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Police chief fired in handling of Trayvon Martin case

JA'PHETH TOULSON Special to the AmNews | 4/16/2013, 4:34 p.m.
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A Florida central police chief who was criticized of his investigation of Trayvon Martin's shooting death was fired Wednesday.

"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," City Manager Norton Bonaparte said in a news release.

The former police chief Bill Lee drew criticism after not charging George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer after the shooting and killing of Martin. Zimmer said the shooting was in self defense. Lee said he didn't charge Zimmerman because there were no grounds tp disprove the count of events.

According to CNN, Lee submitted a resignation letter in April that said he was stepping down, but city officials decided not to accept it. In March, he said he was stepping down temporarily in the wake of the public furor over the failure of police to arrest Zimmerman.Lee will receive a three-moth severance and a week's salary in addition to any earned time off.

"We need to move forward with a police chief that all the citizens of Sanford can support," Bonaparte said in the news release. "I have come to this decision in light of the escalating divisiveness that have taken hold of the city."