Sunday, April 22, 2012

Baltimore Patrol members on trial

Having family who lives in the area and having recently spent a lot of time there - I fully understand the problems and dangers the Werdesheim's were facing in patrolling that area.

The incident occurred in November 2010, with charges brought against Eliyahu Werdesheim in December and, later, against his brother, Avi. There are some parallels - vigilantism, race, and self-defense - but also major differences - most notably the fatal outcome in the Florida case but also the handling by law enforcement.

With the trial scheduled to begin, here's a refresher on some of the facts in each case.

-The Werdesheim brothers were members of a group called Shomrim, Orthodox Jewish volunteers who patrol their Northwest Baltimore neighborhood. The group has meetings and bylaws, as well as radios and matching jackets, and for years was praised by city officials and police for their efforts. In Florida, shooter George Zimmerman, described as white-Hispanic had helped set up a neighborhood watch program with the assistance of the Sanford Police Department and had been appointed the "captain" of the program, according to reports. Both have been accused of being overzealous - Zimmerman had called 911 dozens of times before the shooting incident, while some black Baltimore residents and even police officers said Shomrim members sometimes took their role too far.

-Eliyahu Werdesheim worked for a security company and claimed to be an former Israeli special forces solider; Zimmerman wanted to be a police officer, having attended a four-month course at the local sheriff's department and enrolled in a local college and took law enforcement courses.

1 comment :

  1. There are two organizations in NW Baltimore which patrol the streets at night, NWCP and Shomrim. NWCP has a policy that nobody is allowed to get out of the car for any reason. It just reports suspicious activity to police via walkie-talkie and watches people get in their houses safely. This policy is safer from a legal perspective.


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