A Port Canaveral police sergeant was fired Friday after an internal investigation showed he offered other officers a target resembling Trayvon Martin to use for shooting practice.
Sgt. Ron King, a firearms instructor and two-year member of the force, offered the target of a hoodie-wearing figure at the range near Cocoa during the first week of April, spokeswoman Rosalind Harvey said Saturday.
The other officers, who were on duty, refused, officials said.
In a YouTube video posted late Saturday, King said he did not intend for the target to be used for shooting. It was designed "to use a bad situation as a learning tool," he said.
Port Canaveral Interim Chief Executive Officer John Walsh apologized publicly to Martin's family Saturday and called King's behavior unacceptable, insensitive and unprofessional.
"Whether (King's) act is one of hatred or stupidity, neither one is tolerable," Walsh said.
The 17-year-old South Florida youth was shot by Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012, in Zimmerman's gated Sanford town-house community.
Zimmerman wasn't arrested until an international outcry resulted in the appointment of a special prosecutor and a second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman. He awaits trial.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing Martin's parents, issued a statement condemning the target.
"Using a dead child's image as target practice is reprehensible," Crump said.
The target, which features a bull's-eye over his heart, a package of Skittles in his pocket and a beverage can in his right hand, is sold online.
The night he was killed, Martin was on the way back to a relative's home from a convenience store where he had bought the candy and a nonalcoholic drink. He wore a hoodie.
King has a week to appeal his termination.