There is more outrage over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was killed in suburban Orlando on February 26 while visiting family. Thousands of people rallied Wednesday night in New York City during a "Million Hoodie March."
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And at the same time in Sanford, Florida: The city commission passed a vote of “no confidence” in Police Chief Bill Lee, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Trayvon Martin was gunned down by self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who has not been charged by police. Residents and civil rights leaders have criticized the police response and decision not to arrest Zimmerman.
Commissioner Mark McCarty made the motion that could lead to the ouster of the chief, who has been on the job just 10 months. Mayor Jeff Triplett and Commissioner Velma Williams voted with the majority. "I take no pleasure in a public flogging of our police chief," McCarty said before a packed council chambers. "But he really should turn in his resignation."
The vote was 3-2, with Commissioners Randy Jones and Patty Mahany voting against.
Commissioners can't fire Lee, a Sanford native, because he reports to City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. However, their vote sends a strong signal.Bonaparte, who became city manager in September, called the vote "a strong statement" but said he wants to wait for investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Brevard-Seminole State Attorney's Office to be completed before he acts.
More questions about the shooting surfaced last weekend after law enforcement officials released 911 police tapes that cast doubt on the official police version that Zimmerman had been acting in "self-defense" when he shot Martin
Police dispatchers warned Zimmerman not to follow the "suspicious" teen or leave his vehicle. Zimmerman ignored their instructions. Police have not explained why Zimmerman left his vehicle or how he and Martin came to be face to face.
Cries for help were also heard on the tapes. Zimmerman told the police the cries were his. Trayvon’s mother said the voice belonged to her son. Sanford police also admitted they "did not hear" a racial epithet made by Zimmerman on the tapes.
Also: A phone call from Trayvon Martin to his girlfriend only seconds before he was gunned down cast more doubt on the official version. The 16-year-old girlfriend said that as Trayvon was walking he told her "some man was watching him". She added that she overheard Martin ask, "Why are you following me?"
Watch ABC 7's report on the NYC rally AFTER THE JUMP ...