Brevard County Sheriff's Corporal Deputy Chris Wood [Photo courtesy: Brevard County Sheriff Facebook page]
VIERA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Brevard County Sheriff's Corporal Deputy Chris Wood apologized to fellow squad members Wednesday morning, several days after using a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea in an attempt to lecture them about sharing their opinions about the George Zimmerman trial, according to Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
"He is very regretful he chose that mechanism to deliver the message" Ivey told FOX 35. "He apologized to the entire squad this morning. And they were receptive to that."
In an interview with FOX 35, Sheriff Ivey says Corporal Chris Wood, a ten year veteran of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, addressed sixty or so of his fellow employees during a 6 a.m. morning roll call on Saturday, the day George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
According to the Sheriff, there was a lot of talk about the trial among employees, and many were sharing their opinions before the verdict was announced.
Although the verdict hadn't been reached at the time, the sheriff says Corporal Wood stepped to the front of the briefing room with a pack of Skittles in one hand, and an Arizona Ice Tea in the other. Several deputies who spoke to FOX 35 on the condition of anonymity say Cpl. Wood then lectured them on needing to know the facts of the case before expressing their opinion on it.
A pack of Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea were purchased by Martin before he was killed, and were used by the prosecution in a failed attempt to make Martin's motives appear innocent during his fatal fight with Zimmerman. Zimmerman was acquitted of a second-degree murder charge.
"My concern is the lack of sensitivity, not understanding the magnitude of what was going on in the world" said Sheriff Ivey.
The sheriff says Cpl. Wood was disciplined with a written letter of reprimand and will be required to attend sensitivity training.
Cpl. Wood works as a corrections supervisor at the jail, but is also a K9 bloodhound handler. He
has not responded to FOX 35's request for comment. Ivey says Wood has received several awards for his work as a handler during calls for service.