Breaking: Sanford Police Chief Steps Down “Temporarily”Posted: March 22, 2012
From CNN broadcast news: Bill Lee, the police chief of Sanford Florida announced just a short time ago that he will "temporarily remove" himself from his job until the investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin and his deeply flawed handling of the case is complete. That doesn't seem like enough to me. Lee needs to resign or he must be fired outright.
Embattled Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. has stepped down from his post “temporarily” this afternoon, brought down by a firestorm of criticism over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old.
“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.
“Therefore, I have come to the decision that I must temporarily relieve myself from the position as police chief for the city of Sanford,” Lee said.
“I do this in the hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to a city which has been in turmoil for several weeks.”
Sorry, Bill. It’s time for you to go. No one is going to be satisfied with half measures after you’ve done nothing for more than three weeks.
City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr., said the city was taking the proper steps to ensure the investigation is sound, and the judicial process can run its course.
“What the city wants most for the family of Trayvon Martin is justice,” he said, adding that city officials would hold regular news briefings to update the press on developments in the case.
Lee, 52, has insisted his agency did a fair and thorough investigation, but black leaders, those in Sanford as well as NAACP national president Benjamin Todd Jealous, said he had to go.
Lee’s failure to arrest admitted shooter George Zimmerman has angered millions of Americans.
That decision has sparked a backlash of outrage. Hundreds of thousands of people have called for Zimmerman’s arrest. It started with Trayvon’s family but now includes members of Congress.
Protesters have staged rallies in Sanford, New York, Miami and Tallahassee. One, featuring Al Sharpton, is scheduled for 7 p.m. today in downtown Sanford and is expected to draw thousands.
The parents of Trayvon Martin are currently meeting with officials in the U.S. Justice Department. There will be a new conference following the meeting.
I will post more links in the comments as they become available. Please post anything you are hearing too!