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On Anderson Cooper 360 yesterday, I heard an interview that I had to search for on the internet and listen to several times to believe what I was hearing. This was Zimmerman's neighbor, Frank Taffe.


Cooper asked Taaffe to describe Zimmerman. He said, “George Zimmerman was a very congenial, amiable admirable person. He was very very kind to everyone in our community and I really appreciated and so did the rest of our residents that he stepped up and took over the position as neighborhood watch captain to ensure the safety of all the residents in our community.”

When asked if he was aware Zimmerman was armed with a gun, Taaffe said, “I was extremely shocked to the fact that he was carrying a gun, yes.”

Asked what shocked him most, Taaffe said, “The lethal weapon, it wasn’t George. As I said, he was a very congenial, amiable man. The use of a lethal weapon, a deadly lethal weapon, as the 9 millimeter that he used was very shocking to me. It didn’t fit the person.”

Cooper asked Taaffe to describe his neighborhood and to discuss if there had been burglaries. Taaffe said, “I have lived at Twin Lakes since 2006, July 2006. In the last 15 months, we have experienced eight burglaries. One, which was perpetrated during the daylight hours. Most, the majority of the perpetrators, were young, black males.”

When asked to reflect on what’s happened, Taaffe said, “This was a perfect storm. You had a neighborhood that was experiencing extremely high tension and anxiety and with the burglaries we, pardon my phrase, we were a Defcon-5."  Cooper brought up the topic of race because so many people have said they consider Zimmerman a racist and that Martin was shot because he was black.

When asked if he believes race played a factor in Trayvon’s death Taaffe said, “Absolutely not.” When asked why he felt so strongly he said, “George is not a racist. He was just performing his duties as watch captain. Whether it be African American, Latino, Asian, or white, he would’ve done the same thing. He would have approached the person and asked him 'What’s your business here?' and if he (Trayvon) had just answered him in an appropriate manner, 'I’m just here visiting. My mother’s house is around the corner,' and be upfront and truthful, there wouldn’t be any problem.”

This is, without a doubt, the most shocking and reprehensible thing I have heard said to date about this case. Why Anderson did NOT followup on these outrageous statements, I cannot imagine. But this man CLEARLY is putting the blame on this murderered young man for his own death.

I wonder how many more in that community feel the same way. Evidently, the police there feel the same.

Absolutely outrageous.

(Previously posted at DU)

10:17 AM PT: Latest Taafe comment to MSNBC:

Taafe: "George was no Rambo. He was a caring person. It is really sad he has already been convincted by the public media and already sentenced to the gas chamber."

MSNBC: "Do you think he had anger issues?"

Taafe: "I think he had "Fed Up Issues. I think he was Mad as Hell and he wasn't going to take it anymore."

11:09 AM PT: Problems in the 6-year-old community started during the recession, when foreclosures forced owners to rent out to “low-lifes and gangsters,” said Frank Taaffe, a former neighborhood block captain.

 “Just two weeks before this shooting, George called me at my girlfriend’s house to say he saw some black guy doing surveillance at my house, because I had a left a window open,” Taaffe said. “He thwarted a potential burglary of my house.”

Taaffe sounded chagrined when he noted that the complex is now majority-minority. Census figures show Retreat at Twin Lakes is 49 percent white, non-Hispanic, 23 percent Hispanic, 20 percent African-American and 5 percent Asian.

Read more here:

Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 5:24 PM PT: Taaffe back on CNN: "you plant corn, you get corn." And calls his neighborhood.. neighbor-HOOD, and says "hood" twice.

Originally posted to KGardner on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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