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NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The chief of police for the City of North Miami Beach has suspended the department’s sniper training program after a local news report revealed a controversial training method used at a local shooting range.

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According to North Miami Beach Police Chief Scott Dennis, the department’s sniper team conducted a training exercise at the Medley Police Department range on December 5, 2014.

The two snipers on the team used a 6 picture array of mugshots. All of the mugshots were men who had previously been arrested by the North Miami Beach Police Department. All of the mugshots were African American men.

When National Guardswoman Valerie Deant showed up at the same gun range on that same day, she found her brother Woody’s image pierced by police sniper bullets.

CLICK HERE to watch Peter D’Oench’s report

Valerie Deant, her brother and Florida’s Democratic Black Caucus, are angry and upset over the discovery. They are calling for a review of all law enforcement training exercises that use mugshots for target practice.

Woody Deant was arrested 15 years ago after his arrest in connection with a drag race that left two people dead.

“I do not deserve to be a target for sport, as a training exercise, or for any reason or neither does anyone else. I’ve had to live and relive seeing a bullet in my forehead and bulletthrough my eye at the hands of the North Miami Beach Police Department,” said Woody Deant at a news conference on Monday morning.

Deant told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I am not a mug shot. I am not. There was a tragic mistake 14 years ago that cost the lives of my friends, my clean record and my freedom. I am a husband,a father,a hard working man.”

His sister also spoke. “I’m in fear for my brother’s life, my brother’s safety in the streets where we reside. It’s uncalled for, it’s unethical,” said Valerie Deant.

North Miami Police Chief Scott Dennis said it’s being taken out of context.

“The City of North Miami Beach is a culturally rich community served by a dedicated team of diverse officers who put their lives on the line every day. The sniper team is comprised of two officers; one Hispanic male and a black Haitian American male, who is the team leader,” he wrote in a statement.

“To protect our community, this team uses training techniques which include accuracy tests and facial recognition drills. These drills feature photographs of men and women from various races and ethnicities. As recommended by law enforcement experts, actual photographs are used to assure accurate target recognition to simulate the real situations they may encounter.”

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Chief Dennis explained there are 22 images in all, including white men, Hispanic men and white women. “The 6 picture black male array contains pictures taken at least 10-15 years ago,” according to Chief Dennis. “Only our 2 sniper officers ever practice with these real photo targets, and they do this drill 3-4 times per year.”

The idea is to have an array of photos with faces that look similar, so the sniper can practice exactly picking out the right target and avoid killing the wrong person in a real-life situation, Dennis said.

Deant, his attorney and Florida’s Democratic Black Caucus say that commercially produced targets, not photos of human beings, should be used.

Christopher Norwood of Florida’s Democratic Black Caucus said, “This is not a good policing policy to have mug shots used for target practice.”

“We are calling on all law enforcement agencies in Miami-Dade to review firearms training and practices and we are filing public records requests to see what is going on,” he said.

“As we look at this practice and we see a citizen with a bullet through their head, with a bullet through their eye, we must have answers,” said Andell Brown, attorney for Woody Deant. “We can not let this practice stand. The culture that permitted is toxic and must be changed.”

“If this practice has been going on for 10 years, and from what I read it has, then this is too little too late,” said Brown. Brown told D’Oench that he is considering a lawsuit against the police department.

“What the family has experienced no one should experience,” he said. “This practice could not come at a more difficult time for relations between the community and law enforcement.”

Other officers do not use real photographs in their firearms training.

When Chief Dennis was made aware of the situation on December 22, 2014, the department immediately took action.

Within two hours; an investigation was ordered, the sniper training program was suspended, renowned sniper experts were contacted and the department was directed to purchase new sniper images from a vendor, according to Dennis.

Dennis said, “This is not a race issue. There was not mal-intent or prejudice involved.”

Chief Dennis sympathized with the family discovering their brother’s photo on the target but said, “Our Police Department, and our City, are committed to serving and protecting the diverse community we serve in a fair, caring, and impartial manner.”

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In addition, he said, “there is no North Miami Beach PD policy violation or discipline forthcoming. There is no law that was broken. There is no FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) standard that was violated. However, we can always improve, and will.  From this point forward, targets will be purchased from commercial vendors and not made with photos from within our police department and all sensitive targets will be properly destroyed.

Peter D'Oench