Farmington Hills Police Department responds after claims they use targets of Black men at shooting range

Posted at 5:35 AM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 08:05:43-04

(WXYZ) — Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King is asking for forgiveness this morning after claims his department used only targets of Black men at their shooting range.

Residents say the discovery was made while a Boy Scouts troop was touring the building.

The mayor says they've taken out all of the targets inside the shooting range, which is in the basement of the building. They plan to conduct a legal review and look at other departments to see how they train.

Twenty percent of the Farmington Hills population is African American, according to councilman Micheal Bridges. To think those residents are being targeting cuts deep for many.

"Silhouette would have been most appropriate; I don't see a good reason to use those targets, I don't really at all," said Michael Bridges.

Farmington Hills police officer Kevin Clark says they train using various targets, often colored black, white and gray. He says this is to work through any implicit bias.

“I have never been trained to shoot at any particular race, gender, age, or anything of this nature," said Officer Clark.

A resident says pictures from a parent who was on the Boy Scouts tour shows differently.

"What I see here is these are actually Black men in hoodies and they are actually holding guns, and they are actually Black men, they are not black, gray or white," they said.

Mayor Vicki Barnett says she believes the department was following routine training practices.

Chief King says the troop deserved a better explanation, and target demographics need to a better review.

"I'll take this one on the chin. I apologize to each and every person in this room, this community, my department, my city council, my city manager; I can't overlook this," he said.

One man who attended the council meeting says the issue is bigger than just Farmington PD.

"I'm sure all the other cities in this area and the cities that heard this story went downstairs in their basement to check what their dummies looked like; that's the good thing that comes out of this story," he said.

Councilmember Ken Massey said that of the 2,300 images used in target practice, 185 are of Black men.

Residents are calling for an independent review, and want those findings shared with the public.