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Georgia Police Department Issues Apology After Photos Surface Of Black Man As Target

A Georgia police department apologized following photos and a video shared showing officers shooting targets of a Black man during a gun safety class.

Black man as target

Shared by the Villa Rica Police Department on Saturday, the images displayed all single targets were covered with a photo of a Black man, according to CBSNews.com.


The photos look to be removed from the department's Facebook page. But the original posts and comments remain. Several folks in the comments, though, questioned the targets, saying it was "offensive and disrespectful," requiring an apology from the department.


The department on Tuesday shared an apology on Facebook, stating that the department strives "to be conscious of how our relationship with our community members has a direct impact on our effectiveness within the community we serve." Information from 2022 data from the U.S. Census Bureau has confirmed that 42.6% of Villa Rica is Black. The city comprises 18,000 folks.


"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," the department said. The apology did not explain why the only images shared showed Black men, according to CBSNews.com.


It was "never" the intention of the department "to be insensitive, inflammatory or offensive to anyone."


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


This apology was quickly castigated, with folks calling into question why the target featured was a Black man despite the apology including multiple ethnicities.


"The 'apology' statement from your department via Facebook displays a lack of sincerity, sensitivity toward minority residents and makes it abundantly clear that your department lacks the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that all local officials should strive to participate in," wrote Dominque Conteh, the president of the Carroll County branch, in a letter shared on Facebook. "We believe that DEI training would've given more insight as to the reasoning as to why those targets are 'unacceptable and deemed racist.'"


Conteh said the NAACP is requesting a meeting with the department's police chief, the Villa Rica mayor, as well as the city manager and city councilwoman, according to CBSNews.com.


Right now, there isn't any update from the NAACP on the request.

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