Officers Bruce Alcin, Kevin Bergnes and Miguel Valdes made the comments in a group chat on the app WhatsApp with other law enforcement officials. The exchange between the officers, as the Miami Herald reported, was as follows:
“Anyone know of an indoor shooting range in Miami?”
“Go to model city they have moving targets.”
“There’s a range in overtown on 1 and 11. Moving targets and they don’t charge.”
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” aboit using the citizens of two of the city’s historically black communities as moving targets, according to investigation documents. However, this fact has not saved them from a termination.
tephen 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 were not racist as Alcin is African American, and Valdes has a black grandfather.
He said that the officers plan to sue the city because it discriminated against them.
In a statement, Chief Rodolfo Llanes said an internal affairs investigation found the officers' actions "inconsistent with the mission and values of our department."
"They wanted to make an example out of this. But they made an example of the wrong people," Lopez said. "These guys didn't shoot anybody. They were clearly joking around. They are kids. You don't terminate them the day before Christmas Eve."
So they are kids? But Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Laquan McDonald, Trayvon Martin were not? Did they deserve death?