North Miami Beach Bans Offensive Mug Shot Targets but Stops Short of Firing Police Chief
Another police controversy, another case of cop unaccountability.
North Miami Beach officials apologized Tuesday for city police using mug shots of black men for target practice. In what seems to be a national trend, however, no cops were held accountable for the incident.
"It's real sad," said Lisa Kelly, the mother of one of the men whose mug shot was shot up by North Miami cops. "I'll be back here if you kill my son."
"For me, a target means that if he comes to North Miami Beach and runs [or] jumps out [of a car], they could gun him down," Kelly said, according to NBC 6, which broke the story of the mug shot targets.
"I want the police who did this to apologize," she added.
City Manager Ana Garcia asked for forgiveness.
"We have made a mistake," she said. "This is an apology from the bottom of our hearts."
Several council members expressed outrage over the mug shots, which came to light last week when a Florida Army National Guard member spotted her brother's photo on a bullet-ridden target at a shooting range.
Councilman Frantz Pierre called for the resignation of top cop J. Scott Dennis, whose face protesters had plastered onto placards, complete with Photoshopped bullet holes and the caption "How would you feel?"
Instead of stepping down, however, the police chief issued an apology after the meeting.
via NBC 6
"I feel very, very badly. I sincerely apologized for what my department has done," he said, according to the Miami Herald. "This was a training program that had been going on long before I was here, and when I found out about it, I ceased it. The resolution memorializes it in law."
The controversy comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of cops after recent police-involved killings of unarmed black men in New York, Missouri, and Ohio.
Last month, a New Times investigation found that cops have abused their Tasers.
Tuesday, Miami Police confirmed that Officer Vincent Miller, who allegedly tasered a homeless man for no reason and then covered up the incident, remains under investigation.
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