Last week, the metalsphere was shaken up by the news of Andrew Ricks, a police officer in Sanford, Florida that was fired for singing onstage with Vital Remains while in uniform. Granted, a cop in uniform shouting “let the killing begin” in Trayvon Martin’s home town isn’t the best look, even if Martin was shot by a non-officer. That being said, it seemed a little unfair that a police officer interacting with metal fans be let go for being, essentially a music fan. However, in an interview with the Daily Beast, Sanford PD Chief Cecil E. Smith says that Ricks had already tendered his resignation and he would have only worked for another two days anyway, even if he hadn’t gotten onstage with the band. But despite that, Ricks had violated other policies:
“For folks to believe that he was terminated because of the circumstances isn’t true,” Chief Smith said. “What would have probably happened if Officer Ricks had remained on the job, is that we would have completed the internal investigation, for which he would have most likely received some form of discipline.”
Some of those other policies include not having his body cam turned on, and he’d also placed a training officer in a situation that he wasn’t equipped to handle. Ricks had worked with the Sanford PD since 2010. Smith did maintain that singing “Let the killing begin” wasn’t appropriate for anyone to sing, especially a police officer:
“‘Let the killing begin’ is not an appropriate response to anything, considering the tensions between law enforcement and the communities, and considering the circumstances of things that have taken place in Paris and around our country,” he said.
Smith did say that their decision had nothing to do with Ricks’ taste in music, stating “There is absolutely no concern with us with anyone listening to heavy metal. That’s your prerogative and your choice of music that you want to listen to.” There’s no word on what Ricks will do now that he’s out of a job, but he should probably form a band.
[via Metal Injection]