*Three former Miami police officers are under fire for joking in a group chat with other cops about using blacks as target practice. Their conversation about targeting predominately Black neighborhoods was discovered last month during an internal affairs investigation, the Miami Herald reports.
“Anyone know of an indoor shooting range in Miami?” one officer asked.
“Go to model city they have moving targets,” replied another.
“There’s a range in overtown on 1 and 11. Moving targets and they don’t charge,” added a third.
Officers Kevin Bergnes, Miguel Valdes and Bruce Alcin told an investigator that they were simply joking about what they’d seen in the city during their training. These mentally ill cops want you to believe that they weren’t trying to be racist or offend anyone. Alcin is African-American, and Valdes has a Black grandfather.
Colleagues and supervisors were reportedly upset about their off-the-cuff comments, which came as the department is under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Justice following a slew of questionable police shootings.
The officers’ remarks made them a liability both in future civil and criminal cases and in the community.
“It was senseless, young and reckless. It shouldn’t be tolerated,” said Justin Pinn, an African-American member of a civilian board tasked with monitoring Miami’s federal policing agreement. “Officers are supposed to be guardians not warriors. I don’t think what they expressed reflects the values of the department.”
Naturally, Miami’s police union president believes the officers should have been reprimanded and not fired since their “messages were in poor taste, but weren’t in anyway racial.”
Attorney Stephan Lopez, who is representing the officers, said the city has taken his clients’ remarks and blown them out of proportion.
“My clients are young kids. They’re young officers and they were off-duty” when making their comments, he said. “I can’t let their careers be tarnished when they engaged in no misconduct.”