Fla. Cop Fired for In-Uniform Cameo with Death Metal Band

Officer Andrew Ricks was fired from the Sanford Police Department on Wednesday after video emerged of him briefly screaming along on stage at a concert with death metal band Vital Remains during an introduction to the band's song "Let the Killing Begin."

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Barry Donegan
Barry Donegan is a writer, musician, and pro-liberty political activist living in Nashville, TN. Donegan served as Director-at-Large of the Davidson County Republican Party from 2009-2011 and was the Middle Tennessee Regional Coordinator over 30 counties for Ron Paul's 2012 Presidential Campaign. Follow him at facebook.com/barry.donegan and twitter.com/barrydonegan

Sanford, Fla. Police Chief Cecil B. Smith announced Wednesday morning that Officer Andrew Ricks has been fired from the department after video, seen above, emerged of the officer joining the death metal band Vital Remains on stage for a brief cameo at a November 13 concert at West End Trading Co.

In the clip, Officer Ricks can be seen on-stage with the band displaying the horns-up heavy metal hand gesture and delivering the opening line to the band’s song “Let the Killing Begin.

Chief Smith said according to WFTV, “An incident of this nature erodes the thin fibers of trust which already exist between the community and the police, and it will not be tolerated within the Sanford Police Department.

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He (the chief) wanted to make sure the citizens didn’t have an issue with what was being said,” commented Sanford police spokesperson Ronny Neal, noting that the department primarily took issue with the officer’s in-uniform singing of the band’s controversial lyrics.

LEX 18 notes that in July of this year, a Lexington, Ky. police officer’s spontaneous on-duty performance of the lyrically-tame Poison ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” was met with praise by the Lexington Police Department, who shared video of the incident on social media to improve community relations.

Ricks told reporters that he did not want to comment on the matter.

[RELATED: Fired Denver Officer In Excessive Force Case Moves Toward Reclaiming Job]

Officer Ricks, who has no prior disciplinary record in his six years at the Sanford Police Department, was fired two days before he was scheduled to voluntarily resign. He had announced his plan to resign on October 30, prior to the incident. Officer Ricks was fired within 24 hours of Sanford police officials’ November 17 discovery of video of the concert cameo.

Vital Remains vocalist Brian Werner told the music news site Metal Injection, “This is exactly what’s wrong with the world today.

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