The man who didn’t arrest George Zimmerman, despite reports from an investigator urging him to do so, was fired Wednesday from his post as head of the Sanford, Fla., police department.Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte told reporters he decided to terminate Chief Bill Lee because of the “escalating divisiveness that has taken hold of the city,” Reuters reported.
Lee’s officers decided not to arrest Zimmerman after he shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
At the time, officers used Zimmerman’s claim of self-defence as justification for not arresting him.
However, a lead investigator for the department wrote in his reports there was enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman for manslaughter.
The investigator, who was not named, wrote that Martin wasn’t involved in any criminal activity and Zimmerman could have avoided the encounter that led to the fatal shooting, according to Reuters.
Bonaparte’s decision did not require a vote by the city commission, but the city has not explained why the city manager was allowed to act unilaterally.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.