NMB police under investigation for using mug shots as targets

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NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla.- Mug shots used for target practice. A South Florida woman says she discovered her brother’s mug shot during sniper training drills.

Some of the photos are of men North Miami Beach Police Department officers have arrested before.

One of those men says he’s turned his life around, and he now wants a review of the department.

“I’ve had to live and relive seeing a bullet through my forehead and a bullet through my eye at the hands of the North Miami Beach Police Department,” said Woody Deant.

Deant’s family is outraged after reports showed the department used mug shots as targets for training.

“I am in fear for my brother’s life, my brother’s safety in the streets,” said Valerie Deant, Woody’s sister.

She was at the gun range in Medley for national guard weapon training in early December and saw a decade-old picture of her brother with bullet holes in it.

Turns out, officers used a photo lineup of half a dozen men arrested up to 15 years back, as a part of the department’s sniper training program.

“I am not a mug shot, I am not the tragic mistakes I made 14 years ago that cost the lives of my friends and my clean record and my freedom. I do not deserve to be a target for sport as a training exercise,” said Woody Deant.

The police chief put out a statement saying in part that “when this facial recognition sniper shooting drill was brought to our attention, we immediately told the family that it would stop, we kept our word, and it has.”

As a result, the department will no longer use mug shots but now buy photos from commercial vendors.

“As a taxpayer and a resident, I should be confident in my police department… is there to serve the community and not target me,” said Deant.

The training program has been suspended while the department continues its investigation.

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