Farmington Hills Chief denies only using targets of Black men

‘I wanted to express my outrage when I found out that actual images of Black men were used for target practice’

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich.Farmington Hills police are addressing claims the department only uses targets of Black men at their shooting range.

There was a city council meeting Monday where the police chief spoke.

“I wanted to express my outrage when I found out that actual images of Black men were used for target practice,” said a woman speaking at the podium.

It was a packed city council meeting in Farmington Hills after residents say a Boy Scouts tour of a police station revealed biased training practices.

“I’m a proud Army Desert Storm veteran, and I can tell you at no point during my training for that task was there ever images of anyone,” said a man speaking at the podium.

“I have never been trained to shoot at any particular race, gender, age, or anything of this nature,” said Farmington Hills Police Officer Kevin Clark. “The reason various targets are used is to work through what everyone has. It’s an implicit bias.”

“This is the preferred method to train officers and prepare them to make a split-second decision to make a life saving or non threat situation,” said Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King.

Council member Ken Massey said that of the 23 hundred images used, 185 are of Black men.

King says he wanted to be open and transparent with the community.

“I’ll take this one on the chin,” King said. “I apologize to each and every person in this room.”

“I assure you that we don’t want to hide anything from you,” said Farmington Hills Mayor Vicki Barnett. “You are more a part of this community than you know.”

Barnett says the images have been removed and an investigation is underway.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.