Sanford Police Chief To Resign In Wake Of Trayvon Martin Death

on April 23 2012 2:04 PM
Trayvon Martin
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee will resign from his position on Monday, only a month after he announced he was temporarily stepping down in the wake of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. REUTERS

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee will resign from his position on Monday, only a month after he announced he was temporarily stepping down in the wake of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

A City Commission meeting has been called for 4 p.m. to vote on Lee's resignation, according to local media reports. If approved by city commissioners, Lee's resignation would become effective at midnight.

Lee stepped down temporarily in March from his position after being criticized for the department's handling of the investigation into Martin's death. Specifically, Lee had been under fire for not detaining or arresting George Zimmerman in the Feb. 26 shooting death of the unarmed 17-year-old in a gated community.

I'm aware that my role as the leader of this agency has become a distraction, Lee said at a news conference last month, adding that he hoped his temporary removal would restore some semblance of calm to the city, which has been in turmoil for several weeks.

News of Lee's resignation comes the same day Zimmerman was released from a Sanford jail on $150,000 bail. The 28-year-old former neighborhood watch volunteer is facing second-degree murder charges for shooting Martin, which he insists was done in self-defense.

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