Report: Miami police use mugshots of black teens at gun range

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Officers with the North Miami Beach Department are under fire after being caught using the mugshots of black teenagers as target practice.

NBC South Florida reports that the police used six criminal mugshots, found with bullet holes in the paper, and all were African-American teenagers. They were discovered when Sgt. Valerie Deant with the Florida National Guard 13th Army Band came to the shooting range in Medley in December for training and recognized her brother Woody's booking photo from 15 years ago. He was arrested in 2000 at the age of 15 in connection to a drag race that left two people dead. Alongside Woody were other mugshots, all minorities and all riddled with bullet holes.

"I was like why is my brother being used for target practice?" Deant asked. "There were like gunshots there. And I cried a couple of times."

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Police Chief J. Scott Dennis says that his officers could have used better judgment, but that there was no racial profiling going on and some of the sniper team members are minorities. The photos were said to be "vital for facial recognition drills."

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

Dennis went on to say that the department uses all different photos, including those of whites and Hispanics. The department will continue to use human target photos once they expand their inventory and they will not use mugshots of those the department has arrested.

Woody Deant, however, finds the practice harsh. Since his arrest he has turned his life around and the idea of his photo from the past being shot at doesn't sit well with him, telling NBC South Florida:
“Now I’m being used as a target? 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.”