It always makes me cringe when I hear Neighborhood Watch and Travon Martin’s name uttered in the same sentence. The death of Travon Martin was a senseless, racially charged killing that ended up playing out in the courts. Marking the 10th anniversary of his death is a tragic reminder.
Neighborhood Watch Played No Role
Nowhere is it written that members of Neighborhood Watch are to be armed and engage the public in a crime-fighting manner. When Travon Martin’s shooter called 911, the dispatcher repeatedly ordered him to stand down and wait for law enforcement professionals to arrive.
Neighborhood Watch Is a Useful Tool
Any tool can be used for the wrong reasons or be abused in some way. Neighborhood Watch is not to blame for the death of Travon Martin. The strategy was never widely criticized in the aftermath of Travon Martin’s death, nor have any police departments stopped partnering with law abiding citizens to implement the strategy.