Sanford Police Detective Chris Serino recommended a manslaughter charge for George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin. The detective has been reassigned as uniformed patrolman on the graveyard shift.
But police records released Tuesday show in greater detail how the Sanford detective investigating the case was unconvinced that Zimmerman was legally justified when he shot Martin. Detective Chris Serino believed Zimmerman jumped to a “faulty conclusion” about Martin, an unarmed teen who he said never used deadly force when he battered Zimmerman and caused him to frantically scream for help 14 times.
Days after several recorded interviews between Serino and Zimmerman were made public, the detective got a new job: On July 7, he starts in his new assignment as a uniformed patrolman on the graveyard shift, at the same pay.
“It’s not a demotion,” Sanford Police spokesman Sgt. David Morgenstern said of Serino, 45, who has been with the department for 15 years.
“There isn’t any more prestige in being a detective. We have officers who love uniform patrol. This was of his own free will.”
The new assignment was announced less than a week after former Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee was fired over the public outcry that resulted from the department’s handling of the case. And it was revealed hours after State Attorney Angela Corey released another batch of evidence in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial, raising speculation that Serino’s move to patrol was directly related to the controversial case.
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