Home / National News / Sanford Police Chief Resigns; George Zimmerman Back in Hiding


(SANFORD, Fla.) — Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee offered his resignation Monday, but the city council refused to accept it. Lee temporarily withdrew as chief last month in the wake of the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Martin’s family released a statement seeming to object to the city council’s action.

“Sanford residents deserve quality leadership in law enforcement who will handle investigations fairly for all people,” the family said. “If Chief Bill Lee recognized that his resignation would help start the healing process in Sanford, city leadership should have accepted it in an effort to move the city forward.”

George Zimmerman, wearing a bulletproof vest, walked out of a Florida jail shortly after midnight Monday and slipped back into hiding, where his lawyer says he will likely stay until his trial next year.

Zimmerman was able to leave jail after posting $150,000 bond as he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge in Trayvon Martin’s killing.

He left the John E. Polk Correctional Facility at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office accompanied by a man ABC News identified as his bail bondsman.

Zimmerman was fitted with an electronic monitoring device prior to release, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. The GPS device, which can give immediate identification of an offender’s whereabouts anywhere in the U.S., suggests that the defense’s request that he be allowed to wait out the trial out of Florida may have been granted.

The terms of his release require him to report his whereabouts every three days, according to court documents.

Out of concern for his safety, Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara says that he will waive Zimmerman’s appearance at his arraignment May 8. When asked if Zimmerman will be seen in public again anytime soon, O’Mara said, “I don’t think so,” and added that Zimmerman may not be seen in public until he testifies.

Zimmerman stunned a Florida court Friday by taking the stand and apologizing to the parents of Trayvon Martin, who were sitting in the courtroom during Zimmerman’s bond hearing.

“I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not,” Zimmerman said, addressing Martin’s family directly.

Zimmerman told police the night he shot and killed Martin that he acted in self-defense after Martin punched him and pounced on him. Zimmerman told police that Martin then bashed his head into the concrete sidewalk during the altercation that took place in the tidy middle-class development of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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