Sunday, April 15

Trayvon Case: A Bias of Rules (4#) -

Was Trayvon Martin smuggled into the gated community where the fatal shooting took place in violation of some rules or in breach of some protocols we haven't been told about yet?

I pose this question because I can't remember another such incident happening inside a gated community over the past twenty-five years or so. It may have happened, but I'm just not aware of it. And I have wondered why.

I first became aware of these communities more than twenty-five years ago when some of my elderly relatives moved into Century Village. I visited them, spending a weekend with them. Since then, I have become somewhat familiar with a couple of others.

It occurred to me early into the press coverage of this story that we don't know anything about the Retreat at Twin Lakes. Some of the most basic questions about such places have been on my mind, but we haven't been getting any more information.

Is this an Adults Only community where no youngsters are welcome or allowed? Are there any other youngsters living on the estate? Are there curfews established for youngsters? Are they usually enforced? If so, were the Martins advised about these rules when they entered the property?

I am given to understand that residents of these communities are often required to sign on to an elaborate agreement with many rules in order to live there. I have not examined one of these documents myself, but I am told that these agreements or contracts cover many topics, such as pets, holiday decorations, and guests. Some of these requirements have been described to me.

Here is a hypothetical list of what some of these rules might look like. Some communities are said to be very aggressive about enforcing them:

Residents agree to notify Front Gate Security in advance if they are expecting guests to visit them and will disclose the identities of such guests to Security so that their guests' authorization to be on the property may be verified.

Residents agree to not permit guests to roam the property after dark while unescorted. Residents agree to be aware of their guests' whereabouts at all times during the visit.

Residents agree to disallow any guests under the age of 19 from using the facilities such as pools, tennis courts, etc after dark.

The foregoing gives you some idea of what these rules might be like. Are there any such rules in place for the Retreat at Twin Lakes? Journalists covering the case don't seem to want to tell us thus far.

It seems to me that the very existence of such an agreement would automatically preclude any profiling because these rules would be universally applied. Did the residents living in the Twin Lakes Retreat sign such an agreement?

*  *  *
Ready for a bombshell revelation? None
of my regular readers will be very shocked . . .

Yesterday Jim Romenesko linked to an article by Paul Farhi at the WaPo which discloses that the story of this case is actually the product of a Public Relations executive in Orlando, Ryan Julison.

With memories of the previous Press Agent, David Marriott in Seattle, still fresh in our minds, here we go again!

:: Case Summary by Dershowitz ::