According to the Orlando Sentinel, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. has stepped down “temporarily” from his position, after he and his department received ferocious criticism for how they handled the now infamous Trayvon Martin case. Martin, an unarmed 17-year old was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watchman in February. Zimmerman claimed self-defence and was never charged with a crime. The entire case threatens to swell into a national storm of racial tension and angst.
“My role as the leader of this agency has become a distraction from the investigation,” Lee said in a brief statement. “It is apparent that my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process.
According to a report from ABC, Sanford police did not test Zimmerman for use of drugs or alcohol, standard in most homicide cases.
“I do this in the hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to a city which has been in turmoil for several weeks,” Lee said.
The case is heading to a grand jury, and federal investigators are also getting involved.
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