by Patrick H. Moore

As we near the start of George Zimmerman’s trial for the alleged second degree murder of 17-year-old African American youth Trayvon Martin, it has been revealed that Zimmerman recently applied to become a police officer in his native Virginia, but was rejected by the application review board.

Rene Stutzman of the Orlando Sentinel has the story:

Prosecutors have filed paperwork revealing that murder defendant George Zimmerman applied to become a police officer in a county near Washington, D.C. but was turned down.

His application and rejection letter are among the latest pieces of evidence the state has notified defense attorneys they may use at Zimmerman’s trial, which begins Monday.

Neighborhood Watch Volunteer Zimmerman, who claims he acted in self-defense, shot and killed Trayvon Martin after calling police and describing the teenager as suspicious. Martin was unarmed.

travAlthough Zimmerman is claiming he acted in self-defense, the prosecutors’ case, in part, is based on their contention that he profiled the teenager based on his race and assumed he was about to commit a crime, which in turn led to the altercation.

The new list of evidence filed by the prosecution states:

Zimmerman applied to become an officer in Prince William County, Md., but that appears to be an error. There is no Prince William County in Maryland, however, there is one in Virginia, and it’s the site of Zimmerman’s hometown: Manassas.

Although it’s unclear when Zimmerman applied for the job and had his application turned down, there have been other indications that he has long had an interest in police work.

At the time of the shooting, he was close to completing a two-year degree in criminal justice at Seminole State College. He was also a member of a citizens’ academy, which is sponsored by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, and is geared to help people become more familiar with police work.

Revealingly, on his 2008 application to join that program, Zimmerman wrote:

“I hold law enforcement officers in the highest regard as I hope to one day become one.”

Zimmerman’s defense team is naturally concerned that the prosecution plans on depicting Zimmerman as a loose cannon “wannabe cop”. Defense attorney Mark O’Mara has filed a separate pleading in which he requests that the prosecution be banned from using a number of specific terms which he describes as “inflammatory”.

The terms include words such as  “profiled”, “vigilante”, “self-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain”, and “wannabe cop”.  In his paperwork, O’Mara has written:

There is no evidence Zimmerman confronted Trayvon and that it’s a oft-repeated “misstatement” that a police dispatcher told Zimmerman not to get out of his vehicle.

O’Mara is claiming that the use of such “loaded” phrases run the risk of unfairly prejudicing the jury.

protIn separate news, it has been revealed that the authorities — apparently anticipating a great deal of local interest — have set aside a “demonstration space” for trial watchers to congregate in near last year’s huge rally site in downtown Sanford. This area has been described as a “protest or assembly area.” An estimated 8,000 people gathered near Fort Mellon Park on March 26, 2012, at a rally calling for Zimmerman’s arrest.

Brief Analysis of George Zimmerman’s Interest in Police Work:

vigBased on my unique position working as a Mitigation Specialist in criminal defense, I have had the opportunity to perform several in-depth interviews with criminals who had formerly evinced a strong interest in joining law enforcement. My sense of these clients is that they were passionately interested in bringing the so-called “bad guys” to justice, perhaps too passionately interested. Such a desire can, and often does, become an obsession. In the case of George Zimmerman, it is entirely possible that he was over-zealous in pursuing Trayvon Martin primarily because he was “desperate” to make a name for himself, believing that a splashy, high-profile “take down” could greatly increase his chances of eventually landing a job in law enforcement.



5 Responses to George Zimmerman’s Application to Join His Hometown Police Force Was Rejected

  1. Roberta says:

    When this story first broke, it seemed to me that Zimmerman was overly zealous and a bit trigger happy. He likely is one of those individuals that would tend to abuse their authority, in their need to feel important.

    • Patrick H. Moore says:

      I think you’re right. Working as an investigator in criminal defense, I have had several clients who were very much like Zimmerman seems to be; desperate for power and attention, and willing to take huge risks to get attention. Does this mean that he’ll be convicted? The jury is still out on this important question. In fact, the jury has not even been selected yet.

      • Lauriel Axtell-Smedley says:

        I agree with you. I wonder if Zimmerman was given a Myers Briggs evaluation when he applied, which is given by many law enforcement agencies to applicants to weed out those with psychologically obsessive personalities. The prosecutors seem spot on using the term “wanna-be cop” about this individual. A detective I know with a life of experience in law enforcement has used the same term when referencing Zimmerman, and tells me these are the guys they hate to see get on the force, because they go out there playing cop, then scream for the cops to come help them clean up their messes.

        • Patrick H. Moore says:

          I’m sure that experienced law enforcement guys can spot these unbalanced wannabe hero types a mile away. I do criminal defense work and I once represented a client who was one of these types. His thing was impersonating a Federal agent. had the bogus badges and the whole nine yards. No great harm done in his case and he got off fairly easily — light federal prison sentence.

  2. […] police work would certainly qualify. Unfortunately he missed the bit about waiting for backup. George Zimmerman’s Application to Join His Hometown Police Force Was Rejected | All Things Cri… Win nervously lose tragically – Reds C C Reply With […]

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