Let’s get one thing straight out the gate here: GET CHARACTER OR BECOME ONE!
Florida police sergeant Ron King was canned for offering his colleagues practice shooting targets with a silhouette resembling Trayvon Martin. Less than 24 hours later, King’s my-side-of-the-story video, which he was stupid enough to post on YouTube, is a rambling, groan-inducing effort that only negates any argument or principle he petulantly wants us to recognize.
“The events that took place on April 2 are as follows,” King says, only to literally recite his resume. Instead of coming from the heart, speaking like a real person, or offering a human perspective, he hides behind a learned chain-of-command persona. Far from helping him make a point, it made me think of the cop-groupie weirdness of George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer.
King’s immediate reliance on semantics to muddy his intention leads directly to his claim of victimhood for himself and the Martin family. But King doesn’t see the Martins as wronged in the way you might think: this cabbage-head, who blithely proposed an illustration of their dead son for firearms training, believes that both he and the Martins are simply the subjects of agenda-driven manipulation and “lies,” for which they are equally entitled to “feel used and violated.” This jaw-dropping lack of awareness makes his opening “apology” to Trayvon’s family awkward as hell, and it’s downright cringe-worthy when King loses his place reiterating it later, after stating gallantly that he refuses to sit by and let himself be used for another’s gain.
Throughout the statement, King shuffles the areas in which he claims “responsibility” and the excuses he makes for acting inappropriately in the first place – something he alternately feels and does not feel he’s done. Though he acknowledges that he shouldn’t have offered the Trayvon target to another sergeant for his pre-teen son to help with their father-son bonding, King ultimately decides that his primary failing was believing his cop colleagues wouldn’t sell him out for their own career advancement. Since, clearly, they did, the real thing he regrets is trusting them.
In other words, King is sorry he got caught.
So again, super weird to watch him try to follow that up with an apology to the Martins, as if the act of including them in his robotic, authentic-adjacent mea culpa alone is sufficient to clear the air over his trivialization of their son’s killing. King does, by the way, weigh in on the shooting itself, with the disclaimer that he “[doesn’t] know the facts in the case and [he] reserve[s] judgment on either side.”
That’s interesting, actually, because a large part of King’s self defense involves his post-firing claim that he meant for the hoodie-wearing Trayvon target to be a “no-shoot” training aid, and you’re not supposed to empty your police-issue bullets into those. He seems to forget that he essentially offered the target to a child completely outside of the training context when he goes out of his way to assure us that his judgment and integrity are outstanding because he’s trained firearms students with a range of aptitudes. I thought that part was funny, ‘cause it’s a practiced preamble of bullshit I once relied on as an excuse-ridden young adult. So needless to say, I know it when I see or hear it: most of us do. We also recognize fluff and filler, and King’s five minute flick’s got ammo belts of pointless detail.
But back to the issue of judgment and the excuses our friend Ron King is making for his. King is now on record stating the following, “The only stupid act I performed was to believe that some of my coworkers would be mature enough and care enough to use a bad situation as a learning tool.” His meandering response finally settles on a self-righteous claim of having the maturity and experience to co-opt real life scenarios for more effective training, misperceptions be damned. (Will you just forget about his willingness to give the target to a kid already??) But I wonder, Ron –considering the product description used by the company who sold these targets included the line, “Obviously we support Zimmerman and believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug”– I wonder if you’re still on the fence about whether Trayvon Martin was a perpetrator or a victim? How can we believe you really intended to use his image as a no-shoot target?
Oh that’s right, we don’t believe you! I’ll bet nobody does.