Florida Police Officer Fired For Singing 'Let The Killing Begin' With VITAL REMAINSNovember 19, 2015
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a Florida police officer was fired for joining the death metal band VITAL REMAINS on stage last week and singing the song "Dechristianize" in full uniform.
Andrew Ricks was on duty on November 13 when he appeared at the West End Trading Co. in Sanford, Florida and was videotaped throwing a "devil's horns" hand gesture and apparently motioning to the audience to start a mosh pit before shouting and singing a portion of the song, which includes the statement "Let the killing begin." (See video below.)
After a video of Ricks's appearance with VITAL REMAINS was sent to Police Chief Cecil B. Smith on Tuesday, Smith notified the Professional Standard Section and removed Ricks's authority to perform his law enforcement duties.
Smith said in a statement: "An incident of this nature erodes the thin fibers of trust which already exist between the community and the police and it will not tolerated within the Sanford Police Department."
He continued: "It is important that the agency must maintain and improve upon the trust built within the community. Based on the information received, it is imperative that we have no misinterpretations of the immediate actions taken by the police department in situations of this nature and that we will continue to provide professional service to all citizens of Sanford."
The Sanford Police Department says Ricks submitted a letter of resignation on October 30, with a pending separation date of November 20.
"Dechristianize" was reportedly written about the crucifixion of Christ and is the opening track on VITAL REMAINS' 2003 album of the same name. The LP was the band's first to feature DEICIDE vocalist Glen Benton, and is generally considered to be VITAL REMAINS' breakthrough album.
Ricks worked for Apopka Police Department for six months before resigning in 2009 and getting hired by the Sanford Police Department in January 2010.
Back in 2012, the Sanford Police Department's handling of the much-publicized Trayvon Martin case showed a series of missteps and was criticized by Martin's family as bungling and biased, according to The New York Times.
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