When news of the North Miami Beach Police using real mugshots as targets for their shooting practice, outcry erupted across the Miami-Dade community and beyond. Now the City Council voted against the use of real photos and while this is progress, protestors also wanted the Police Chief J. Scott Dennis to resign and a public apology issued to the families hurt by this offensive choice.
The agreement to ban real people mugshots was 5-1, announced in front of a passionate crowd in a court room. The decision comes a week after NBC Miami’s Channel 6 aired a special report that revealed the police department’s lack of sensitivity. An Army National Guard was at the shooting range for her own as preliminaries as a sergeant and her brother’s 15-year-old mugshot pelleted with bullets, amongst 5 other Black men as “targets.” The police claimed that by grouping “targets” racially, it made it easier for cops to recognize the physical differences in potential suspects, but the explanation was just heartless.
In the court room, Lisa Kelly, a mother of one the men used in the mugshot collage expressed her contempt by telling the Council, “I’ll be back here if you kill my son.” Another powerful moment was a poster held by an activist, with a picture of Dennis and his face holed with imagined bullets. Underneath it read: “How would you feel?”
Dennis did issue an apology and said this to the local news, “The entire issue was poor judgment. I’m sorry that the families lived through that. I saw what it looked like to have my face shot up in the picture. But that’s not what caused this.”
SMH, if you could call this an apology, it’s a weak one. What do you think beauties? Sound off in the comments below.