A police officer accused of bringing targets resembling Trayvon Martin to a gun range has been fired.
Port Canaveral Interim Chief Executive Officer John Walsh told WFTV on Saturday that Sgt. Ron King was leading a target practice with two other Port Canaveral police officers and a civilian port employee when he pulled out the targets April 4. Walsh says King asked the group if they wanted to use the targets and they said no, telling King to put them back into his patrol car.
Last May, the website GunBroker.com briefly advertised shooting targets depicting an apparent likeness to Martin, prompting outrage across the US.
Those paper silhouettes depicted an outline of a hooded man holding skittles and a can of iced tea – the same items that 17-year-old Martin was carrying on the day he was killed in February. It was unclear if the target King carried was the same one.
Sgt. Ron King has since released a YouTube video in response to the allegations against him.
“I find that people are accusing me of doing something that I just plain did not do.”
King said he brought the targets to demonstrate what officers should not shoot at, and claims anyone saying otherwise is trying to further their own political agenda.
King had been employed with the Port Canaveral Police Department since January of 2011, officials said. Port officials told WFTV King purchased the targets on the Internet.
In a statement from Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin‘s family, he said “Using a dead child’s image as target practice is reprehensible.”