Author’s Note, April 23, 2012: I have removed the word “gated” from my description of the Twin Lakes community per the following link: “According to Ryan Julison, assistant to Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump, Twin Lakes is actually not entirely gated.
There is also no guard at the gate, there are no high fences. The community is just modest condos, Julison says, not protected with the electronic equivalent of a castle moat. So the Gate Access Form provided by The Retreat at Twin Lakes Homeowners Association could be considered somewhat misleading.” – J. Neil Schulman
On February 26, 2012 George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in the Sanford, Florida Retreat at Twin Lakes community which had recently suffered a spate of home burglaries, observed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin walking in circles in the rain, and telephoned his local police department to report the activity as suspicious.
While on the phone with the police dispatcher Zimmerman reportedly followed Martin, and at some point there was a confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin in which witnesses report Zimmerman down on the ground with Martin on top of him. We know this confrontation ended when Zimmerman, who was licensed to carry a concealed firearm, fatally shot Martin.
Zimmerman is now out on bond, charged by Florida with Second Degree Murder. The state’s affidavit in support of this charge alleges that Zimmerman improperly followed Martin, initiating the confrontation, even though in the bail hearing State Investigator Dale Gilbreath testified that Florida does not know whether Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after the police dispatcher advised him this was not needed, and even though according to Dale Gilbreath’s testimony the State does not know whether Zimmerman or Martin started the fight.
But it’s the Florida prosecution’s contention that Zimmerman can not claim self-defense justifying his use of deadly force since by following Martin he created the circumstances leading to the teenager’s death.
Much of the discussion of this case has referred to Zimmerman’s right to be armed, constitutionally preserved under the Second Amendment. I’ve previously written on these pages that instead of restricting George Zimmerman’s right to keep and bear arms, it should have been expanded to include Trayvon Martin’s right to defend his life.
But what has not been discussed is whether as a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, George Zimmerman was acting properly in following Trayvon Martin.
I think the Third Amendment speaks to that question.
The Third Amendment reads, “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
A narrow reading of this prohibition against “quartering” has failed to find a legal case to apply it to in the 221 years since it was added to the Bill of Rights. But this amendment’s placement between amendments preserving the right to keep and bear arms and restrictions on the powers of the government with respect to the privacy of the people deserves closer examination.
- George Zimmerman prepares for release from jail; lawyer visits (eve1748.wordpress.com)
- WAIT: Did Florida Prosecutors Already Admit They Have A Weak Case Against Zimmerman? (businessinsider.com)
- George Zimmerman out on bail with GPS tracker (+video) (csmonitor.com)
- George Zimmerman attorney says apology ill-timed (clickorlando.com)
- George Zimmerman’s Bail Set at $150,000 in Trayvon Martin’s Shooting – NYTimes.com (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- George Zimmerman Released on Bond (fox8.com)
- George Zimmerman released on bond (fox6now.com)
- George Zimmerman released on bond (fox13now.com)
- Zimmerman Released from Jail (wreg.com)
- Attorney: Zimmerman Apology To Martin’s Family Was Ill-Timed (tampa.cbslocal.com)
- First Trayvon Martin- George Zimmerman related hate crime reported in Chicago (Thanks Al!) (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- George Zimmerman Freed on Bond (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- George Zimmerman released on bond (kshb.com)
- George Zimmerman Released From Sanford, Florida Jail On Bond Sunday Night (mediaite.com)
- George Zimmerman Gets Bailed Out Of Jail In Trayvon Martin Case (perezhilton.com)
- Trayvon Martin’s killer leaves Florida jail (firstpost.com)
- George Zimmerman released on bail (vancouversun.com)
- George Zimmerman released on bond (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- All eyes on Fla. jail as Zimmerman awaits release (miamiherald.com)
- Judge grants bail for George Zimmerman….. (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- George Zimmerman Posts Bond and Is Released From Jail (subzinfo.wordpress.com)