Georgia Police Department Faces Backlash Over Photo of Black Man Used for Target Practice

A Georgia police department has drawn criticism after a controversial post on the department's Facebook page went viral this week.

The post, shared on the Villa Rica Police Department's official Facebook page, included a short video clip of white citizens using an image of a Black man for target practice at its firearms training course over the weekend. The post, which has since been taken down, also included pictures.

Villa Rica Police Department
Villa Rica Police Department Facebook

"You put this image up and we're being shot at," Emmanuel Mincey pointed out. "It was immediately clear to me that the selection of these images during training was offensive," he said.

People called the images offensive, disgusting. Mincey was so offended he went to the police department to file a complaint. He says it sends the wrong message to the Black community.

"Hey, guys. We shoot at you for target practice," he said.

Police Chief Says Images, Videos Used in Post Being Taken Out of Context

Villa Rica Police Chief Michael Mansour says the department uses a variety of targets approved by the Georgia Peace Officer Standard Training Council.

Mansour said the targets range in age, sex, and race, adding that the photos posted were taken out of context.

"We had other photos that show us using other targets, but that one photo and video was put up and that's where we messed up," Mansour said.

Department Issues Apology

The police department later issued an apology via a Facebook post. "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. It was never our intention to be insensitive, inflammatory, or offensive to anyone," the department said in its statement.

"However, we respect the honest opinions of our fellow citizens and apologize for any offense we may have caused. We invite everyone to attend one of our next citizen firearms classes and share in a positive experience alongside us," the statement continued.

Villa Rica Mayor Gil McDougal also released a statement, calling the post "offensive" "embarrassing." McDougal also ordered an investigation into the matter by third-party organization.

Farmington Hills police department
The photographs taken at the Farmington Hills Police Department showed the images of black men being used for target practice. Twitter

This is not the first time a police department has faced flak over the usage of black men as shooting targets. In July last year, the Farmington Hills police department in Michigan were the subject of an investigation after images taken during a Boy Scouts field trip showed armed black men being used as targets for shooting practice, as previously reported.

Farmington Hills police department
The images of Black men that were being used as shooting targets at the Farmington Hills Police Department. Twitter
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