• Police sgt. fired; Shooting targets resembled Trayvon Martin


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Officials with Port Canaveral said a police sergeant has been fired after he brought shooting targets resembling Trayvon Martin to a firearms training session.

    Sgt. Ron King was terminated from the police department on Friday, according to officials.

    Port officials said King brought two shooting targets which had images resembling Trayvon Martin on them to a firearms training session on April 2.

    The image of someone wearing a dark hoodie with a drink can and a bag of Skittles candy in their hand has become a well-known symbol in the death of 17-year-old Martin. The unarmed teen was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford last year.

    Port Canaveral interim CEO John Walsh is meeting with members of the Police Department on Monday, including Chief Joe Hellebrand, who declined to comment.

    "Whether his act was hatred or stupidity, none is tolerable," said Walsh.

    Walsh set the termination into motion last week, citing two department violations.

    Internal investigation documents Channel 9 obtained from a witness claims "Sgt. King stated he bought 100 of these and offered me one."

    "He had a target in the back of his car and offered it to two other officers with the port," said Walsh. "They rejected his offer and told him to put it back in the car."

    Officials will not say if the targets were actually used by King.

    The attorney for Martin's parents said they're aware of the incident.

    "The parents are just trying their best to not think of their son as an image for target practice. It makes no sense to them," said attorney Ben Crump.

    The firearms training was being held at a facility at the Brevard Community College campus in Cocoa. The officers who were participating in the training, as well as King, were on duty at the time.

    But King told a different story in a YouTube video he posted, saying, "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 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."

    Officials said King has seven days to appeal his termination. A hearing has been tentatively set for Friday to review the matter.

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