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"No confidence" vote for police chief after handling of Trayvon Martin shooting

Sanford, Fla. Police Chief Bill Lee Sanford Police Department

Sanford, Fla. Police Chief Bill Lee
Sanford, Fla. Police Chief Bill Lee
Sanford Police Department

(CBS/AP) SANFORD - Sanford city commissioners have voted "no confidence" in their police chief over the handling of the fatal shooting of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer.

Photos: Trayvon Martin

The commission voted 3-2 Wednesday night against Chief Bill Lee Jr.

Commissioner Mark McCarty said Lee, who was hired in May 2011, should resign. Commissioner Patty Mahany said the panel shouldn't rush to judgment.

The commission can't fire Lee, because the police chief reports to the city manager.

City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. said late Wednesday he is "looking at all the circumstances" and will take the commission's vote into consideration.

Residents and civil rights activists have called for Zimmerman's arrest for shooting the 17-year-old Martin. Zimmerman has not been charged, and has said he shot Martin in self-defense.

Sanford police issued a statement Wednesday defending their decision not to arrest Zimmerman. They said that when officers arrived his claim of self-defense "was supported by physical evidence and testimony."

Earlier in the week, the Department of Justice opened a civil rights probe into the shooting, and in Florida, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said a grand jury will meet April 10 to consider evidence in the case.

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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