By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:34 AM EDT, Thu March 22, 2012
Sanford, Florida (CNN) — After a no-confidence vote and demands for his resignation, pressure mounted Thursday on the police chief of the Florida city where unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was killed.
Sanford city commissioners voted 3-2 Wednesday night in favor of a nonbinding measure of no confidence against Police Chief Bill Lee. It was not immediately clear what impact, if any, that would have.
City Manager Norton Bonaparte said Thursday that he would like an independent review of police action in the wake of the shooting.
NAACP President Ben Jealous, however, was more forthright. Parents, he said, don’t feel their children will be safe with Lee heading the police department.
“He needs to go right now,’ Jealous said.
Meanwhile, the uproar over Martin’s death continued to grow with another rally planned Thursday night at a Sanford church. The Rev. Al Sharpton was slated to lead that rally before news of his mother’s death.
The Trayvon Martin tragedy is shining a national spotlight on “stand your ground” laws in at least 21 states.
The laws – in places such as Texas, Idaho and Alaska – allow everyday citizens to use deadly force against someone else if they fear for their life. They also say people do not have to retreat if threatened or attacked.
George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., fatally shot Trayvon as the 17-year-old was walking to his father’s home from a 7-Eleven.
Police have said officers were prohibited from arresting Zimmerman because he claimed to have used “justifiable” force.
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, March 22, 7:16 AM
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Neighborhood watch groups were designed to be the eyes and ears of police — passively observing what they see and reporting back to law enforcement — not to enforce the law themselves.
Most neighborhood watches follow the rules, and confrontations are rare. But after the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in a Florida gated community, criminal justice experts say police departments and watch groups need to make sure volunteers do not take matters into their own hands.
“First thing: You do not engage. Once you see anything, a suspicious activity, you call the number that the police department has given you,” said Chris Tutko, director of the Neighborhood Watch program at the National Sheriffs’ Association, which launched the neighborhood watch concept 40 years ago as a response to rising crime.
Tutko said he was flabbergasted to learn about a watch captain’s shooting of the 17-year-old Martin last month in Sanford, Fla. Civil rights groups have demanded the arrest of the captain, George Zimmerman, who has said he shot Martin in self-defense. The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation.