MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The former boss of Florida’s largest police department said he believes the Sanford Police Department’s handling of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was “a rushed haphazard, or botched, or backwards investigation,” either intentionally or because of a lack of training.

Former Miami-Dade police director Bobby Parker, who served 33 years in law enforcement before retiring from the department, was blunt in his assessment.

See the full interview

“It has to be either intentional or as a result of a lack of preparing and a lack of training and qualifications for the people that are there,” he said in an interview with CBS4’s Gio Benitez. “It’s one or the other. Either they are intentionally lapse, or lax, in their process or they don’t know any better, one or the other.”

The way the Sanford Police department and chief Bill Lee handled the investigation has attracted considerable criticism. It allowed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin as he walked home from a convenience store, to remain free after the shooting based on little more than his claim he shot in self defense.

There have been charges of poor investigative techniques, inadequate preservation of evidence, and racism because the person shot was black and from Miami while the shooter was a ethnically Hispanic white man from the neighborhood.

Lee temporarily stepped down after city officials gave him a vote of no confidence for his handling of the case.

While sources within the department said at least one homicide investigator wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter, the department sources said the state attorney (who has since removed himself from the case) decided there wasn’t enough evidence.

Parker has a problem with that.

“And of course, you don’t know if it was because he gave them all the details to his findings or whether he didn’t give him enough details in his finding,” he said.”So for one of the other reasons the state attorney obviously made a determination and a decision that you didn’t have enough, either because they didn’t have enough information at the time or the State Attorney wasn’t given enough information at the time.”

For Parker, the question is why.

“And, of course, if he wasn’t given enough it could be for one of two reasons. Either they didn’t probe the issue, explore the issue deep and detailed enough, or that they simply made a premature decision to call the state attorney’s office,” he said.

Miami-Dade’s former top cop said on big cases, it’s not unusual for representatives of the State Attorney’s office to come directly to the crime scene to ask questions and make determinations about the case.

Parker said had the shooting happened under his watch, the potential for community concern would have been addressed immediately.

“That would be my level. And of course by the time they called they would definitely have some very basic, if not very detailed, answers to points and issues that are normally of concern. That would include what the age of the person, and the circumstances, and I’m telling you there’s enough in the circumstances that tells you a community would be alarmed of a death, of a youth, under those circumstances, that is involving a crimewatch member that is armed.”

Parker is not an impartial observer in this case. He testified before a congressional committee on the shooting last month, and has appeared numerous times with Trayvon’s family at events demanding justice for Trayvon in the form of the arrest of George Zimmerman, at times speaking out against the handling of the case.

“What I hope, and all that I am asking for is what America is asking for, and that is a detailed, comprehensive, thorough investigation, and a chance to put this entire matter and issue before the courts,” he said.

“In other words, not that a premature determination be made by anyone. Not by an investigator, not by a single police agency, not by a state attorney by themselves, but to be put before the court. And we’re hoping that a triad of reviews of this investigation at the federal local and state level that we’ll end up with enough information to make a determination to go forward and go before the courts and let the courts decide.”

Comments (21)
  1. poorwhiteboy says:

    Another BLACK man heard from

    1. huufarted says:

      Amen, Im getting DAMNED TIRED of all these darkies talking about facts they dont have …

  2. Andybinga says:

    If he knows nothing about the case than how can he say that? He does not have any of the info that the PD or DA have. Your spinning of the story is disgusting CBS and I hope the Zimmermans sue you.

    1. Jane Doe says:

      The polioe report about this was and still might be on the police department’s website. My friend worked as a police officer for 33 years and was a police chief and commented on the case on MSNBC. He also claimed that the investigation was poorly done. My friend also happens to be white.

    2. nchell says:

      The Martins WILL sue. And the city of Sanford will be known by its new name,Martinville,Florida!!

  3. Old_Norm says:

    “In other words, not that a premature determination be made by anyone. Not by an investigator, not by a single police agency, not by a state attorney by themselves, but to be put before the court…”

    But isn’t that exactly what he is doing by making a premature determination about the Sanford Police Department’s handling of the case?

    1. truth or consequences says:

      He is saying what every intelligent person is saying. tell it to the judge and jury.

      1. Old_Norm says:

        But he is not telling it to a judge and jury. He is out in the public venue talking about the case, making premature determinations about aspects of the case. He’s being hypocritical and his bias for the family is obvious. BTW I have not reached a decision in my mind as to the guilt or innocence in this case.

  4. Elliott1 says:

    He has the experience of operatring Florida’s largest police department and it could be said he has the experience to deem this investigation incomplete, lacking and leaving much to be desired. Which is what most every one else in this world wide attention getter case is thinking. What’s wrong with that? Some of you who still think Trayvon provoked this case will get a rude awakening sooner or later. The home owners association is getting their butts sued off, their property values are headed south if anyone at all will ever buy one of those townhomes. And many other associations will take heed from this case. A paranoid wanna be cop can cause a lot of damage…

  5. Isabel says:

    the only thing I agree with is : don’t make any judgment if you don’t have all the knowledge of the facts. It’s a very wronful way this has been reported and people taking places when not knowing what exactly happened. I understand Tryvon parents pain, but WE DON”T KNOW YET…

  6. Isabel says:

    I didn’t edit the comment, so forgive the wrong spelling, please

  7. Charles says:

    …and let’s not forget the fact that there were 7 break-ins in 7 months in that particular community, either.

    That information is indeed relevant as to why there was a community watch initiated in the first place.

  8. CellTherapy says:

    Sanford and Son Police Department !!!!!!

    1. CellTherapy says:

      Close down this joke of a police dept and let the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
      Police these 22 miles.

  9. poorwhiteboy says:

    Don”t tell me this man is WHITE Jane Doe ,PARKER is If You can”t tell Parker is BLACK

  10. lawrence, oh but i'am dead right says:

    that’s not exactly right mr.parker. you under investigated case 99-1192. pot can’t call the kettle black

  11. poorwhiteboy says:

    Keep your judgements to YOURSELF EX -cop. EX EX EX White people don”t care about you or your view

    1. nchell says:

      Why youuuu mad?? Parker is just stating the truth but apparently bigots don’t handle the truth too well.LOL

  12. pepeninguno says:

    It seems to be that G. Zimmerman has already been coached very well by his ex-judge father on what to say or what not, i wonder if there are any ties of ex-judge Zimmerman and the state attorney’s office in Sanford. This seems to me like a big cover up. This man should have already been jailed for manslaughter at least. The only reasonable explanation i see is because of the fact that his dad is an ex-judge and he made some phone calls to have his son not arrested and made it look like self defence, after all, wouldnt an ex-judge know how to get his son out of this mess ?

  13. C BROWN says:


  14. mens black leather biker jacket says:

    My brother recommended I may like this web site. He was entirely right. This publish truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!