PORT CANAVERAL, Florida – Sgt. Ron King of Port Canaveral Police Department was fired Friday after two officers allegedly refused to use Trayvon Martin targets for firearm training. One of those officers filed a complaint against him, which prompted an internal review.
In a response posted to YouTube late Saturday, King denied the accusations against him. King said the allegation that he offered the targets to others to shoot at was a “complete fabrication.”
Port Canaveral Interim Chief Executive Officer John Walsh told WFTV on Saturday that Sgt. Ron King was leading a target practice with two other officers and a civilian when he pulled out the targets on April 4.
Walsh says King asked the group if they wanted to use the targets, and they said no.
The 17-year-old Martin was killed in 2012 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in a case that led to protests over race and self-defense gun laws.
Following the incident, shooting targets designed to resemble Martin began appearing on the Internet. The black targets show a figure wearing a hoodie with skittles in his pocket and crosshairs over his chest.
“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.”
Zimmerman says he shot Martin, who was black, in self-defense. His trial is set for June.
*Picture above is former police officer Ron King.