Updated: June 21, 2012 6:24AM
SANFORD, Fla. — Saying he’s lost the trust of officials, a city manager fired a central Florida police chief who was criticized for his agency’s initial investigation of Trayvon Martin’s shooting death at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer.
Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte says in a Wednesday statement that he relieved Chief Bill Lee of duty because he “determined the Police Chief needs to have the trust and respect of the elected officials and the confidence of the entire community.”
The initial lack of an arrest following the death of the unarmed black teenager by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February led to protests across the nation and spurred a debate about race and the laws of self-defense. Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is from Peru.