Daily Archives: July 12, 2013

Bernie Giusto’s Surprise Zimmerman Trial Prediction

Zimmerman_Trial_genericI was right about the George Zimmerman case. Murder 2 was over charged in terms of true criminal culpability but not politically from the prosecutor’s point of view. Zimmerman will be convicted of Manslaughter just as I predicted. Hide and Watch.

Now the real interesting piece missed by the prosecution. A fine point and you need to have been a Chief to catch the subtle reference.  was right about the George Zimmerman trial. Murder 2 was over charged in terms of true criminal culpability but not politically from the prosecutor’s point of view. Zimmerman will be convicted of Manslaughter just as I predicted. Hide and Watch.


 When you take a gun to Neighborhood Watch as Zimmerman had every legal right  to do you are looking for this result.  However, the first prosecution called was the Neighborhood Watch coordinator for the Sanford Police Department when George Zimmerman called to set up a “Watch” in his neighborhood.

But this witness testified to a critical dynamic between her and Zimmerman missed by the prosecution and at the surface which could have been inferred to be a plus for the defense.  However in truth just the opposite with some informed probing.

She noted that after getting to know Zimmerman she had encouraged him to join the Sanford Police “Citizen Patrol” which is a step above Neighborhood Watch. He ‘declined’, her words not mine.  

In most cities Citizen Patrol involves active patrol of assigned areas by citizens who actually look for situations that require a police presence and then are actively involved with calling 911 or non emergency to call for police response. They normally are assigned in teams of at least two to patrol in “marked” police patrol marked in some way to reflect “Citizen Patrol”.  

The training is much more extensive and hands on in cooperation with the police department sponsoring their involvement.  Their presence is proactive instead of reactive as is the basis of Neighborhood Watch.  So why did George decline the offer to do what apparently had a great deal of appeal to him and that is seek out crime in his city/neighborhood.

Can you guess?

Simply the program would not allow Citizen Patrol participants to “CARRY A FIREARM” while acting as an agent of the city.  And yes the City could prohibit the carrying of a firearm while on Citizen Patrol regardless of the Concealed Carry law in the State Of Florida. But acting in the informal role of a Neighborhood Watch advocate there is no such prohibition and state law prevails.

While I have not researched the Citizen Patrol program in Sanford I can almost guarantee you that the city has placed very tight restrictions on the presence of firearms in the possession of citizens on patrol.

So why is that so important? It goes directly to Zimmerman’s zeal to follow, track or whatever he was doing to make sure Martin was held accountable for what he was not doing. The question becomes without the gun would he have been so committed or confident getting out of his vehicle and tracking Martin.  My contention as the prosecutor is that the gun not his concern about the neighborhood that cause him to continue after dispatch told him, “we don’t need you to do that” and he responded “ok”.

After all participating in the city’s Citizen Patrol would have allowed all of those opportunities just without a gun.

After considering the evidence and based on what was not said, here is what really happened just before the night became fatal…

Zimmerman did attempt to track Martin and lost him. I speculate that at some point as Zimmerman turned back toward to final confrontation point and before he was confronted by Martin he removed his weapon from the holster.  Shortly thereafter Martin and Zimmerman came in contact. Whatever verbal exchanged happened between the two, it was at that point Martin saw the gun not necessarily pointed at him and the struggle ensued. My belief is that the injuries Zimmerman sustained resulted from that struggle and it was Martin yelling for help because of the gun which he was attempting to take away or at least protect himself from at that point.

Technically in the end it does not make any difference in terms of the law if Zimmerman had the gun holstered or out of the holster as it pertains to Stand Your Ground–if he did not threaten Martin with the weapon for no reasonable purpose including pointing the firearm at him.  However it makes huge difference in perception of the cops, the prosecutors, the public and most importantly the jury if the story changes from a struggle over holstered weapon which was suddenly viewed by the eventual victim and a weapon which was already drawn as the defendant approached the eventual victim even without one of the elements of Murder 2 in Florida..”ill will”. However it makes a compelling argument for a conviction for Manslaughter.  

Especially when Trayvon Martin was simply just there arguably by the mystrerious grace of God.

And that’s what happens and the risk you take “When You Take a Gun to Neighborhood Watch.”

Bernie Giusto is the former Multnomah County Sheriff, former Gresham Police Chief and Councilmember, former OSP trooper, current Chair of the Multnomah County ESD and is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce. 

Post Zimmerman Trial Riot Watch Started

blind_justiceThe District Attorney of Seminole County and the new Police Chief of Sanford, Florida have assured the people of Seminole County that they don’t expect riots but should they come, they’re prepared.

Why would there be any talk of riots? After all, criminal cases are conducted all the time without fear of riots. The talk exists because of the stoking of the racial fires by professional race baiters who came to stir it up after the shooting. Those race baiters included “The Reverend” Al Sharpton, of MSNBC, ‘Diamond Merchant’ and Tawana Brawley fame, and the Obama Justice Department which has been revealed to have come to Seminole County after the shooting to organize rallies and galvanize public opinion against, as the New York Times put it, “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman.

Judicial Watch has received, through Freedom of Information requests, documents showing the Eric Holder/Obama Justice Department. Find their news release on it here and see some of the main facts discovered for yourself:

  • March 25 – 27, 2012, CRS spent $674.14 upon being “deployed to Sanford, FL, to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”
  • March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 “in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, FL “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida.”
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”
  • April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”
  • April 11 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.”

Now if you don’t think there’s nothing inappropriate about the Justice Department sending government employees to foment rallies and public opinion against a person who’s presumed innocent until proven guilty then you have lost your objectivity. Justice is supposed to be blind. In the Obama/Holder Justice Department it is clearly not. This is dangerous –and unconstitutional–ground. Frightening even. 

With the Judicial Watch revelations in mind, look at this meme circulating in conservative circles. 

  • funny zimmerman riot