News/Story

Trayvon Martin killing: Sanford police chief steps down

A Florida police chief has stood down in the face national outrage over his department's decision not to arrest a neighbourhood watch captain who shot dead an unarmed black teenager.

by Raf Sanchez | The Telegraph UK | 10:39PM GMT 22 Mar 2012

[...] thousands of protesters took to the streets across the country and black members of Congress accused the Sanford Police Department of a "blatant disregard for justice".

The 17-year-old was killed by George Zimmerman, a volunteer warden, as he returned from the shops carrying a packet of Skittles and a can of iced tea. Mr Zimmerman, a mixed race hispanic, said he opened fire in self-defence after the teenager attacked him but growing evidence from witnesses and 911 tapes suggests that the older man chased him through the gated housing estate where his father lived.

In the facing of national outrage, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee last night said he was temporarily stepping aside "to restore some semblance of calm to the city which has been in turmoil for several weeks".

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