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Resignation of Sanford City Police Chief Rejected by City Commission
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Late in the day on Monday, the Sanford City Commission rejected the resignation of Police Chief Bill Lee by a vote of 3-2. Lee was harshly criticized for not charging Andrew Zimmerman immediately in the Trayvon Martin murder case. Lee had stepped down for a short time in March in order to let his emotions calm down. Zimmerman posted bail and was released from jail, most likely fleeing to another state in order to avoid backlash from the case that has made national news.

“He’s doing well, he’s very glad to be out, trying to get settled in, still worried about his safety, but, you know, talking to his family and feeling much better than being in jail”, Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, said on CNN Monday night.

  
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Lee has been placed on paid leave and not long ago the commissioners issued Lee a ‘no confidence vote’ that Norton Bonaparte, the city Manager, said will still stand. Most of the commissioners said that outside groups caused the police department to handle the case the way it did. There were supporters for Lee at the meeting but there were also some detractors, one of whom was a member of the commission. Velma Williams was one of the commissioners who voted to accept the resignation of Lee.

“I’m disappointed but not surprised,” said Velma Williams.

Most of the commissioners said that they would like to wait until an outside investigation to end before they accept the resignation of Lee. The commissioners said that Lee did not want to step down but everyone figured it was the best thing to do. Bonaparte said that the city is searching for a permanent interim chief of police, one that could be hired by next week.

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The lawyer for Zimmerman said that he does not expect him to get a job while out on bail and that he does not have any savings or financial assets. His family is paying for all of the personal security he has because he is not under police protection. Many think it will be difficult for Zimmerman to avoid social media, which can cause him to be tracked by some who know how to do so.

“Anytime you are on the Internet, you are potentially traceable,” Evan Ratliff, an author, said. Ratliff wrote an article about disappearing in the 20th century. “The best way to not be found by anyone is to not use any technology at all.”





 

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