Michigan police chief Jeff King has issued a public apology after images of black men were found at the target practice area where he works.
King also confirmed at a city council meeting that his department will conduct a legal review too.
King went onto say that his department remain fully committed to diversity and inclusivity. “We have a diverse community,” he said. “Our community, as well as our department is diverse, inclusive, and that doesn’t stop at our training.” King promised to share the results of all reviews “as soon as possible,” according to The Hill.
Mayor Barnett has confirmed that all images used during the aforementioned target training have been taken down pending review results.
“We have been told there are reasons those images are used to address implicit bias in training, but we believe it’s important to understand the full context in which they are used,” Mayor Barnett said. “We will also be comparing our training practices with regional municipalities and providing a full report on our findings to the community.”
Dionne Webster-Cox, who is an attorney, recently posted on Facebook that a family notified her office that photos of Black men were used in the police department’s target practice. She said the police were “using photos of Black Men riddled with bullet holes.” The photos were taken following a Boy Scouts trip to the department’s gun range.
Cox said the family “does not want to be identified for fear of reprisal” and requested that she speak on their behalf and share their pictures.
“These organizations and municipalities must practice radical honesty in acknowledging their negative biases and find ways to change. Otherwise, you will have even bigger discrimination cases and more lawsuits against the city of Farmington Hills, its school districts, and the police department,” Cox said.
King did say that the targets used by boy scouts were meant to “represent a mix of both threat and non-threat targets.”
“The difference between a threat assessment target and a silhouette target is threat assessment targets allow you to identify if a threat is there. A silhouette target is only for target acquisition,” he added. “Our targets consist of a mix of genders and races and are shown holding a variety of items.”
King clarified that 85% of the targets used during training are Caucasians and 15% are Black. King did offer his apologies to the scout leader “for not providing a full explanation of those targets.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: METRO TIMES
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