A Georgia Police Department is under investigation after a post uploaded to Facebook went viral. The post showed a photo of a Black man being used as target practice during a gun training exercise at the Villa Rica Police Department. Many people have weighed in on this post including the Villa Rica Mayor.
Villa Rica Police Chief Michael Mansour claims that they use other photos of people for targets that include White and Asian people, but somehow the officer who posted the picture of the Black man, “mistakenly” posted that photo only. It has been said that these types of targets are also used at other police departments for training. Why use people at all? Why not just use regular shooting target templates? The ones with the circles. When you post a certain demographic as target practice for a police department, it makes you question the intent that is behind it. Are your officers practicing their range? Or are they preparing to have an encounter with a Black man (or other races) that they plan on shooting?
It was also said that this was not the first time that police departments have been in trouble for using a Black man as target practice. Just last year, the Michigan Police Department had a legal review over the same issue. The NAACP of Carroll County, where Villa Rilla is located, called this incident “extremely offensive.” Chief Michael Mansour also said that “It was not an intentional act. We do everything we can to not offend anyone.” This was very intentional. The police department had a choice, and they chose to use a Black man as target practice, and it is very offensive, and if anyone thinks otherwise, I don’t understand it. With everything that has happened in our nation regarding police and Black people in general, you would think that this would be the last thing that you hear about in the news. You would think that someone would have known better and not have posted the photo. That would be too much like right.
Changes and new processes should be put in place so that this does not happen again. Who knows how using these demographics of people can impact the officers mentally and impact some of their decisions on the job.
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