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The Florida Police chief at the center of the Trayvon Martin shooting controversy has decided to step down—temporarily. Sanford, Fla. Police Chief Bill Lee announced Thursday (March 22) that he will take a leave of absence until things cool down.

Lee is the man behind the decision not to pursue charges against Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman and has received public backlash for his actions, but is apparently optimistic that a change will come. “I do this in the hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to a city which has been in turmoil for several weeks,” he said.

Martin’s story has garnered national attention, as people all over the country have rallied to call for Zimmerman’s arrest. Although his father claims that the 28-year-old is not racist, and shot the 17-year-old out of self-defense, 911 calls placed by Zimmerman prior to the shooting show him in what some believe is his true light. The neighborhood watch volunteer informed the emergency call operator that a suspicious person was walking around the gated community in which he resides, and assumed the boy was on drugs. Zimmerman was asked not to pursue Martin but he did anyway, and later told police that the teenager was actually the aggressor in the situation.

Since the Feb. 26 shooting, Martin’s story continues to be a hot-button debate, and was the motivation behind the Million Hoodie March held in New York City’s Union Square Wednesday (March 21). Supporters dawned hoodies, in honor of what Martin was wearing at the time of his death, and used social media networking sites to spread the word.

With the federal government announcing the opening of an investigation into the matter, and additionally protests—one of which is scheduled to take place at Leimert Park in Los Angeles today—there’s renewed hope that Martin’s killer will be brought to justice.


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Photo: Martin Family