Imagine you a wanted poster of a person wanted of a crime in your neighborhood. Now imagine weeks, maybe a month later you see a person resembling the person on that wanted poster. What do you do?
If I ended here most people would answer, without any further analysis, 'call the police'...
Police will ask you to describe the person first to be sure there is a possible match. Most people will get something wrong even if only being minutes from the last sight of them. It might be the color of clothing, height, weight or age. Our memories are lazy and without training tend to look for features that obviously stand out.
The second thing police will askbis where is this person now? How do you answer, most likely you'll tell them the direction they were heading and if he's not still in the area, out in the open that person will just continue evading justice.
Knowing these facts you make the decision to follow at a reasonable distance. Why? For one, the longer you concentrate on someone, the better the description you'll be able to give. Second, knowing the suspects location or at least narrowing the possibilities, makes it much more likely the police will be able to apprehend the suspect and indentify if they are indeed the person on that wanted poster you saw. They will then thank you for your diligence and good citizenship...
On the other hand you run a risk. What if the suspect catches on you're following?
By the principals espoused by more than a few viners, the suspect has the right to attack you. The suspect, according to them, has a right to punch you, knock you down, and keep attacking. The suspect after all is only standing THIER ground... right.
Oh I know, no one actually believes this... no one would actually say that... yes they would and they have.
If the above scenario sounded vaguely familiar it should.
Stand Your Groud laws are under attack and hypocritically so.
On Feb 26 2012 George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin. Martin a teenager visiting the neighborhood, was unknown to Zimmerman. Probably unknown to Martin, black teenagers had been breaking into area homes. Martin was not on a wanted poster but did fit the description if only vaguely. Zimmerman attapted to follow him home, to let police know his location. Attempted because they never made it.
We don't need to go play by play here. We all know the outcome and no one knows what happened with certainty inbetween but absent those facts, it has too many times to recall that Martin had a right to STAND HIS GROUND against the man trying to protect his neighborhood from a recent string of burglaries... And while they claim Martin's right to stand his ground, they attack Zimmerman's.
It's hypocritical at best but also very dangerous. Police rely on the public's assistance. This is the reason why they publish wanted posters, list them on websites and why they envoke phrases like 'if you see some, say something' and why they establish neighborhood watch programs. If suspects had the right to attack those who might suspect them, and you had no right to defend yourself from them...