North Miami Beach Police Officers use mugshots of black men for target practice.

You read it right. I don’t even know how to lead into this mess, other than to say these people are SICK.

It was an ordinary Saturday morning last month when Sgt. Valerie Deant arrived at the shooting range in Medley, or so she thought.

Deant, who plays clarinet with the Florida Army National Guard’s 13th Army Band, and her fellow soldiers were at the shooting range for their annual weapons qualifications training.

What the soldiers discovered when they entered the range made them angry: mug shots of African American men apparently used as targets by North Miami Beach Police snipers, who had used the range before the Guardsmen.

Even more startling for Deant, one of the images was her brother. It was Woody Deant’s mug shot that taken 15 years ago, after he was arrested in connection to a drag race in 2000 that left two people dead. His mug shot was among the pictures of five minorities used as targets by North Miami Beach police, all of them riddled by bullets.

“I was like why is my brother being used for target practice?” Deant asked.

Deant’s fellow guardsmen were angry too, but they tried to console Deant, who was devastated.

“There were like gunshots there,” Deant said. “And I cried a couple of times.”

She immediately called her brother, Woody Deant, who was 18-years old when the picture was taken.

“The picture actually has like bullet holes,” Woody Deant said. “One in my forehead and one in my eye. …I was speechless,” she added.


I can’t really explain how I’m feeling, to be honest. Tired of saying I’m heartbroken and angry…but a mix of that is probably still accurate. With a bit of hopelessness in there too. I honestly don’t even know why I’m shocked anymore.

And to make matters worse, the police chief calls this a lack of judgment, however, denies it’s racial profiling.

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.

“Our policies were not violated,” Dennis said. “There is no discipline forthcoming from the individuals who were involved with this.”

An insult to the intelligence of ANYBODY who can see what’s really going on here. Blatant lies.

And if you agree with this police chief then you are willfully ignorant and blind and there’s no country for you.

I’m serious.

“The use of those targets doesn’t seem correct,” Alex Vasquez, a retired FBI agent, said. “The police have different options for targets. I think the police have to be extra careful and sensitive to some issues that might be raised.”

Dennis said the police department uses an array of pictures including that of whites, and Hispanic males. What concerns his police department, he said, is that the picture was from someone that happened to be arrested by his agency.

“That individual would be someone that was on the streets of North Miami Beach,” Dennis said.

The police chief said his department will resume use of human image targets after it expands the number of images in its inventory. His officers, Dennis said, will not use any booking photos from suspects they have arrested and he’ll direct his officers to remove the targets after they use the shooting range.

But Woody Deant, who did four years in prison after his 2000 arrest, expressed outrage.

“Now I’m being used as a target?” said Woody Deant. “I’m not even living that life according to how they portrayed me as. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a career man. I work 9-to-5.”

Now let’s say one of those officers just so happened to see Woody Deant out and about. They already have an image in their heads of shooting this man. Their perception of him is already seen as being dangerous and a criminal, even though that was over 10 years ago.

It’s not okay. And telling people, “Oh well we’ll start using pictures of whites and Hispanicstoo, okay?” doesn’t mean a damn thing.  You know why? Because had you not been caught, you’d still be doing this same thing.

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via Twitter (@WillardNBC6)

These are the people who are “trained” to protect. This is how they are “trained.”  This is how they are sent out into the world to do “police work.”

It’s disturbing and disgusting.

But police officers don’t have a predisposed negative image of black men, right?


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