A Michigan police chief has issued an apology after it was revealed that his department used images of Black men as targets for shooting practice, The Hill reports.
According to Farmington Hills Police Department Chief Jeff King, a city council meeting determined that a legal investigation of the incident should occur. The images were discovered during a Boys Scouts trip to the police department. They were then reported to the law office of attorney Dionne Webster-Cox.
“These organizations and municipalities must practice radical honesty in acknowledging their negative biases and find ways to change,” said Webster-Cox. “Otherwise, you will have even bigger discrimination cases and more lawsuits against the city of Farmington Hills, its school districts, and the police department.”
King took full responsibility for the training that was conducted and issued an apology to the community, the department and the city council. He also shared that the main focus for the training is to “expose officers to people based on certain situations and not what they look like.”
“I can’t overlook this, but I promise you this,” said King. “This will make us stronger, this will make us better, this will make us more transparent, and this community overall will come out better for this.”
Furthermore, he shared that the targets used are consistent with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. He also disclosed that images used within the target areas are meant to reflect both threats and non-threats. Per King, a “threat assessment target” is used to determine if a threat exists. On the other hand, a “silhouette target” is used for only target acquisition.
Additionally, King says that targets are made up of a mix of genders and races with 85 percent of them being Caucasian and 15 percent being Black.