Earlier this morning, in the comments thread on a previous post, a person identified only as “2227″ and representing him- or herself as a former police officer offered a few interesting observations regarding the Trayvon Martin case.
I don’t know if this person is actually an ex-cop, but I think what he (or she) said merits stand-alone treatment.
The following has been edited to eliminate a few unnecessary capitalizations, correct a few mispunctuations and misspellings and break up the submission into paragraphs to make it more readable.
As a former police officer myself, so far I am shocked at some of the beliefs about how things should be handled.
When a neighborhood organizes a watch system, it is to keep an eye out for suspicious activities. If you observe anything that alarms you, notify your police department and keep your eye on as much of what is happening until the police arrive.
If you have been advised to not approach the subject, but you do, you then become an aggressive participant in an unknown matter. Your level of training may not be vast enough to prepare you for unknown events. You certainly are not in a situation that requires immediate action. You are in a safe position to watch and wait for assistance. Unless you are trying to stop great bodily harm to yourself or others, you have time and distance to choose differently.
Now we have a person who saw a kid he thought was suspicious – for what? Do we know? He decides (after being advised not to) to approach a person in the dark out of sight that he said was suspicious. And do what?
Was he wearing a uniform or carrying ID that lets you know you are dealing with someone in a professional capacity? Was his car marked as a community patrol unit? These are some questions I have and the public needs to think about. Or did he follow someone in a deliberate mode almost stalking? Did he say something to the person that was threatening or fearful — so intimidating that it would frighten you and make you fear for your life in an isolated dark area where no one else could see you? Was that person so aggressive that it scared you to a mode of defense?
With so many robberies, murders, abductions going on today, may be the kid felt for his life, maybe he thought this guy was trying to do him bodily harm. Maybe he was right. But we won’t know, because he has no voice. He is dead, and everyone knows dead men tell no tales.
We can only get a one-sided account from a man who was told not to approach the child, but did. We can only wonder why he was so driven, why he was so aggressive, why he was so intent on having it his way.
Since when does the aggressor get to call it self-defense when the so-called perpetrator is moving away from them and not to them? If an unknown subject jumped or attacked you, or even stalked you, it might make you defend yourself by any means necessary.