SANFORD, Fla. - The police chief of a Florida town where an unarmed black teenager was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer said on Thursday he would temporarily step down from his job, saying his role in the investigation had become too much of a distraction.
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee had been heading up the investigation into the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by watch captain George Zimmerman, 28. The incident has sparked a nationwide public outcry over Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which Zimmerman says makes the killing self defense.
Police have declined to arrest Zimmerman.
Lee called himself a distraction and said it had become "apparent that my involvement in the matter is overshadowing the process." He has been on the job less than one year.