Lawmakers stall on Neighborhood Watch bill; cite concerns stemmi - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Lawmakers stall on Neighborhood Watch bill; cite concerns stemming from Trayvon Martin murder

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Lawmakers continue to disagree on a bill that would allow neighborhood watch groups to patrol streets with flashing amber lights on top of their cars.
 
The lights bill was inspired by citizen groups in Omaha that patrol neighborhoods in an effort to stop crime.

However in the wake of George Zimmerman and the Trayvon Martin shooting death, senators are asking the tough questions. One of those questions is what criteria area county attorney's should use to allow neighborhood watch groups to use these lights.
 
"What standard would the county attorney use?" asks Omaha Senator Steve Lathrop. "Should it just be a criminal background check? How do we test whether they have the judgment? How do we know they won't jump out of the car and ask 'What are they doing in the neighborhood?' And get into the sort of Trayvon Martin."
 
The bill failed to advance today, and Senator Ernie Chambers has filed a motion to put off debate on this bill until April.

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