Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In Reply: Perhaps 911 dispatchers need to rethink how they "suggest" that wannabe heroes and morons not put themselves in danger by approaching or following the potentially dangerous criminals they're calling 911 about

Revised and extended, in reply to a whole lotta back and forth about the 911 dispatcher and George Zimmerman at the post Can Anyone Verify These Disturbing Allegations About Trayvon’s Family? : The Other McCain:

Hopefully 911 (emergency and non) throughout the country will rethink the best way to talk to people who haven't got the good sense to understand that "we don't need you to do that, sir" is a "suggestion" that callers not put themselves in further danger by approaching the potential criminals they're calling about. It's not illegal to be a moron, but neither party would've been injured if only Zimmerman understood, and had listened to the guy with a whole lot of experience dealing with first responders and potentially dangerous situations...though no, he was under no legal obligation to do so.

While they're at it, they probably ought to consider rephrasing how they ask which direction the potential criminal went, perhaps including the phrase "from where you are now, and please don't go after the man/woman/group you're telling me may be dangerous criminals," in deference to those same kinda morons.

Based on the evidence available and the laws as they stand, Zimmerman could not be convicted. Also, he didn't commit a hate crime. But--like Christopher Serino says, Zimmerman ultimately could've avoided this whole thing--not been hit, and not killed anyone--if only he had done things differently, either waiting in his car for the police (which the dispatcher also gently "suggested,") or at least approaching Martin differently, perhaps saying he was part of the neighborhood watch, and saying that Martin seemed unsure of which house he was looking for. While that doesn't matter criminally (though I think it should), it hopefully will matter civilly.

Posted Tuesday, 7/16/2013, 8:25 AM

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