SANFORD, FLORIDA – Sanford, Florida, Police Chief Bill Lee, who drew criticism for his department’s actions in the Trayvon Martin case, was fired Wednesday, his spokeswoman said.
Spokeswoman Sara Brady said Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte made the decision.
Lee had submitted a resignation letter in April that said he was stepping down, but city commissioners voted not to accept it.
Timeline of events in Trayvon Martin case
In March, he had said he was stepping down temporarily in the wake of the public furor over the failure of the police to arrest George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has said his shooting of Martin on February 26 was an act of self-defense.
The 17-year-old was unarmed when he was shot while walking to his father’s girlfriend’s house after picking up some snacks at a nearby store.
Lee had said that Zimmerman was not charged because there were no grounds to disprove his account of the events. Since then, Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
The incident sparked a national debate as to whether the shooting was an act of racial profiling by Zimmerman and about the state’s “stand-your-ground” law.