From George Zimmerman’s mother writing on the anniversary of her son’s arrest that he is the victim used “solely to placate the masses” to last week’s firing of a police officer sergeant who wanted to use a silhouette picture of the likeness of Trayvon Martin as a target in gun shooting practice, things could not have gotten any stranger in the Trayvon Martin saga last week. The image which was not used shows the heights to which some people will go in showing either their racism, ignorance or both. In the words often used by Dr. Phil to describe bizarre circumstances, what was he thinking? A Port Canaveral, Florida police sergeant wanted to use a likeness of an image dressed as Trayvon Martin as a shooting target, according to various sources. The image was not used as other officers declined.
A trial is scheduled for June 10 and regardless of which way the jury or judge decides, a tragedy occurred last year on February 26, 2012. And a tragedy should not be seen as a comedy as Officer Ron King tried to make it out. A young seventeen year old teenager was shot and killed for walking back from the store in the neighborhood where his father’s girlfriend resided, while carrying a soda and a bag of Skittles. And when teenagers cannot walk in neighborhoods without being shot and killed, it’s a tragedy whether it’s done by George Zimmerman, a black perpetrator or anyone else. And to make mockery of the victim is tasteless and repulsive. It’s the way that the police officer acted last week and the way the officers acted last year in not arresting George Zimmerman on the night of the shooting that causes many persons of color to believe that justice will be overcome with racism.
Then there was George Zimmerman’s mother who spoke out to say her son’s version was true and he was only arrested “to placate the masses.” I understand a mother standing by her son…just like Sybrina Fulton is standing up for the rights of her son. But the police officer’s attempt to use Trayvon Martin’s picture as a target practice is not justified under any circumstances. The family attorney of Trayvon Martin, Ben Crump, released a statement that stated it is absolutely reprehensible to use an image of a dead child as target practice by a high ranking officer of the Port Canaveral police force.
Some online comments have said that the officer had first amendment rights. That’s true except the officer was on a job and conducting a target practice and should have been setting an example for other officers. And conduct that was unbecoming to being a police officer is what got him fired. Whether it was a stupid gesture, a racist one or both, it had no place in a police sergeant conducting target practice. The officer can appeal the ruling of his firing.
Sargeant Ron King denies that he was using the image of a silhouette of a person wearing a hoodie, carrying a can of soda and a bag of Skittles in his pocket with a bull’s eye on his chest to represent or use the likeness of Trayvon Martin as actual shooting target practice. Those were the same likeness of what Trayvon Martin was wearing while walking to his death by George Zimmerman. It is highly unlikely that an appeal will be successful, given the circumstances.