Volusia fires beach officer for racial messages.Volusia County Beach Safety officer accused of sending insensitive racial messages at the end of last month’s Trayvon Martin trial was fired Friday for unprofessional conduct — or what county officials called “horrible judgment made worse during a racially charged atmosphere.”
Todd Snipes, 45, a Volusia lifeguard for 24 years and a law enforcement officer for 15, “engaged in behavior that threatens the respect and trust of the community and jeopardizes the perception that the department enforces the law fairly, even-handedly and without bias,” Department of Public Protection Director George Recktenwald wrote in Snipes’ notice of dismissal.
Reached Friday night, Snipes referred all questions to his attorney, Jason Harr, who could not be contacted.
Snipes’ messages included a Facebook post the night after George Zimmerman’s acquittal that read: “Another thug gone. Pull up your pants and be respectful. Bye bye thug r.i.p.”
He was also involved in an exchange of a series of racially tinged picture messages that included a cartoon of Trayvon Martin, holding a bag of Skittles. The words across the cartoon were: “Those Skittles were to die for.”