Florida police sergeant Ron King was fired Friday after offering Trayvon Martin shooting targets to colleagues during training, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
King, a fire-arms expert and two year veteran of the force, allegedly offered the targets to two colleagues who refused to use them. One officer reported the event, which prompted an investigation.
“Whether his [King’s] act is one of hatred or stupidity, neither one is tolerable,” Port Canaveral Interim Chief Executive Officer John Walsh said.
Walsh issued a public apology to Trayvon’s parents, calling King’s actions “unacceptable, insensitive and unprofessional.”
Trayvon Martin was 17-years-old when he was gunned down by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012 as he walked through a gated community in Sanford Florida. The teen was unarmed, carrying nothing but an iced tea and Skittles.
Zimmerman still awaits trial.
Zimmerman’s mother recently released a letter saying that there was “no justifiable reason” for her son to be arrested.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, lawyer for Trayvon’s family, strongly rebuked King’s actions:
“It is absolutely reprehensible that a high-ranking member of the Port Canaveral Police, sworn to protect and serve Floridians, would use the image of a dead child as target practice,” Martin family attorney Ben Crump said in a statement. “Such a deliberate and depraved indifference to this grieving family is unacceptable.”
Sgt. King released a YouTube video late Saturday night denying the charges, claiming that the targets were intended “to use a bad situation as a learning tool.” He also claims that there was a “political agenda” behind his firing.
The targets sold out within two days of being put online. Martin’s face does not appear, but they clearly depict a hooded figure holding Skittles and a drinking beverage.
The creators of the targets are Zimmerman supporters and claim that he shot a “thug.”