The police chief in the Florida city where George Zimmerman lives expressed concerns Thursday that Zimmerman remains able to carry a gun, even after repeated run-ins with police following his acquittal this summer in the Trayvon Martin killing.
“I’m a small-town police chief. If I had the authority to revoke his firearm license, I would certainly sit down and consider that,” Steve Bracknell, the chief of police in Lake Mary, said during a telephone interview with NBC News.
“Does anyone else except me see a pattern?” Bracknell continued. “The word firearm keeps popping up.”
Bracknell’s officers responded Monday to a domestic dispute between Zimmerman and his estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman, who told a 911 dispatcher that Zimmerman had threatened her with a gun and punched her father in the nose.
Police reports released Wednesday — with the Zimmermans’ names redacted — provided conflicting accounts of the argument. Police said no gun was found on George Zimmerman — and his wife and other witnesses later said they had not actually seen a firearm. No charges have been filed.
But in an email exchange reported Thursday by the website Think Progress, Bracknell told a concerned citizen that Zimmerman had a gun in his car.
“We did not have the authority to search his truck. He DID have a firearm in the truck. Having a firearm is not a violation of Florida law,” Bracknell wrote.
The chief also wrote in response to the citizen’s suggestion that police in Florida were covering for Zimmerman, “REST ASSURED, the last thing on planet earth I want is ANY relationship with the Zimmermans. PERIOD.”
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