Submitted without comment. From New York Times:
Strangers had started showing up, said Frank Taaffe, 55, a marketing specialist, originally from the Bronx, who works out of his home in the Retreat. He made it clear that he was not talking about just any strangers.
“There were Trayvon-like dudes with their pants down,” Mr. Taaffe said.
Taaffe trailed off before alluding to Trayvon’s “suspicious” appearance — then took up the subject directly.
“What if it was your neighborhood? And you had been phased by all the criminal activities that had transpired in your neighborhood?,” Taaffe elaborated, “and after eight burglaries — and they were all [done] by the same group of individuals, young black males, documented, that perpetrated these crimes — how would you feel if somebody walked through your neighborhood that more or less was within that scope? Would you not confront them and say, ‘Hey, what’s going on? Where are you going? What’s up?’ I know I would do the same thing. And I have done it.”
Yet, the Retreat at Twin Lakes has a 20 percent black population according to the U.S. Census. If Taaffe and Zimmerman had received the neighborhood watch training that was available, Zimmerman might have realized that a black male walking near his home at night is not suspicious. Correct training teaches volunteers to observe and report intelligently, which includes knowing what is and isn’t out of place.
From the same Grio article:
Taaffe came to know Zimmerman intimately while acting as a watch block captain under George, who was captain of the neighborhood watch. Taaffe claims he saw the real Zimmerman — and that he is not a racist.
“He went around and did introduce himself to a few of the neighbors,” Frank remembered about his buddy, “As a matter of fact, there’s an African-American couple that lives next door to me that he introduced himself [to], and they didn’t find him racist at all.”
Usual disclaimer – obviously guilt or innocence is for the court to decide, and Zimmerman is not responsible for what some jerk said to defend him. But maybe a quick phone call to his neighborhood watch buddy? “Dude, you’re not really helping me out here!”