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Fla. police officer fired over Trayvon Martin shooting target

April 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM   |   Comments

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla., April 14 (UPI) -- A Florida city official says he apologized to the family of Trayvon Martin after a police sergeant displayed a shooting target resembling their slain son.

John Walsh, interim chief executive officer of Port Canaveral, said Sgt. Ron King was fired as a firearms instructor for the city's police force for offering other officers the opportunity to take shots at a target bearing an image of a figure wearing a hoodie sweatshirt -- suggestive of the one Martin was wearing when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed him Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla.

The incident took place in Cocoa, not far from Sanford.

Walsh said King's action was insensitive and unprofessional.

"Whether his act is one of hatred or stupidity, neither one is tolerable," Walsh said.

The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel said Sunday King took to YouTube to defend his actions. He said he did not actually intend to have officers fire at the target and claimed another sergeant reported the incident because he had a "political agenda."

The Sentinel said the particular target, which is sold online, had the figure carrying a canned drink and a bag of Skittles candy. Martin was killed as he walked back to his father's home after buying similar items at a convenience store.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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