Sanford mayor unhappy with Department of Justice over Zimmerman case email



SANFORD, Fla. - Federal investigators want the public's help as they try to decide whether George Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin's civil rights, but Channel 9 learned Sanford's mayor has a big problem with how the feds are collecting tips.

The email address justice officials created reads

Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett believes that email address indirectly blames the entire city for what happened to Martin, despite all their work to get rid of the stigma.

A jury on Saturday acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder charges in Martin's shooting death.

Channel 9's Karla Ray got a copy of the letter Triplett sent to Washington, D.C., demanding the email address be changed.

"It's just absolutely wrong.  I'm outraged," said Triplett.

The Department of Justice's Twitter account announced the email address on Wednesday, and they're using the account to field tips in the case in order to determine whether Zimmerman broke any civil rights laws.

"With Sanford, Florida, on it, that makes no sense.  Put his name on it.  We're not the ones asking for it. We're not even involved in that," said Triplett.

In Triplett's letter, he said he's appalled at the implication that the city has anything to do with the investigation.

"To go after Mr. Zimmerman on this level has absolutely nothing to do with the city of Sanford. Our name should not be attached to that," he said.

Now that Zimmerman's trial is over, Triplett said he wants Sanford to move forward.

"This is just another step back," he said. "We continue to move forward, and people just continue to take us back. It's not fair, and it's disgusting to me."

In the meantime, Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith is making his first weekly walk and talk since the verdict came down.

The chief spent the week walking through neighborhoods that included the Kaywood subdivision.

Smith has picked different neighborhoods to walk and talk with residents since he became chief in April. It's his goal to meet as many of the citizens he is in charge of protecting as possible.

Now that Zimmerman's trial is over, Smith said he knows eyes are still on Sanford, and he wants to continue to repair relationships between the police department and the city.

In addition to the walk and talks, Smith said he wants to also start hosting town hall meetings to continue to get feedback from the community.