ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – Police in the Florida city where George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin have backed off a plan to explicitly ban neighborhood watch volunteers from carrying guns while on duty.
Earlier this month, police in Sanford, Florida, announced new rules on how civilian patrols can operate in an attempt to revive the program’s reputation.
Sanford was thrust in the national spotlight last year when Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, gunned down Martin, an unarmed black teenager. Prosecutors accused Zimmerman of chasing down and killing Martin, but a jury acquitted him in July of murder.
Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith, in a phone interview on Wednesday, refused repeated requests to explain the reversal.
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