposedly said, and his jaw dropped when he heard it. /

I'm angry that Zimmerman is being treated with kid gloves even though the Sanford police are very familiar with him (battery charges dropped against a police officer), and his flurry of calls to them. Perhaps some research on Zimmerman's family looking for any connections to them and anyone, even the dog catcher, in government in FL is in order.

I wish you luck in getting rid of the radical right in your state. They're passing all kinds of bullshit legislation here in TN, but I'm not certain that the folks here who are furious will be able to replace the nutters with more sane candidates - redistricting has led to many democratic state reps. and senators retirement. I'll be living in a crazy shithole for a while longer.

edit: I didn't go to your link before I mentioned what Joe Madison stated, as it's in the link. :blush:
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-21-12 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. A lot of educated and informed comments on the TIME article. Perhaps there is hope for humanity
Lex M4

Stand Your Ground Law (FL statute section 776.013) does not apply to first aggressor. FL statute section 776.041 (Use of Force by Aggressors) requires first aggressor exhaust means of retreat before use deadly force against the other party. But in homicide cases, it is often hard to tell who was the first aggressor. Without any live witness, the killer would claim the dead person was first aggressor and claim no duty to retreat, and the dead person was, well, dead. Essentially, if you just beat another person up, he could press charge of assault. But if you shot him dead, he can't dispute your stand-your-ground self-defense.

That is what I call "a license to kill."


Stand Your Ground Law is a cop out. What ever happen to an old fashion fist fight? Just because you got knocked around a few times does not qualifiy that your life is in danger. It's obsurd that 250 lb Zimmerman felt threatened by a 140lb boy. If it was a 150lb woman would he have shot her? Why does this type of activity happen in the state of Florida?

8 hours ago 5 likes


...cavemen who prefer to move back into time and behave like troglodytes rather than grow up and show they have real balls.
I can tell you one thing ... I don't need a gun, my genitalia are big enough.
It is soooo simple .. anyone who is part of neighborhood watch is nothing but a guy who can't find a woman to get laid with .. that's why he needs to buy a gun and go around killing people ...


did anything good came from Bush family in America?

1 hour ago 3 likes
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