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Reader: Line between vigilance and vigilantism crossed in Arbery case 

Editor,

Trespassing doesn’t justify a de facto death sentence. 

Ahmaud Arbery’s taped entry into an open house under construction at best was trespassing- a misdemeanor.

I’m as anti-crime as one can get but a misdemeanor offense, if he wasn’t sightseeing, is worth handing the baton of probable cause and response to law enforcement, something I’ve done dozens of times.

 Trespassing doesn’t justify a civilian roadblock and armed intervention, regardless of other suspicions. 

Years of passive monitoring in neighborhood watch,foot work as a citizen on patrol and consulting fed up folks give me insight into evident frustration and reckless zeal to catch a suspect.

Frustration and recklessness make one, no matter how well intentioned, a greater threat than whomever you’re observing.

Keeping an eye on a suspect and updating location until police arrive is the prudent course of action. It reduces possiblity of conflict since neither party has greater authority (a la George Zimmerman) and allows police to determine if the suspect is legitimately a suspect.

Neighborhood watch, citizens on patrol and good samaritans report suspicious activity daily without incident.

The line between vigilance and vigilantism in this case was tragically crossed.

Trespassing doesn’t justify a de facto death sentence.

Nadra Enzi
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