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Safety officer fired over Trayvon Martin Facebook post

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Updated: 8/16/2013 7:54 pm
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- An internal affairs investigation into a now former Volusia County beach safety officer has been opened to the public.

Channel 9 learned Todd Snipes was directly questioned about a comment on Facebook following George Zimmerman's acquittal in Trayvon Martin's killing.

In reference to Martin, Snipes wrote, "Another thug gone, pull up your pants and act respectful, bye bye thug, rip."

In an interview, when asked if he could still be impartial to minority groups, Snipes said, 'Absolutely.'

But local Rev. Ronald Durham, a local religious leader, said Snipes' response shows a lack of remorse.

"Any individual that made the kinds of posts that he made, I think should feel some remorse," said Durham. "I think had he immediately apologized, been contrite about it, it may not have reached the level that it reached."

Snipes was fired from Beach Safety Ocean Rescue last week. County officials said he violated social media policies and worse, threatened the trust and respect of the community.

Durham said the post specifically affects young black men and fuels their distrust of police.

"In a post like this, it appears that's what happened. It just reinforces what these young men believe and have in their mind," he said.

Snipes was also questioned about controversial images of Martin, Paula Dean and Rachel Jantel. He referred to those images as a joke.

Durham said that joke has done great damage, but he hopes many can learn from it as well.

[Special coverage: George Zimmerman trial]

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

FlSunRise87 - 8/19/2013 1:06 PM
0 Votes
OMFG! Number ONE: FREEDOM OF SPEACH! and Number TWO: "the post specifically affects young black men and fuels their distrust of police". Hmmm wonder why you'd thing that buddy? Oh yea maybe because presentation goes a FAR LOOOOONG way. JS

nativejax - 8/17/2013 3:51 PM
2 Votes
So what, it's still freedom of speech...I'm sick and tired of people telling me I can't speak my mind, especially when it's the truth. It so much MUCH easier to get their way and CONTROL others when they attack our freedoms of speech, right of self protection, choices of healthcare, and ALL the other sick degrading crap they are trying to force on us. The THUGS know to use use the RUSE of racism, proclaiming they got their touchy, widdle feelings hurt, so SOMEONE SHOULD PAY. The Martins 'parents' care more about being called the N word, then did about where their kid was that night. 'THUGS' is NOT the new N word, because there are all colors of decrepants in the news today. TRY AGAIN, with your blantant 'race baiting'. A THUG IS A THUG.

wishmistress - 8/17/2013 2:56 PM
0 Votes
When are people going to learn that FB is the 1st place employers go to check on you? This person was an officer of the law, therefore a liability to the county with his comments.

eviltwinmorgan - 8/17/2013 2:15 PM
0 Votes
Hate speech. We all know thug is the new "the n-word". This site censored me for referring to the word! HA!

TOMMY - 8/17/2013 1:44 PM
2 Votes
Freedom of speech!!

Gunny48 - 8/16/2013 8:08 PM
3 Votes
Good thing he wasn't wearing an obozo mask. He'd be in real trouble then...
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