Ex-Sanford police chief speaks out after George Zimmerman verdict
Former Police Chief Bill Lee discusses how trial into Trayvon Martin's death validated investigation
Former Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee spoke out on Sunday, less than 24 hours after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in Trayvon Martin's death.
Martin, 17, was shot and killed by 29-year-old Zimmerman in a Sanford gated community in February 2012. The lack of an immediate arrest caused national outcry and led to the firing of Lee in June 2012.
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder on Saturday by a six-person jury after nearly 15 hours of deliberations.
“From the beginning, the Sanford Police Department launched a proper and active investigation to determine what happened the night of the shooting that led to the tragic death of Trayvon Martin," Lee wrote in a prepared statement. "Testimony in this case has validated the in-depth investigation that was activated, but disrupted by external and internal political pressures. I am thankful that the case was heard in a court of law where many misrepresentations and mischaracterizations regarding the work performed by Sanford police have been corrected.”
Lee told Local 6 in an exclusive interview earlier this week why he didn't arrest Zimmerman in Martin's death and how he thinks an immediate arrest would have allowed him to keep his job.
Watch Local 6 for more on this story.