Sanford commissioners: No confidence in police chief after Trayvon Martin incident

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As tensions escalated this week over the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Sanford city commissioners passed a vote of no confidence in their police chief, Bill Lee, Jr., on Wednesday night, reports the News Service of Florida. The vote was 3-2 after more than an hour of debate at Sanford City Hall, where Commissioner Mark McCarty pointed to negative publicity focused on the city since the Feb. 26 killing and questioned whether police were too quick to accept 28-year-old George Zimmerman’s claim that he’d shot Martin in self-defense. City Commissioners Randy Jones and Patty Mahany were on the short end of the no-confidence vote, arguing that the city should wait for the April 10 grand jury inquiry and the pending U.S. Department of Justice investigation before making a move. Mahany called the motion a “knee-jerk reaction.” The vote wasn’t binding, since only the city manager can fire Lee, who was hired in May 2011. The Rev. Al Sharpton is due to lead a rally in Sanford on Thursday. Also on Wednesday, hundreds – including Martin’s parents – turned out for a so-called Million Hoodie March in New York City. The teen was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was killed returning from a nearby store with candy and a drink.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.