A Letter from Sanford Chief of Police, Bill Lee, to GMP Editor Justin Cascio: Investigation Into Neighborhood Watch Shooting Continues
I’m sure you’re getting lots of attention for the miscarriage of justice that is occurring in your town. I am also appalled by the story. I lived in Florida for 14 years and can tell you stories about living in towns just as beset by racism as Sanford appears to be. Places where black men step off the sidewalk to make way for white people, and everyone thinks that’s just how it should be. It isn’t like that everywhere in America. It is part of why I left that state, and hope never to return. The culture is fetid and unhealthy, and a gated community in the middle of that kind of nervous racism is like having an air-conditioner in Florida. Have you ever stood outside an air-conditioned house on a hot day, and felt the moist, hot air that comes out of the back end of the A/C unit? That’s the heat from inside the house, collected and vented outside. Sanford, Bradenton, South Africa… anywhere this approach to discomfort is taken, it makes it very comfortable for some of the people, at the expense of the rest. It’s the history of Florida, but it doesn’t have to be its future.
Justice has to be for everyone, not just the rich or the white. Otherwise, you’re not keeping everyone cool, just the people inside the house, who figure that a little extra hot air getting blown out the window won’t make a bit of difference to those who are already sweating. Young Trayvon Martin was killed by such a blast. George Zimmerman, who shot the young, unarmed man, should have been arrested. Ask yourself what my friend, the writer Jackie Summers, asked when he reported this news to me yesterday: What if this had been your child? Would you feel that justice has been done?
I look forward to your answer, in the form of news that Zimmerman will face charges for his crime.
I appreciate your concern and comments. I also understand how someone would make assumptions and conclusions regarding how this investigation should progress based on the limited information and misrepresentation presented in news stories. However, there is much information that at this time is not public record to ensure the integrity of the investigation.
Let me assure you the Sanford Police Department, in consultation with the Office of the State Attorney, is working to complete a thorough and fair investigation as quickly as possible.
The investigation was delivered to the Office of the State Attorney this afternoon. We are confident the investigation has been thorough and conducted without bias. We would welcome any outside review of our investigation.
Bill R. Lee Jr.
Chief of Police, City of Sanford
What do you think? Will evidence come out, as the Chief is implying here, to clarify why Zimmerman hasn’t been arrested? Or is Florida simply covering up a mistake in the criminal justice system?
Photo by davidsonscott15/Flickr