Volusia beach safety officer fired over Trayvon Martin FB post

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. —

An internal affairs investigation into a now former Volusia County beach safety officer has been opened to the public.

Channel 9 learned Todd Snipes was directly questioned about a comment on Facebook following George Zimmerman's acquittal in Trayvon Martin's killing.

In reference to Martin, Snipes wrote, "Another thug gone, pull up your pants and act respectful, bye bye thug, rip."

In an interview, when asked if he could still be impartial to minority groups, Snipes said, 'Absolutely.'

But local Rev. Ronald Durham, a local religious leader, said Snipes' response shows a lack of remorse.

"Any individual that made the kinds of posts that he made, I think should feel some remorse," said Durham. "I think had he immediately apologized, been contrite about it, it may not have reached the level that it reached."

Snipes was fired from Beach Safety Ocean Rescue last week. County officials said he violated social media policies and worse, threatened the trust and respect of the community.

Durham said the post specifically affects young black men and fuels their distrust of police.

"In a post like this, it appears that's what happened. It just reinforces what these young men believe and have in their mind," he said.

Snipes was also questioned about controversial images of Martin, Paula Dean and Rachel Jantel. He referred to those images as a joke.

Durham said that joke has done great damage, but he hopes many can learn from it as well.