The Florida police chief investigating the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a self-appointed neighbourhood watch volunteer, is facing calls by civil rights leaders for his resignation.
Police chief Bill Lee, of Sanford police, has insisted he carried out a “fair and thorough” investigation of the killing and that he cannot arrest George Zimmerman because he has told police he shot the teenager in self-defence and there was no evidence to contradict his account.
A thorough investigation? Not a chance. No evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s account? Well, if you don’t look for or gather evidence then there won’t be evidence, now will there? Gross incompetence of the Sanford Police would be a generous description at this point. Let’s look at what the Sanford Police didn’t do.
1. They didn’t test Zimmerman for drugs and alcohol, a standard procedure.
2. They didn’t send a homicide detective to interview Zimmerman. They sent a narcotics officer (WTF?) who didn’t ask Zimmerman to tell his version of events, but instead asked him specific questions.
3. They didn’t bother to check out who Trayvon was speaking with on the phone the night he was killed.
4. “This week, police admitted to ABC News they may have missed a potential racial slur on the tape of Zimmerman’s 911 call to report Martin’s “suspicious behaviour”.
5. Not to mention, several witnesses claim that the Sanford Police changed or led their accounts – one witness claims that when she said she heard a young boy scream, the police officer corrected her, saying it was Zimmerman who screamed.
And now Chief Bill Lee has released a FAQs – a FAQs! – regarding this case!
Why was George Zimmerman not arrested the night of the shooting?
When the Sanford Police Department arrived at the scene of the incident, Mr. Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self-defense which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony. By Florida statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time. Additionally, when any police officer makes an arrest for any reason, the officer MUST swear and affirm that he/she is making the arrest in good faith and with probable cause. If the arrest is done maliciously and in bad faith, the officer and the city may be held liable.
Mr. Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self-defense which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony.
Ya know, this is where collecting evidence and doing police work would have come in handy, rather than simply taking the gunman’s word and sending him home.
By Florida statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time.
I’ll leave you with this…
It appears that, in the limited investigation after the shooting, police did little to double-check Zimmerman’s story. They didn’t immediately contact Trayvon’s father — even though they had the teen’s cell phone. But they drug tested the dead child — not Zimmerman.
Time for chief Bill Lee to go. NOW!
Know what else needs to go? Stand Your Ground Laws.