Sanford Police Chief "Temporarily" Resigns in Wake of Trayvon Martin Case

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee
Trayvon Martin
TAMPA (2012-3-22) -

The police chief of Sanford has "temporarily resigned," pending an investigation into his department's handing of the slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Bill Lee offered to step down this afternoon in a press conference outside Sanford City Hall.

"It is apparent that my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process," Lee said. "Therefore, I have come to the decision that I must temporarily remove myself from the position as police chief of the City of Sanford. I do this in the hope of restoring some semblance of calm to the city, which has been in turmoil for several weeks."

Lee has been blamed by some for failing to bring charges against George Zimmerman, who told investigators he shot Martin in self-defense after the teen attacked him on Feb. 26. Martin was killed in a gated community in Sanford after buying candy at a convenience store

Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte says the city is seeking a complete investigation into the shooting.

"I ask that the citizens - both of Sanford and of the country - understand that the judicial process has been put in place," Bonaparte said. "What the City of Sanford wants more than anything else for the Trayvon Martin family is justice."

Meanwhile, The African-American Club of Pasco County is heading to Sanford for another "March For Justice."

"I have four children," says Angela Hadley. "It breaks my heart whenever a young person is murdered and I firmly believe Trayvon was murdered."

Another rally in support of Martin's family is planned for Saturday morning at Al Lopez Park in Tampa.

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