Earlier this week we reported that the North Miami Beach Police Department were caught using real-life suspect photos of Black men for target practice — well now thanks to Mayor George Vallejo this offensive practice is now banned.
After learning about the incident involving Woody Deant, North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo issued a statement calling the practice of using mugshots for target training “offensive and unacceptable.”
“North Miami Beach is better than this,” he said in the statement. “We are a richly diverse city, a fact our residents are very proud of, and as Mayor I will not allow anything to disrupt the harmony and goodwill that exists in our community.”
North Miami Beach Police Chief J. Scott Dennis told the station on Monday that his department “could have used better judgment,” and again denied that racial profiling was involved. Dennis also said that he is suspending the use of human photos until the department has a larger selection of images to choose from — and that mugshots of the men who his department has arrested will no longer be used.
“This sort of mug shot drill has been suspended indefinitely and ceases to exist as part of our training,” Dennis told ABC 13. “A policy change has been initiated and the new procedure will be that no one will be shooting photographic images in the future.”
The North Miami Beach police department also issued a statement on Monday, after the story was released.
“We regret that this one incident could have set back the progress we have made,” the statement said. “We will strive to be more sensitive to all and remain focused on being a community-mindful police department. We see this challenge as an opportunity to examine all policies within our police department.”