The NAACP released the following statement regarding Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee's decision to temporarily step down from his position with the police department:
From Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the National NAACP: "The NAACP's number one concern in this case remains securing the arrest, prosecution and conviction of George Zimmerman. We are cautiously pleased that Chief Lee has stepped aside for his failure to assure Mr. Zimmerman was arrested. Any chief who would allow his officers to so mishandle a situation like this has no place in law enforcement. At the end of this investigation it will be clear that his temporary removal should be made permanent.
We must stay focused on the arrest and ask the police department to track Mr. Zimmerman's whereabouts. Our community deserves better and Trayvon's family deserves justice. "
From Turner Clayton, President of the Seminole County Branch of the NAACP: "We are calling for the arrest and conviction of George Zimmerman for the crime that he committed and ultimately for the full termination of the police chief who mishandled this case from the beginning."