According to NBC, a soldier recently visited the North Miami Beach police department and was upset when she found that officers were using mugshots of black criminals for target practice.
Worse yet, she discovered that her brother’s mugshot was among those used.
Sgt. Valerie Deant says she used the range to gain her annual weapons qualifications training.
North Miami Beach Police Chief J. Scott Dennis admitted that his officers could have used better judgment, but denies any racial profiling. He noted that that the sniper team includes minority officers. Dennis defended the department’s use of actual photographs and says the technique is widely used and the pictures are vital for facial recognition drills. But the Deant family questions why officers were firing targets with images of real people, in this case African-Americans, especially at a time when relations between minority communities and law enforcement are so tense.
Dennis further explained that no policies were violated. Rather then suggesting that his officers not use mugshots during their practices, he made a vow that he would inspire them to remove photo before leaving their practice sessions.