Reuters explains why George Zimmerman got a permitted concealed handgun
Based on extensive interviews with relatives, friends, neighbors, schoolmates and co-workers of Zimmerman in two states, law enforcement officials, and reviews of court documents and police reports, the story sheds new light on the man at the center of one of the most controversial homicide cases in America.
The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather - the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.
A criminal justice student who aspired to become a judge, Zimmerman also concerned himself with the safety of his neighbors after a series of break-ins committed by young African-American men.
Though civil rights demonstrators have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, one black neighbor of the Zimmermans said recent history should be taken into account.
"Let's talk about the elephant in the room. I'm black, OK?" the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. "There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood," she said. "That's why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin." . . .
A pit bull named Big Boi began menacing George and Shellie Zimmerman in the fall of 2009. The first time the dog ran free and cornered Shellie in their gated community in Sanford, Florida, George called the owner to complain. The second time, Big Boi frightened his mother-in-law's dog. Zimmerman called Seminole County Animal Services and bought pepper spray. The third time he saw the dog on the loose, he called again. An officer came to the house, county records show.
"Don't use pepper spray," he told the Zimmermans, according to a friend. "It'll take two or three seconds to take effect, but a quarter second for the dog to jump you," he said.
"Get a gun."
That November, the Zimmermans completed firearms training at a local lodge and received concealed-weapons gun permits. . . .
Zimmerman apparently had learned that the police would not always be able to respond in a timely manner.
The last time Zimmerman had called police, to report Burgess, he followed protocol and waited for police to arrive. They were too late, and Burgess got away.UPDATE: There is some good news. Zimmerman's legal defense can easily cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars or even a half million -- murder trials are very costly. In addition, Zimmerman is currently unemployed. However, donations to help cover Zimmerman's costs have reached over $200,000, so that is a very helpful start. Hopefully, with articles like this from Reuters the total can get closer to covering his costs.
This time, Zimmerman was not so patient, and he disregarded police advice against pursuing Martin. . . .