Why is the history of the Sanford Police Department in question? Sanford PD’s officers have suffered a series of public missteps in recent years, according to local reporters. In 2006 two private security guards—the son of a Sanford police officer, and a volunteer for the department—killed a black teen with a single gunshot in his back. Even though they admitted to never identifying themselves, the guards were released without charges.
In 2009, after an assailant allegedly attempted to rape a child in her home, the department was called to task for sitting on the suspect’s fingerprints, delaying identification and pursuit of the attacker.
“RACIST SANFORD POLICE REGIME TERRORIST BILL LEE & HIS REGIME ARE EXAMPLES OF THE DUPLICITOUS POLICE MISCONDUCT WE FACE ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. WHITE MEN WITH STATE COMMISSIONED BADGES & GUNS & IN POSITION OF POWER WITH THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE JURISDICTION OVER OUR CITIZENS. WE DON’T TRUST YOU. WE DON’T LOVE YOU. AND WE DAMN YOU. WHITE SO CALLED POLICE ARE RACIAL TERRORISTS WHOM WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO & WILL PROTECT & DEFEND OURSELVES & OUR FAMILIES AGAINST BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
Perhaps the most significant incident occurred in late 2010: Justin Collison, the son of a Sanford PD lieutenant, sucker-punched a homeless black man outside a bar, and officers on the scene released Collison without charges.
He eventually surrendered after video of the incident materialized online. The police chief at the time was ultimately forced into retirement.
“Bottom line, we didn’t do our job that night,” a Police Department representative told WFTV of the incident.
The TV station later learned that the Sanford patrol sergeant in charge on the night of Collison’s assault, Anthony Raimondo, was also the first supervisor on the scene of Trayvon Martin’s shooting death.
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As a result of these incidents and their initial handling of Martin’s death, the Sanford Police Department has been under increased scrutiny. Martin’s parents have suggested they might call for Police Chief Bill Lee to resign. (Motherjones)