SANFORD, FL (RNN) – Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. announced Monday he would resign permanently from the city’s police force, but the city commission is having none of it.
Lee said early Monday he would resign immediately and permanently, and the commission planned to discuss his severance package at 4 p.m. ET. However, the AP reported the commission voted 3-2 to reject Lee’s resignation.
The majority voting in favor of the rejection cited the very public uproar over George Zimmerman’s shooting and killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, 17, as the reason for their vote.
Lee resigned temporarily March 22 after the department was roundly criticized for not arresting Zimmerman.
“I’m aware that my role as the leader of this agency has become a distraction,” Lee said at a press conference March 22. “It is my hope the process would move swiftly and thoroughly through the justice system.”
An agenda on the City Commission’s site said the group would discuss the “adoption of a resolution relating to the police department.”
City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. would not confirm to the Herald that the resolution had to do with Lee.
Zimmerman shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26 after calling police to report he had seen a suspicious person in his gated neighborhood on the outskirts of Orlando, FL. He was arrested and charged with second-degree murder April 11.
Zimmerman has maintained he shot the teen in self-defense. He was released on bail early Monday morning.
He could face life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Martin’s death sparked outrage and protests across the country and brought Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law into question. Police officers said the law was the reason Zimmerman was not arrested at the scene.
The law allows the use of deadly force without the duty to retreat whenever someone feels his or her life is in danger.
Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News
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