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Video: Police chief Bill Lee steps aside in wake of teen’s death

  1. Closed captioning of: Police chief Bill Lee steps aside in wake of teen’s death

    >>> good evening. we have all watched it happen just as we have covered it here every night. the crush of national media attention, the arrival of the febs on the case of a teenage boy shot and killed outside the florida home he was viszting by an apparently overzealous neighborhood watch volunteer with a gun. tonight, the police chief who has been under relentless fire for not arrested the man has stepped aside. for those who have descended on sanford florida and those watching across the country, it amounted to progress in the case today. it's where we begin again tonight with nbc's ron allen .

    >> reporter: late today, chief bill lee under enormous pressureering told reporters he's stepping aside.

    >> it's apparent that my involvement in the matter is overshadowing the process.

    >> reporter: he's been chief just ten months, brought in to clean up after the beating of a homeless black man by an officer pfsz son was caught on tape. since the killing of tre'von martb, lee has defended the decision not to arrest zimmerman, who admits to pulling the trigger.

    >> mr. zimmerman admits to self defense . until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don't have the knroundz to arrest him.

    >> today, martin's parents say they want the killer arrested, notgist the cheap stepping down.

    >> the temporary step down of bill lee is nothing we want. we want the arrest, conviction and sentence for the murder of our son.

    >> tension remains high with mostly black residence voicing allegations of police abuse .

    >> now that the chief has stepped down, it's the police department admitting it has a problem. that's going to prompt a lot of people to want to see a deeper probe.

    >> reporter: to the manager, new on the job and a father himself.

    >> what do you think this has done to the community?

    >> it's bib devastating for the community, devastating for how we view ourselves and how the world sees sanford.

    >> the justice for trayvon martin's family echoes everywhe everywhere. at a miami high school , hundreds of students walked out of class. in atlanta, hundreds oof people board eed buses heading for here. they insist this is just the beginning.

    >> it's a temporary relief, but we need a permanent relief. i still say we need an arrest.

    >> reporter: tonight, there are thousands of people here gathered to support the family and demand justice for trayvon martin and his family. the family today had their first opportunity to meet with investigators from the u.s. department of justice in washington who are here looking into whether this can become a civil right case. and george itzimmerman remains in hiding, but he won't be returning to the community college where he's taking classes. they asked him, please don't come back until this controversy is over.

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