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TOPIC: Black Men Being Used As Target Shots

Black Men Being Used As Target Shots 02 Oct 2016 15:25 #10418

  • tiffany.g
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On Twitter today I saw an article from January 2015 in which the Florida Police Department was using Black men’s mugshots for target practice. A guardswoman saw a mugshot of her brother with bullets at the shooting range where there were police officers practicing target. This firearm training center is leased to law enforcement agencies and the National Guard. It was made clear that the staff doesn’t select the targets, but the officers who come in for practice.

Reading this was extremely alarming; I don’t understand what reason could justify using black bodies as targets for shooting practice. The police chief, of course, defended the department stating that using the photos as targets is a technique used for facial recognition drills. Now I think that would seem fair if the photos weren’t of mugshots of actual people, and if they weren’t all black. This makes it difficult to deny that there are some police officers who can be racially targeting citizens in their work. It’s difficult to deny that police officers obviously chose mugshots of black men because of their misconceptions of the type of citizens they are.

In this situation the police department was completely insensitive to issues within this community that are actually happening, and how this act may appear. This form of targeting and racial profiling from police officers and law enforcement is extremely dangerous and should be recognized far more seriously. By the way, it is an option for law enforcements to use commercially produced targets that aren’t of actual people, so it’s completely possible for this to not have happened. The man that was made aware of his mugshot being used as a target is now a married father, and shared that he now fears to encounter a police officer because they’d automatically think “target, target, target.” This clearly shows the fear that police officers are inflicting within the communities they’re supposed to be protecting and serving.
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