Ex-Police Chief Bill Lee On Trayvon Martin Case: ‘They Just Wanted An Arrest’
Former Sanford, Fla., police chief Bill Lee is saying that he was fired because he refused to arrest George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. According to Lee, there just was not enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman so he refused to do so, despite calls from the public and city officials to make the bust. Officials say he was fired because the public and elected officials had lost trust in him.
“I had one of the city commissioners come to me on two different occasions and say, ‘All we want is an arrest,’" Lee said during an interview with CNN. "I explained to them, ‘Well, you just can’t do that, you have to have probable cause to arrest somebody.’ And it was related to me that they just wanted an arrest, they didn’t care if it got dismissed later. And you don’t do that.”
He added: "The police department needed to do a job, and there was some influence — outside influence and inside influence — that forced a change in the course of the normal criminal justice process. With all the influence and the protests and petitions for an arrest, you still have to uphold your oath."
Zimmerman was free for 40 days before eventually being brought in for shooting Martin, The Blaze reported.
Lee claims he did not get a “fair shake” in the Zimmerman case, but he is pleased with how he handled things.
“I’m happy at the end of the day I can walk away with my integrity,” he said. “I’m at peace with it on most days. I’m a man of faith. But it stings.”
A video about the story is below: