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Police Chief in Trayvon Martin Case Resigns Permanently; What Does This Mean for the Trial Going Forward?

The police chief in the Trayvon Martin case is permanently resigning effective tonight. Just last month, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, Jr. temporarily stepped down because he believed he was a distraction to the investigation.

Criminal defense attorney, Randy Zelin said today on Studio B, “I’ve always thought from the beginning that this case was problematic from an evidential standpoint … They don’t know who the aggressor was, therefore I think the police chief actually acted rather diligently, reasonably, in really not knowing what to do. We don’t what input he got from the prosecution and I think on some level he’s being made to be a fall guy.”

Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed

in saying, “Look, obviously mistakes were made from the very beginning. Obviously with hindsight which is perfect, which is 20/20, he should’ve been charged at the time. He should’ve been restrained for some reason and some charges filed against him, but we now know that the prosecutors know a lot more than what the police knew at the time.”

Regarding Florida’s Stand Your Ground law the judge said, “The problem with the law is, as Randy pointed it out, that you can actually commence this whole thing yourself. You can become the initial aggressor, which is what the government is going to say [George] Zimmerman was and it’s going to depend on what the evidence shows, and still claim the protection of the law. Most statutes that permit self defense permit you to use force or violence to defend yourself, do not permit you to do so when you started the whole thing.”

Shepard Smith asked, is the word “reasonable” written in the law anywhere? Zelin noted that “reasonable belief” is in the law and Judge Napolitano explained, “Your belief that the other person is about to inflict deadly force on you, must be a reasonable belief. So in order for the jury to take this defense into account at the time of his trial, Mr. Zimmerman must present them a basis upon which they can come to the same conclusion that he did. If he fails to present that basis, the court won’t let the testimony go in.”