Update: In a new statement, the local sheriff clarified that the officer was not fired for going onstage but other violations. Original story as follows…
A police officer in Sanford, FL has been relieved of his duties as an officer after appearing on-stage in uniform at a Vital Remains show. Andrew Ricks can be seen in this video at about 0:50 seconds joining along to kick off one of the band's most notable tracks, "Let The Killing Begin/Dechristianize"
The video got passed around the internet earlier in the week, and somebody decided to send the video to Ricks' police chief, who obviously was not pleased and stripped Ricks of his authority. Police chief Cecil Smith offered this 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 be tolerated within the Sanford Police Department."
"It is imperative that we have no misrepresentations 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."
Ricks has been a police officer for six years and this is the first time he's ever been "in trouble." Coincidentally, Ricks reportedly had submitted a letter of resignation from the department on Oct. 30, with a pending separation date of Nov. 20, but instead was relieved on November 17th.
Vital Remains frontman Brian Werner commented on the matter by saying "This is exactly what's wrong with the world today."
Vital Remains were in the headlines a few months ago, after getting into a huge verbal altercation with a venue owner over a crucifix hanging over the stage of the venue.