Cousins! A Georgia police department has sparked outrage across social media after a post including videos and images of a Black male being used as a target within a shooting training class went viral!
The post was shared on Facebook as civilians can be seen holding firearms within a safety training class aiming and shooting at posters that include images of Black men, reports CNN News. After receiving immediate backlash the videos and images were deleted from the social media platform but the comments remain.
Villa Rica Police Chief Michael Mansour tells WSB TV despite what people may believe took place based on the videos and photos, their perception is wrong. “The perception of it looks like we have people just shooting at Black guys and that’s not at all what it was.”
He explains that a photo of a white male wearing a ski mask was used at the beginning of the training and that they soon ran out of those target images and had to use the poster of a Black man as they continued.
The Villa Rica Police Department took to Facebook to issue an apology and to also provide an explanation of the shared images. “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. It was never our intention to be insensitive, inflammatory, or offensive to anyone.”
Following the controversial incident Villa Rica Mayor Gil McDougal has stated “personally embarrassed” he described the social media post as “offensive”, reports CNN.
“This administration will be asking our human resources director and the city attorney to select an outside organization to review how this entire incident came about, not just the post itself.”
The incident was also noticed by the Carroll County NAACP branch as they view the apology as lacking sincerity toward Black and brown residents within the area.
“This target is extremely offensive to many Villa Rica and Carroll County residents. These types of targets have been used by other police departments within the U.S and have been deemed racially inappropriate and unacceptable.”
Villa Rica is noted as being approximately 30 miles west of Atlanta.