Deric Anzalone/YouTube

On-duty cop fired after ill-timed cameo with death-metal band

He could've picked a better song to introduce.


Audra Schroeder


Published Nov 20, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 3:04 pm CDT

If you’re an on-duty cop in Sanford, Florida—or anywhere, really—maybe think twice before you get on stage with a death metal band to scream, “Let the killing begin.” 

Last Friday, Officer Andrew Ricks joined Rhode Island band Vital Remains on stage at the West End Trading Co. in Sanford, first to join them in throwing up devil horns, then to help introduce the song “Let the Killing Begin/Dechristianize.” Ricks leaves the stage as the band starts playing, but apparently the video promptly made its way to the Sanford Police Department. 

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Ricks was fired on Wednesday. A statement from Sanford Police Chief Cecil B. Smith explained: 

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. 

Vital Remains frontman Brian Werner saw it differently, saying Ricks’s firing “is exactly what’s wrong with the world today.” Ricks has not made a public comment about his relationship with Vital Remains yet. 

Ricks had allegedly already put in his resignation back in October, effective Nov. 20, but he was relieved of his duties a little early. This isn’t the Sanford PD’s first brush with controversy, of course: It drew significant criticism for its mishandling of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. 

H/T Death and Taxes | Screengrab via Deric Anzalone/YouTube 

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*First Published: Nov 20, 2015, 3:42 pm CST