Georgia Police Department Under Fire for Using Image of Black Man on Target Practice Poster
The Villa Rica Police Department have removed the video after public outcry, including the mayor of the town.
The video, posted by the Villa Rica Police Department, shows a silhouette of a Black man being used as a shooting target during a gun training exercise. The people seen shooting at the poster were white.
The Villa Rica Police Department has removed the video after public outcry. Among the department's critics is Gil McDougal, the mayor of Villa Rica.
“I am personally embarrassed by it, and as soon as it was brought to my attention last night I and other city staff began to address this situation,” he said in a statement. “This administration will be asking our human resources director and the city attorney to select an outside organization to review how this entire incident came about, not just the post itself. Meanwhile, we are removing the video and images from the post but I have directed that the comments to remain so that people can freely express their opinions about it. This incident does not reflect the values of this community and I will keep you informed as this process continues.”
The Carroll County NAACP posted a letter they sent to Villa Rica Police Chief expressing their outrage at the incident.
The police chief said it was a mistake and there was no sinister intent, according to WJCL.
"The perception of it looks like we have people just shooting at Black guys and that's not at all what it was," Chief Michael Mansour told WJCT.
The police department also posted an apology on Facebook.
"The targets utilized in our recent firearms class depict realistic human images and were part of a package which included target images of people from various ethnic groups," the statement read. "It was never our intention to be insensitive, inflammatory, or offensive to anyone. However, we respect the honest opinions of our fellow citizens and apologize for any offense we may have caused.”
The incident is still being investigated by the city, according to reports.
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