North Miami Beach, Florida Police are being scrutinized after it has been revealed that for target practice, they used the photographs of African-American Black men.
Last month, this was discovered by one of the sisters of the men whose photograph was used. At the Medley Police Firearms Training Center, the police snipers were shooting; however, when they left, the national guard of Florida came in.
A national guardsman, Sergeant Valarie Deant, saw the target photographs that the police left behind and noted the image of her brother Woody Deant. It was Woody’s mugshot, taken several years ago.
Sergeant Valarie Deant told the media that she wondered why the photograph of her brother is being used for target practice. The photograph of her brother Woody had a bullet hole through his forehead and eye. Sergeant Valarie Deant reported that she broke down and cried.
Woody Deant told the reporters that his sister told him that they use him as target practice. Woody added that the people who are supposed to protect them are using them as a target practice.
Woody Deant’s mugshot was from an arrest that was made 15 years ago. Woody spent four years in jail for a drag-racing accident that claimed lives of two people. However, Woody says that he has left those days long behind him and now he is completely a family and career oriented person.
While talking to the media, J. Scott Dennis, North Miami Police Chief said that they did not violate any rules or regulations and also that the use of the images of real people for target practice is not restricted to his department. North Miami Police Chief said that the use of real photographs is important for facial recognition training and they also use photographs of non-Black people as well.
Scott Dennis, that none of the policies was violated; hence no disciplinary action will be taken against the individuals involved.
However, J. Scott Dennis did mention that he is concerned about the use of Woody Deant’s photograph because he happens to be a person who was arrested in the same region and someone who would be on the streets of North Miami Beach.
A few law enforcement agencies reported that they use computer generated images only that are distributed by commercial vendors, for target practices and that they don’t use the images of real people.
Retired FBI agent Alex Vasquez said that the use of those targets just does not seem correct and police have various options for targets.
Andell Brown, Deant’s attorney said: “This can create a very dangerous situation, and it has been ingrained in your subconscious. What does that mean when someone comes across Woody or another person on the street?”
Valarie Deant said that it implies that the police see them as criminals before they get a chance to say that they surrender.
Scott Dennis, North Miami Police Chief said that they will continue using photographs of real individuals for target practices, once they increase the inventory of images.