Craig Sooner & Hal Uhrig, George Zimmerman's attorney's held a press conference to announce that they will no longer be representing him due to his ignoring their legal advice. They also say they have lost contact with him. The lawyers also say Zimmerman spoke with Sean Hannity from Fox News but say Zimmerman would not reveal what he said to Hannity.
"George called Sean Hannity of Fox News off the record and he was unwilling to tell us what was said," attorney Hal Uhrig said.
Sonner said that Zimmerman had stopped responding to their phone calls, and that they did not know exactly where he was, although they thought that he was no longer in Florida.
Sonner also said that Zimmerman reached out to the special prosecutor in the case, against their wishes. "We were a bit astonished and had some conversation back and forth with the prosecutor's office," Uhrig said."They told us what we expected, '[that] we’re not going to talk to a criminal or [defendant] without counsel.'"
Zimmerman admitted to shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, on February 26 in the gated community where the teenager's father lived in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member, called 911 and told a police dispatcher that Martin, who was walking back to his father's home from a convenience store, "looked suspicious." After an altercation, Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. He told the local police that he shot Martin in self defense, and was not arrested or charged. Protestors around the country have held rallies calling for Zimmerman's arrest, and the Sanford police department has come in for withering criticism for its handling of the initial investigation.
In the town of Sanford, a Sanford Police Car was shot at 4:30 this morning. CBS News Reports:
(CBS News) SANFORD, Fla. – Shots were fired at a Sanford police car parked near the scene of the Trayvon Martin shooting. According to authorities, the cruiser was found Tuesday morning with bullet holes in it and at least window blown out.
Police said no one was inside the cruiser, which was parked across the street from the Retreat at Twin Lakes apartment complex, near the front of Bentley Elementary School.
CBS affiliate WKMG reports witnesses said they heard six shots. At least two bullets struck the patrol car.
Sanford police said the cruiser had been parked in front of Bentley Elementary for the past couple of weeks at the request of school officials who had concerns about safety issues.
Police removed the car from the scene, and an investigation is ongoing.
Police Chief Bill Lee Jr., is temporarily stepping down from the Trayvon Martin Case. In a press conference this afternoon, the chief announced that he felt he was more of a distraction to the case. Sanford City Manager,Norton Bonaparte Jr.said he hoped this moved would bring calm back to the city of Sanford. A rally is scheduled in the city at 7:00p.m., which is to be led by Revered Al. Sharpton. There has been a national outcry over than handling of the case and the fact that George Zimmerman. Martin's killer, has yet to be arrested.
City commissioners voted no confidence in Lee yesterday. Bonaparte has received increased pressure to let Lee go. African-American's in the community do not trust police in the Sanford Community. Lee has been on the job almost a year and came in on the heels of a previous scandal. The former chief was forced out of office when a lieutenant's son was caught on tape attacking an African-American homeless man. The black man lay bleeding and officers drove the officer's son from the scene and his son was not arrested at the time. When the video surfaced, his son, Justin Collision, turned himself in.
African-Americans relations with the Sanford Police have been strained in the Sanford community. The NAACP and many other people have claimed that the Sanford police have on many occasions protected others in the department and repeatedly harassed and embarrassed African-Americans. This story is still developing……..
As a former homicide investigator, a career law enforcement officer and a father, I am keenly aware of the emotions associated with this tragic death of a child. I'm also aware that my role as the leader of this agency has become a distraction to this investigation. While I stand by the Sanford Police Department, its personnel and the investigation that was conducted in regards to the Trayvon Martin case, it is apparent that my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process. Therefore i have come to the decision that I must temporarily remove myself from the position of police chief of the city of Sanford.
I do this in the hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to the city, which has been in turmoil for several weeks. As the chief of police of the city of Sanford, I have made sure that the facts of this case have been presented to the office of the state attorney. It is my hope the investigation process will move forward swiftly and appropriately through the justice system and that a final determination in this case is reached.
Yesterday, hundreds of people gathered in Union Square in New York City in Honor of Trayvon Martin. He was a 17-year-old African-American male who was killed by George Zimmerman walking back home from buying some Ice-T & Skittles. He was wearing a hoodie, un-armed, and chased by a self-appointed, neighborhood watchman. The parents of the slain youth told the crowd that they will not stop until they get justice for their son.
The killer, George Zimmerman, has not been arrested. At the time of the shooting, he told cops he didn't have a record. In 2005, he had a suspicion of battery charge against a police officer that was later dropped for unknown reasons. There have also been inconsistencies with police versions of what happened and witnesses versions of what they say they told the police. Some said they told police they heard Trayvon scream for help and the police told them that they heard Zimmerman scream for help. Many at the rally chanted "we want arrests". Many people also wore hoodies to the rally in honor of what Trayvon Martin had on the night he was shot dead. There were various demonstrators who were traveling to Times Square and some that marched to downtown Manhattan.
The Sanford police who have handled the case have come under fire for the way in which the case has been handled and some want the Chief of Police, Bill Lee Jr. fired. However, the commission can't fire him as he reports to the city manager. Many people have said they do not trust the Sanford Police. Now the Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating the case as a possible "hate crime". Both parents say they found out about the march after arriving in NYC to do interviews. They got in touch with the organizers and told them they would speak. One of the organizer's said the timing of Trayvon's parents being in NYC was "incredible".