Miami cops fired after ‘joking’ about using black neighborhood as target practice

 

Police officers in Little Havana, Miami © Javier Galeano © Reuters

Three rookie police officers were fired just before days Christmas after joking in chat logs about using Miami’s black neighborhoods as a shooting range, according to an internal investigation.

“Anyone know of an indoor shooting range in Miami?” one officer asked in a WhatsApp group chat, according to a story first reported by the Miami Herald.

“Go to model city they have moving targets,” replied Kevin Bergnes.

“There’s a range in overtown on 1 and 11. Moving targets and they don’t charge,” added Miguel Valdes.

Fired Miami cops joked about using black neighborhoods for target practice http://hrld.us/2iJXWtS

Overtown is the name of a predominant black neighborhood, just northwest of downtown Miami. It was originally called Colored Town during the Jim Crow era of the late 19th through the mid-20th century.

Officers Bergnes, Valdes and Bruce Alcin told an investigator they were “joking,” according to investigation documents, obtained by the Miami Herald.

But the social media chat upset a colleague and the three officers were fired two days before Christmas.

Stephen Lopez, an attorney for the officers, said the remarks were taken out of context and that there was no misconduct.

Lopez told the Miami Herald his clients ReadMore

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