A Florida police office was fired when two other officers revealed he planned on using images of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin for target practice.
Sgt. Ron King, who has been a part of the Cape Canaveral Port Authority for more than two years, purchased several of the photos online.
According to ABC, the two officers discovered the photos a little more than a week ago and found it to be extremely inappropriate:
On April 4, when two fellow cops discovered King intended to use the Trayvon Martin shooting targets in their weapons exercise, they told him “they didn’t think it was appropriate,” said John Walsh, CEO of the Cape Canaveral Port Authority. The next day, he said the officers informed the Port Authority Police Chief, who called in internal affairs.
It’s not certain if the photos had actually been used, or if authorities discovered them before he followed through with his idea.
Either way, the authorities felt like the Martin family and the rest of the community deserved a serious apology:
“We want to apologize to the community and the family of Trayvon Martin and don’t feel that this is tolerable or acceptable in any level. It’s something that we’d never want the Port Authority to be involved in and we truly apologize to the families for the pain that they even had to hear about something like this and had to relive their son’s death again,” Walsh said.
The Martin family’s attorney also spoke out about the incident, explaining his disgust with the officer’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,” attorney Ben Crump said in a statement. “Such a deliberate and depraved indifference to this grieving family is unacceptable.”
It was only a year ago that the 17-year-old boy was gunned down in Sanford, Florida by neighborhood watch George Zimmerman.
While Zimmerman claimed the shooting was in self defense, Trayvon was unarmed and initial police investigations failed to find anything that would suggest Martin threatened Zimmerman.
Zimmerman’s second degree murder trial is scheduled to begin in just two months.