Shooting Gun Range Police
Getty Images

Florida Cops Used Mugshots of Black Men for Target Practice

Updated: Jan 16, 2015 12:31 PM ET

A Florida woman discovered North Miami Beach Police had been using images of black men for target practice after recognizing her brother's mug shot at a shooting range.

Sgt. Valerie Deant, a musician with the Florida Army National Guard’s 13th Army Band, arrived at a shooting range with her fellow soldiers just after police snipers had been practicing on the same range last month. Deant was shocked to see her brother's photograph among the mug shots of black men apparently used as target practice by the police. Woody Deant was arrested in 2000 in connection with a deadly drag race when he was just 18 years old.

"I was like why is my brother being used for target practice?” Deant told NBC Miami on Friday. "There were like gunshots there."

"N obody expects to come across their family member as a target at a shooting range," Andell Brown, an attorney for the Deant family, told TIME. "She was concerned about why he was there, and what that meant for his safety."

Captain Jack Young, who oversees the shooting range, confirmed that the targets are selected by whoever is renting the range. Police chief J. Scott Dennis told NBC that the decision to use mugshots of black men was ill-considered, but that no rules had been broken. He said his department includes minority police officers, and said the use of actual photographs for target practice is very common. Requests for further comment from Dennis were not immediately returned.

"These young men are literally being used for target practice," Brown said. "And if those in the leadership don’t see anything wrong with that practice, then we have a very serious issue." Brown said that the family is weighing their legal options.

Woody Deant, who spent four years in prison after his arrest, told NBC he was disturbed at his sister's discovery. "Now I'm being used as a target?” he said. "I’m not even living that life according to how they portrayed me as. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a career man. I work 9-to-5.”

"The picture actually has like bullet holes,” he said.

PHOTOS: See the Nation React to the Ferguson Decision

Hundreds of demonstrators, many of them Howard University students, march down the middle of U Street Northwest in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24, 2014.
Hundreds of demonstrators, many of them Howard University students, march down the middle of U Street Northwest in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24, 2014.Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images
Hundreds of demonstrators, many of them Howard University students, march down the middle of U Street Northwest in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24, 2014.
Protesters gather at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24, 2014.
Protesters demonstrate in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24, 2014.
Protesters march around taxis on Seventh Avenue in New York City on Nov. 24, 2014.v
Protesters march near Times Square in New York City on Nov. 24, 2014.
Protestors block the freeway during a demonstration in Oakland, Calif., on Nov. 24, 2014.
Protesters block Interstate 580 in Oakland, Calif., on Nov. 24, 2014.
A protestor on a bike rides in front of a crowd of police officers in full riot gear in Oakland, Calif., on Nov. 25, 2014.
Flames burn behind a demonstrator in Oakland, Calif., on Nov. 25, 2014.
Protesters kneel during a demonstration in Seattle on Nov. 24, 2014.
Protesters lay down to block traffic in the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 24, 2014.
Protesters block the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 24, 2014.
Donald Fields, 37, with daughter Olivia Fields, 9, at a Leimert Park gathering in Los Angeles on Nov. 24, 2014.
Hundreds of demonstrators, many of them Howard University students, march down the middle of U Street Northwest in Washi
... VIEW MORE

Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images
1 of 13
All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.