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Earlier this month, Ron King, a sergeant with the Port Canaveral, Florida Police Department, offered some paper targets resembling Trayvon Martin to his fellow officers for use at a firearms training session. One of the more conscientious cops complained, and this weekend King was fired. Noweasels diaried about it here.
Well, late Saturday King took to YouTube to defend himself. He claims that the targets were actually a training tool on how to recognize a "no-shoot situation." Watch here: (h/t to WESH in Orlando and CNN)
King maintains that he bought the targets because the Skittles and iced tea were nonthreatening items, and could be used to help officers learn when not to shoot a suspect. He said that he offered the target to one of his fellow officers after the other officer mentioned his son would "get a kick out of them." According to King, that officer's son frequently wears a hoodie, prompting his father to joke, "Be careful, Trayvon." The other officer turned the offer down, instead taking a picture and saying he would text it to his son. Instead, he used it as the basis for the complaint that ultimately got King fired. King claims his firing was part of an internal power struggle in the Port Canaveral Police Department
I'd actually find King's story believable if he hadn't mentioned at around the 3:55 mark that in hindsight, he shouldn't have offered the target. Which tells me that King had reason to know someone would think he was a racist jerk for having the target in the first place. While King apologized to the Martin family for cops who are using them as pawns, in light of his admission that he probably shouldn't have offered to give the target to his fellow officers, it rings pretty hollow.