Farmington Hills police refute claims that department only uses Black men as targets

Farmington Hills police say claims that the department only use Black targets are not true.

A cub scout leader who toured the department with their troop made the allegations.

"They took the little kids, this Cub Scout troop down to the basement where they do the target practice," said Attorney Dionne Webster-Cox. "And their targets are all Black men. I was just outraged by that."

Police alleged in a press release that they were "offered no official invitation, information, or notice related to this situation. Additionally, the Department was afforded no opportunity to investigate or respond."

According to the release, "Chief Jeff King ordered a comprehensive review of the accusations raised."

That review, according to police, found that the department uses 11 white targets and two Black targets, and these are "are consistent with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) and the City’s demographics."

Cox said started researching the Farmington Hills Police Department and learned that a former Black police officer on the force filed a complaint charging racial bias against the department in 2021. She also found out more about the targets.

"In July 2021 the ACLU had sent a (Freedom of Information Act) Request over to The Farmington Hills Police Department requesting how much money has been spent regarding, I guess, target practice," she said.

The attorney says the results of the request show that Farmington Hills police is not using all the materials they ordered for target practice.

"They ordered this target - they had lots of groups, Caucasians, it was very diverse," Cox said. "Now how is it that you ordered these, but the only ones you are actually using is the Black men?"

King responded to the claims in a statement, saying, "I cannot overstress the seriousness of these accusations. Considering the emotional impact this could have on our community, and in keeping with our agency’s commitment and partnership with our citizens, I am ordering an immediate legal review of our training system and targets, to be completed prior to our fall training cycle."

""The women and men of the Farmington Hills Police Department serve this City with integrity, dedication, and professionalism every day. Each member strives to constantly reinforce our commitment to protect and serve the public, partner with our citizens, and strengthen our outstanding community relationships. As Chief, I feel it is my duty to ensure that these efforts are never demeaned, mischaracterized, or misrepresented, which only serves to undermine our relationship with our community."