Is This Michigan Police Agency Only Using Images of Black Men as Targets?
A police agency in Southeast Michigan is being called out for allegedly only using images of Black males as targets for officers conducting weapons training.
The allegation was made after a Cub Scouts troop visited the Farmington Hills Police Department for a field trip.
Images of Black Men as Practice Targets
An attorney representing parents who accompanied the scouts on the field trip says parents were stunned by what they saw. Dionne Webster-Cox says the parents she represents were outraged by what they saw but chose to speak through her in order to insulate themselves and their families from possible backlash.
"They took the little kids, this Cub Scout troop down to the basement where they do the target practice," Webster-Cox tells Detroit's WJBK-TV. "Farmington Hills Police Department, you need to do better - why is there no diversity?"
A Possible Pattern of Bias
The attorney goes on to say that she is also outraged by what she saw. She did some digging and discovered that a Black police officer filed a complaint against the force in 2021 claiming racial bias.
The attorney also says that the ACLU discovered that the Farmington Hills police department ordered targets in 2021 that were more representative of the population but claims that only the targets depicting Black males are being used.
The parents and the attorney believe that the department may have left an impression with the scouts that is not favorable.
Department Refutes the Allegations
In a follow-up story, Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King says the department has conducted a review and found that the department uses 11 white targets and two Black targets and that this practice is "consistent with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) and the City’s demographics."
Cox says there is no plan to file a lawsuit against the department.