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Ex-Police Chief Claims He Was Pressured and Then Fired for Not Arresting George Zimmerman: 'They Just Wanted an Arrest


"I'm happy at the end of the day I can walk away with my integrity."


(Credit: Getty)

Former Sanford, Fla., police chief Bill Lee on CNN Wednesday claimed he was fired last year because he refused to arrest George Zimmerman just to appease an outraged public. Hey says there wasn't enough evidence to warrant an arrest in the killing of Trayvon Martin, a fact that didn't matter to some city officials.

When he refused to make the arrest, Lee claims he was fired from his position after just 10 months on the job. Officials argued they let Lee go because the public and elected officials had lost trust in him.

“I had one of the city commissioners come to me on two different occasions and say, ‘All we want is an arrest.’ And I explained to them, ‘Well, you just can’t do that, you have to have probable cause to arrest somebody.’ And it was related to me that they just wanted an arrest, they didn’t care if it got dismissed later. And you don’t do that," Lee told CNN's George Howell.

When asked how Zimmerman was able to remain free for 40 days after shooting Martin, Lee said the evidence just wasn't there.

Lee argued he did not get a "fair shake" in the Zimmerman case, despite upholding his oath of office.

"I'm happy at the end of the day I can walk away with my integrity," he added. "I'm at peace with it on most days. I'm a man of faith. But it stings."

Watch the interview via CNN:


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