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Police Department Accused of Using Only Black Men for Target Practice

by Kalyn Womack

A Michigan police department is under fire for allegedly using only Black people as targets for shooting practice. A Cub Scout troop leader led a group of kids to the Farmington Hills police department for a tour which included a lineup of only Black shooting targets in the basement, according to Fox 2 Detroit.

The Farmington Hills police responded to the outrage in a press release claiming the allegation was false. The police chief, Jeff King, ordered a “comprehensive” review of the accusation which found the department uses 11 white targets and two Black ones. Police said a number of targets is supposed to be consistent with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and the city’s demographics.

However, Attorney Dionne Webster-Cox found this wasn’t the first time the department was confronted about their choice of targets.

More from Fox 2 Detroit:

“In July 2021 the ACLU had sent a (Freedom of Information Act) Request over to The Farmington Hills Police Department requesting how much money has been spent regarding, I guess, target practice,” she said.

The attorney says the results of the request show that Farmington Hills police is not using all the materials they ordered for target practice.

“They ordered this target – they had lots of groups, Caucasians, it was very diverse,” Cox said. “Now how is it that you ordered these, but the only ones you are actually using is the Black men?”

Another department was accused of doing the exact same nonsense. North Miami Beach Police used mugshots of Black people as targets for police training which the police chief called “facial recognition drills,” per MSNBC News. The use of human images as targets alone rose alarm and concern among critics.

This reminds me of that racism test they give to students to see if they can find a specific face among a group of Asian or Black people. If cops are practicing with Black targets, how do we know they won’t racially profile the next Black person they see?

According to ABC 7 Detroit, residents are calling for an independent review of the department and hope other departments learn from this situation.

“I’ll take this one on the chin. I apologize to each and every person in this room, this community, my department, my city council, my city manager – I can’t overlook this,” Chief King said via ABC.


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