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Ex-Sanford Police Chief: Case Was Taken From Us

From CNN:

Ex-Sanford police chief: Zimmerman probe ‘taken away from us’

By Eliott C. McLaughlin | July 11, 2013

(CNN) – The George Zimmerman investigation was hijacked "in a number of ways" by outside forces, said the former police chief of Sanford, Florida.

Bill Lee, who testified Monday in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial, told CNN’s George Howell in an exclusive interview that he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.

"It was (relayed) to me that they just wanted an arrest. They didn’t care if it got dismissed later," he said. "You don’t do that."

Bear in mind that these are city officials reportedly saying this!

When Sanford police arrived on the scene on February 26, 2012, after Zimmerman fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, they conducted a "sound" investigation, and the evidence provided no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene, he said.

It had nothing to do with Florida’s controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, he said; from an investigative standpoint, it was purely a matter of self-defense…

"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," Lee said. "With all the influence and the protests and petitions for an arrest, you still have to uphold you [sic] oath."

"That investigation was taken away from us. We weren’t able to complete it," he said.

So who was the "outside influence"? After yesterday’s revelations about Eric Holder’s involvement in the Trayvon Martin protests, you have to wonder if it wasn’t Holder himself.

Why else would the Sanford officials be so concerned? They know they have to please the DOJ and the administration to keep their federal money flowing.

One example involved the 911 tapes, in which neighbors implored dispatchers to send police as a voice in the background screamed for help.

The Sanford police intended to release the tapes once the probe was over, Lee said, because you can’t publicize evidence amid an investigation.

Instead, the mayor told him on March 16 the tapes had been released to Martin’s family and the public. The family was asked to help identify voices, Lee said, but if police were in charge of the investigation, they wouldn’t have presented evidence to a group.

"It should be done individually so there’s no influence on the other people in the room," he said. "Then, there’s no questions that can be brought up about how (an identification) was obtained or whether it was influenced."

Releasing the evidence to the public was problematic, as well, because it created the potential for someone to concoct a "story about what they observed when they really didn’t observe it," he said…

Nitpicker. And never mind that subsequent events have proven Mr. Lee correct on every point.

Lee was placed on paid leave March 22, 2012, after the Sanford City Commission expressed a lack of confidence in him. The same commission rejected his resignation in a 3-2 vote a month later, with dissenting commissioners questioning the fairness of Lee’s losing his job.

Two months later, Lee was sacked. City Manager Norton Bonaparte said in a news release, "The police chief needs to have the trust and respect of the elected officials and the confidence of the entire community."

Lee believes lack of confidence did play a role in his dismissal, he told CNN, but he also believes Bonaparte faced political pressure and terminated him "without cause," which was permitted under his employment contract…

Investigators knew letting Zimmerman walk free for 46 days was an unpopular decision — and they took abuse for it — "but they performed professionally. That’s the mark of a strong police department."

Lee took issue with the media casting his department as apathetic or lackadaisical in the case.

"A lot of the information that was given out as fact was misinformation," he said. "It was reported in some media that we didn’t conduct an investigation for two weeks, but yet in that same media they would show a photograph of a crime scene with crime scene tape, with patrol cars and blue lights and investigators on the scene." …

The news media told blatant lies about the police to rile up their low information viewers? What a shock.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, July 11th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Ex-Sanford Police Chief: Case Was Taken From Us”

  1. Liberals Demise

    Is there still a $1, 000, 000.00 bounty on Zimmerman put out by the new (?) Black panter party?
    No justice for the just.
    Trayvon Martin Obama ……. daddy barry gonna hook you up, boy.




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