- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Dozens of angry residents attended the North Miami Beach City Council meeting to decry the police department’s policy of using mug shots of black men as targets at the shooting range.

After two hours of public comment, the council agreed to permanently ban the practice and to review the police department’s policies.

The Miami Herald (https://hrld.us/1yHsLnG ) reported that some residents carried poster-sized photos of Police Chief J. Scott Dennis riddled with bullet holes Tuesday night as they demanded his resignation.

“We need to make a statement at this level, as the elected representatives of this city, that that practice is unacceptable,” Mayor George Vallejo said.

City Manager Ana Garcia asked for forgiveness, saying “this is an apology from the bottom of our hearts.”

The department’s practice came to light after a Florida Army National Guard member spotted a photo of her brother, Woody Deant, laced with bullets in a garbage can at a shooting range last month. Deant’s photo was from 15 years ago. The Herald reported that Deant spent four years in prison and is now working and is a husband and father.

Lisa Kelly, whose son Tyquan Kelly’s picture was used for target practice, spoke during the meeting. “I want the police who did this to apologize,” she said. She said her son’s picture was from nine years ago.

The chief told the Herald he feels “very, very badly” about the practice.

“I sincerely apologized for what my department has done,” he said. “This was a training program that had been going on long before I was here and when I found out about it, I ceased it.”

Councilman Frantz Pierre said he wasn’t satisfied with the resolution and called for the chief’s resignation.


Information from: The Miami Herald, https://www.herald.com

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