The Sanford police chief, Bill Lee, who grossly mishandled the Trayvon Martin case has finally been fired. He was fired on Wednesday and sent on his way with a three month severance and one week’s pay.
In a news release, Sanford, FL City Manager Norton Bonaparte said that he felt the Police chief no longer had the trust of the people and that he made his decision because there was an increasing level of divisiveness in the city. The Martin family attorney Daryl Parks spoke on their behalf, stating that the Martin family respected the city manager’s decision.
In March, Lee had announced that he was stepping down in response to the unrest that followed after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, claiming self defense. It is reported that lee had originally submitted a resignation letter back in April and city commissioners had not accepted it.
On Wednesday, another major development of the Trayvon Martin case was the release of the 911 tapes made the morning after the shooting. At that time, Tryavon Martin had not yet been identified because he had not been carrying and identification. His father called to report him missing. The calls reflect that an officer went to where he was staying shortly after that, presumably to give him the devastating news.
The Travon Martin case has reignited debates and dialogues across the country about racial profiling and the “stand your ground” law.
Lee had said Zimmerman was not charged in the shooting because they believed his story about Martin attacking him. Since then, Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Since the death of Trayvom Martin, his mother and father have made many television appearances and have expressed heartfelt appreciation for the public’s support.