By Seana Sperling
Certain laws have been created since 2001 that have empowered the crazies and bastions of them are trolling the streets and the Internet. The creation of The Patriot Act, unconscionable Supreme Court decisions and The National Security Letter have abridged several Amendments to the Constitution. To name a couple, The Fourth Amendment (The Right to Privacy) and Sixth Amendment (Restricting Whisper Campaigns: meaning, that no one can be accused without knowing the accusation and the accuser before him/her.) In the new millennium the Fourth Amendment has taken the most severe blows. Our advances in technology, such as the Internet and cell phone usage have opened vast opportunities for people to track and report on others as well as falsely and secretly accuse them.
There are groups that have formed on the Internet that stalk people online and offline for a cause. According to www.care2.com some Right to Life members stalk abortion doctors. Texas Fred appeared on FOX news years ago talking about his predilection for stalking Sex Offenders. The Gargoyles Motorcycle Club of Washington State also make this claim. While I’m no defender of Sex Offenders I don’t think vigilante harassment is justified.
There are also Neighborhood Watch members that think it is okay to track their neighbors for suspicious activity. There is no legal statute for this "Cause Stalking," and they are in fact vigilantes breaking the law and acting against The Fourth Amendment. Stalking is illegal, but under the "If you see something, say something," rules of the day, this type of stalking is ignored by Law Enforcement.
Unfortunately this behavior of tracking just anybody has led to many tragedies. Trayvon Martin, the teen who was shot by Neighborhood Watch Captain George Zimmerman, is the most recent case. George Zimmerman, empowered with his Neighborhood Watch status, felt he had a right to follow 17 year-old Martin who had no weapons and was merely returning home from the convenience store. In the recorded cell phone call Martin made to his girlfriend we hear Martin asking Zimmerman why he was following him. It’s a very good question. The actions of this Neighborhood Watch member seemed to be to intimidate and harass. Then Zimmerman allegedly shot him. Self-defense? Stand your ground? If there was a fight, it seemed that Zimmerman picked it.
Part of what entitles these Tracking Bullies is the paranoid and self-righteous age we live in. Everyone is looking over their shoulder, toting firearms and thinking it is okay to act like Police. The fact that Law Enforcement does not restrain these stalking groups is very disturbing. What kind of training does the Neighborhood Watch get from Law Enforcement? If they are a Neighborhood Watch, they should stick to "Watching," and not stalk people. The 911 Dispatcher expressly told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. According to the KIRO News report he said, "You don’t need to do that."
This departure from our Constitutional Rights, common sense and civility is endemic and creates an environment of fear and mistrust. Tracking, stalking by whatever name is a breach of Civil Liberties and in violation of our Constitution and the law. The fact that it is hard to prosecute someone that has Neighborhood Watch status is also alarming. If Law Enforcement won’t prosecute the Watch Captain for stalking someone, does it surprise you that Zimmerman was not booked for murder that same night?
Then there are revenge stalkers. They don’t have a particular cause, but they do have a grudge. According to a 2006 KIRO Channel 7 News story a Revenge Seeker, Christina Orozco, was sentenced for stalking and harassment, which included sending out false Sex Offender Notices to the victim’s family, friends and workplace. According to the report, she also set up a defamatory website to further destroy her victim’s reputation. The KIRO story can be seen here...
The report did not include the motivation behind the destructive actions of the vengeance seeker. What could possibly compel someone to try and completely destroy another human in this fashion? Also, did the woman act alone? If so, she must have been capable of being in many places at once because she tracked her victim everywhere to spread the slander.
No one should be tracked or spied upon. This is not how humans are supposed to live on our beautiful garden planet. A wild Leopard or Eagle will stalk for food. This is a natural occurrence and not an act of vengeance. I can’t imagine a Leopard carrying a grudge against another animal and thusly following it around everywhere it went. Leopards nap too much. How about a Pigeon with a cause or a Penguin watching for suspicious activity? Hopefully they will never become as dissolute as we humans.