Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Sister upset that brother’s old mugshot was used for police target practice

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MIAMI — Police in Miami are facing criticism for using mug shots of actual people they arrested, as target practice.

Valarie Deant told NBC6 News that she was at a firing range and was startled to see her brother’s picture being used as a target.

She watched as his image was pierced with bullets and said there were six other African-American faces being used.

North Miami Beach Police Chief J. Scott Dennis spoke to NBC6 and said there were actually 22 images in all.

Dennis said the department tries to use photos with faces that look similar, so the sniper can practice picking out the right target rather than hitting the wrong person.

This image is a depiction of what the sister saw, not the actual image. Shooting range photo courtesy: Steve Smith. Mugshots courtesy: CBS Miami

This image is a depiction of what the sister saw, not the actual image. Shooting range photo courtesy: Steve Smith. Mugshots courtesy: CBS Miami

The photos are mugshots of people arrested 10 to 15 years ago.

Among the 22 pictures, one also included a white man holding a gun to a white woman’s head. There was another of Osama bin Laden.

After the department learned of Valerie Deant’s dismay over the use of her brother’s picture, the department said they’ll buy practice-pictures from commercial vendors, rather than use real mugshots.

Valerie Deant’s brother was arrested after a deadly drag race, and hasn’t been in trouble since. Valerie Deant is a National Guardswoman.

Related: Family members decry use of mugshots for target practice