A Florida family has contacted a lawyer after they said they discovered a photo one of their members was being used by the North Miami Beach Police Department in a series of images of black men for target practice, according to television station WTVJ.
“The picture actually has like bullet holes,” Woody Deant told WTVJ in an article published Thursday. “One in my forehead and one in my eye.”
Deant’s sister, who serves in the Florida Army National Guard, said she discovered her brother’s face last month among a set of black male mugshots that were being used for target practice when she attended a shooting range, the station reported. Members of the the North Miami Police Department had been practicing there earlier, she told the station.
The mugshot was 15 years old, according to the family.
“Now I’m being used as a target?” Woody Deant told the station. “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.”
Police Chief J. Scott Dennis told WTVJ that the practice of using images of actual people is standard. He also denied any evidence of racial profiling, saying that police also have white and Hispanic faces in its inventory.
“Our policies were not violated,” Dennis told the station. “There is no discipline forthcoming from the individuals who were involved with this.”
WTVJ spoke to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, all of whom said that departments only use commercially produced targets rather than photos of human beings, let alone former suspects.
Dennis told the station that using real people is vital to facial recognition drills.