Trayvon Martin Case: "No confidence" vote for police chief, thousands expected for rally

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A Sanford city commissioner asked the city's police chief, Bill Lee,  to step down in regards to the investigation in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Commissioner Mark McCarty called for Lee's resignation, and to give him a vote of no confidence.

Commissioners voted "no confidence" in the police chief,  in a 3 to 2 vote Wednesday night.

The request came as the city held a special meeting at Sanford City Hall on Wednesday about Martin's death, and the fact that the shooter, George Zimmerman, has not been arrested.

Civil right's activists reached out to outraged Sanford residents.

WFTV reporter Daralene Jones, who has covered the case from day one, spoke with Sanford city officials.

Jones asked Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte and Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett whether either one of them will order Zimmerman's arrest, but neither one would commit to it.



However, Triplett said there have been conversations about it at Sanford City Hall, and several council members have had the conversation with the Bonaparte, who has full authority to fire Lee.

Lee has said more than once that his investigators found no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense.

Zimmerman shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26 as the unarmed teen was returning home from a convenience store.

Protestors have been demanding that Zimmerman be arrested, and now, they want Lee to be fired.

"As city manager, you also have the authority to fire Chief Bill Lee. Why don't you do it now?" Jones asked.

 "Because before I would make that decision to prejudge or to fire, based on the outcry, I'd like to have some information that I would feel comfortable in terminating the employment," Bonaparte said.

However, information has surfaced that may show Sanford police, led by Lee, mishandled the investigation that's now in the hands of State Attorney Norm Wolfinger.

Triplett wouldn't go into details about the investigation, but when he sat down with Jones, he said even he's baffled about some of the incidents that he has heard and seen.

Detectives seemed to take Zimmerman's word that he shot Martin in self-defense.

However, witnesses who police interviewed said they heard a child screaming for help, and not Zimmerman.

Witnesses said they saw Zimmerman standing over Martin after he shot him.

Plus, no one has answered WFTV's question as to why Zimmerman wasn't tested for drugs or alcohol, which is standard procedure in a shooting investigation.

But Martin was tested by police.

"What else do you need?" Jones asked.

 "I'm hearing rumors and speculation, that's why the U.S. Department of Justice, I'd like to have them review what took place," Bonaparte said.

The Florida Civil Rights Association protested outside the Florida Division of Licensing Office in Orlando, demanding that Zimmerman's permit be taken away.

"We believe he has forfeited his rights to legally possess and carry a firearm," said one protestor.

Also, the NAACP hosted a forum, and organizers said they wanted to give residents a chance to sound off about their interactions with the Sanford Police Department.

The NAACP said it's heard many allegations of discrimination by Sanford police.  Leaders have said they've heard of at least three other cases where justice has not been served for crimes against black people, and now they want to hear from the community about what they've experienced in Sanford.

A large crowd packed the Allen Chapel AME church for a rally Tuesday night, and overflowed into the streets of Sanford, calling for justice in Martin's death. The NAACP hosted the forum inside the same church. (Images from rally)

"Inside, we have our elders [and] outside we have an outpouring of love for this child," said resident Celia Moore.

"When it comes to blacks, it's like, just, whatever. It's no concern, no care and I feel it's time to get something done," said resident Cotton Belle.

People in the community joined Seminole County NAACP President Turner Clayton, along with the National NAACP President Benjamin Jealous.

Residents shared stories about what they felt were situations of discrimination by police in the community.

"Our intention is to ensure not only justice is done in this case, but this case is fixed top to bottom," said Jealous.

Alice Brooks, who grew up in Sanford, said black residents are treated differently and claimed she had been threatened in her home.

"I don't trust the police no more than I can see them. I have no respect for them," said Brooks.

Also on Wednesday, WFTV obtained court documents detailing a domestic violence case between Zimmerman and an ex-fiancé in 2005.

Zimmerman claimed in the report that the woman slapped him, hit him in the chest and tried to choke him. However, according to the report, the woman said the scratches were from her dog.

The woman also claimed that in 2002, Zimmerman sexually groped her and threw her on a bed, said the report.

A judge granted an injunction in favor of both parties, forbidding contact with each other.

Meanwhile, calls for justice were even heard in Congress, where Congresswoman Corrine Brown made sure lawmakers knew her outrage about the lack of Zimmerman's arrest.

"No drug test, no alcohol test, no lie detector test, it's just his word that he felt threatened, therefore he shot to kill. That's unacceptable," Brown said.

A massive rally is planned for Thursday in downtown Sanford.