The Sanford, Fla. police chief who was criticized for his handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting has been fired. In March, Police Chief Bill Lee stepped down from his position until things in the area “cooled off,” but the city just decided to go forward with his termination. “After much thoughtful discussion and deep consideration for the issues facing the city of Sanford, I have determined the police chief needs to have the trust and respect of the elected officials and the confidence of the entire community,” said City Manager Norton Bonaparte in a statement.
“We need to move forward with a police chief that all the citizens of Sanford can support. I have come to this decision in light of the escalating divisiveness that has taken hold of the city.”
In April, Lee's submitted a resignation letter, but his request was denied by the city council. Although he is no longer employed by the police department, he will still receive a three-moth severance pay, a week's salary and payment for time off.
Martin's parents were happy with the news. “The parents of Trayvon Martin respect the decision of the city manager,” said their lawyer Benjamin Crump. “They remain vigilant in getting justice for their son and the tragedy that claimed his life.” Crump also brought up accused killer George Zimmerman's credibility which has been called to question following the release of new evidence, including phone conversations with his wife in which they conspired to hide money.
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