Police Sergeant Fired for Using Trayvon Martin Targets at Shooting Range
As activists continue to seek justice for Trayvon Martin’s murder, it seems the teenager won’t be allowed to rest in peace. Friday, Florida police sergeant Ron King was fired for using targets that resembled Martin at the shooting range, reported CNN.
Until Friday, King was a firearms instructor for the Port Canaveral Police Department. An investigation found that King had created the targets and had been passing them out to other officers. The target show a hooded silhouette holding a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea, the items Martin was carrying the night he was shot by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in 2012.
King has since created a YouTube video in his defense. He said, “While others have used it as a novelty, I view it as a tool for scenario-based firearms training.” The former sergeant said it’s common for firearms instructors to use real-life situations in training and that he used this target to train his students for a no-shoot situation. King said he never handed out the targets. He claimed he showed the targets to only one sergeant, asking him if he thought they’d be useful for training. The sergeant asked for one of the targets, saying his son would “get a kick” out of them, but snapped a cellphone photo and used it to file a complaint.”The only stupid act I performed was to believe that some of my coworkers would be mature enough and care enough to use a bad situation as a learning tool,” he claimed.
King also apologized to the Martin family for the police department’s use of his teaching aids for “personal and political gain.” He continued, “I assure you that the use of these targets that are in question is to prevent a tragedy from taking place.”