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September 1, 2014, 5:29 pm

Officials should let police chief resign

City Commissioners in Sanford, Fla., are making a serious mistake in not accepting the resignation of its police chief whose department mishandled the Trayvon Martin case.

The city commissioners’ decision prolongs the pain and polarization in Sanford.

City Commissioners rejected by a 3-2 vote Monday the resignation of Police Chief Bill Lee, who has been roundly criticized for not initially charging George Zimmerman.

Lee had temporarily stepped aside as police chief last month after criticism over his department’s handling of the Martin case. Lee said he was temporarily stepping down to let emotions cool in the aftermath of Martin’s killing.

Police did not initially charge Zimerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, who claimed he shot the 17-year-old Martin in self-defense. Prosecutors later charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder.

Lee remains on paid Lee as the city seeks to identify an interim police chief.

The city commissioners’ decision defies logic and common sense.

After all city commissioners previously gave Lee a “no confidence vote.”

The majority of commissioners are misguided when they attempt to blame the polarization over Martin and its handling by the police department on outside groups.

The lack of an arrest and the apparent lack of a thorough investigation by the Sanford police department is what sparked nationwide protests.

The attempt to blame “outsiders” for the polarization in Sanford is a distortion.

What so-called “outsiders” did was force Florida’s Governor Rick Scott and the U.S. Justice Department to take another look at the Martin case.

Protests over the lack of an arrest led to a federal investigation and the local prosecutor removing himself from the case, prompting the governor to appoint special prosecutor Angela Corey, who eventually charged Zimmerman.