From the historical perspective, Zimmerman was well-known to the Sanford police department not only for his numerous calls to the SPD to report suspicious young black males in his neighborhood but also his involvement in the neighborhood watch program coordinated by the SPD. At the same time Zimmerman was familiarizing himself with the Sanford police work as part of his study in the criminal justice program.
Besides making himself available for riding along with the police on their routine street patrols, Zimmerman was also known to have outspokenly involved himself into the Sanford police internal affair. to the point of calling the police lazy.
Here is what Huffington Post had reported:
During a community forum on Jan. 8, 2011, more than a year before Martin was killed, Zimmerman, then a criminal justice student, told city officials he had ridden along with Sanford police officers on patrol. Zimmerman blasted Sanford police as lazy and criticized outgoing police chief Brian Tooley, who was forced from office in a scandal involving the son of an officer caught on tape beating a homeless black man.
“I would just like to state that the law is written in black and white, it can not be enforced by those who are in the thin blue line,” Zimmerman told an audience that included newly elected Mayor Jeff Triplett, according to an audio recording published by the Miami Herald. Zimmerman said he saw firsthand how bad Sanford police could be during his ride-alongs.
“What I saw was disgusting,” Zimmerman said, “The officer showed me his favorite hiding spots for taking naps, explained to me that he doesn’t carry a long gun in his vehicle because, in his words, ‘anything that requires a long gun requires a lot of paperwork, and you’re going to find me as far away from it.’” Zimmerman continued: “He took two lunch breaks and attended a going away party for one of his fellow officers.”
Ironically, Zimmerman was reported to have also played a significant role in the internal change of the SPD in an assault case involving the then police chief, Brian Tooley, who was accused of coddling a white Sanford police lieutenant’s son from arrest. The lieutenant’s son was accused of assaulting a black homeless man who ended up in the hospital with severe head injury. Zimmerman was said to have involved in that protest that resulted in the ouster of Tooley and the subsequent appointment of Bill Lee as the new police chief.
Before Bill Lee took over the Sanford police department as police chief he was an adjunct instructor and the associate dean at the Seminole State College of Florida starting in 1990 until he took the position of police chief at the Sanford police department in May 2011.
Coincidentally, Zimmerman was also a student at the same college where Bill Lee was at one time the associate dean.
Here is what the Huffington Post had reported:
Zimmerman has been an on-and-off student at the college since 2003. As of 2009, he was working towards an Associate in Arts degree.
From theGrio, it reported as follows:
Also included in the release: records from Zimmerman’s time at Seminole State College, where he was studying criminal justice in 2009 and 2011.
Given what we know of the past connection occurring between Zimmerman and the now fired ex-police chief Bill Lee, it is very hard to believe Bill Lee’s claim that he did not know who Zimmerman was prior to the shooting incident.
Here is what was reported in the May 23 Miami Herald:
From the start, attorneys for Trayvon’s family have said that as a wannabe cop, Zimmerman had been protected by the “blue wall.” Police Chief Bill Lee denied knowing Zimmerman, who was a criminal justice student at the same community college where Lee conducted police academy training for new recruits.
Now, from the recent evidence dump wherein a FBI investigation uncovered that Zimmerman even had an email exchange with Bill Lee long before this incidence. Did Bill Lee thought the public would not possibly have any access to his private email account that he thought it safe he could just lie about it?
Then we have this video surfaced showing Zimmerman walked unescorted in the SPD three days after the shooting:
Another thing. In early March, when Bill Lee stepped up to the podium to address the public accusation of SPD’s mishandling of this case in not arresting Zimmerman, he acted more like a defense lawyer if not his surrogate father than a police chief.
Instead of being impartial and simply telling the public that the SPD is still conducting their investigation into this case, Bill Lee went overboard as a police chief in denigrating the slain unarmed teenage victim based solely on the armed killer’s words.
Here is what was reported by the Miami Herald:
“Mr. Zimmerman’s claim is that the confrontation was initiated by Trayvon,” Police Chief Bill Lee said in an interview. “I am not going into specifics of what led to the violent physical encounter witnessed by residents.
All the physical evidence and testimony we have independent of what Mr. Zimmerman provides corroborates this claim to self-defense.”
To claim self-defense, someone has to show there was danger of great bodily harm or death, Lee said. “Zimmerman had injuries consistent with his story,” Lee said.
Zimmerman had a damp shirt, grass stains, a bloody nose and was bleeding from a wound in back of his head, according to police reports.
“If someone asks you, ‘Hey do you live here?’ is it OK for you to jump on them and beat the crap out of somebody?” Lee said. “It’s not.”
Trayvon jumped on Zimmerman and beat the crap out of him?