Fla. cops on firing range aim at mug shots; Minnesota pastor says 'Use Me Instead'


The recent discovery that police in North Miami Beach were using mug shots of African-American men for target practice at their shooting range sparked protests from critics who say the practice fuels racial profiling.

A Minnesota pastor, Rev. Joy Gonnerman, chatting on Facebook with other clergy members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, suggested it would be harder for officers to pull the trigger if they were shooting at different images, the Washington Post reports.

#UseMeInstead was soon created. That hashtag and a Houston pastor's event page on Facebook became repositories for photos of clergy members volunteering themselves as substitutes for the young black men officers had been aiming at on their shooting range.

The city council and mayor of North Miami Beach condemned the police department's practice last week and passed a measure banning it, the Miami Herald says.

Gonnerman tells the Post: “It’s such a desensitization thing, that if you start aiming at young black men, and (are) told to put a bullet in them, you become desensitized. Maybe, to change the picture, it’s you know what, dare ya, shoot a clergy person.”

Even though North Miami Beach has discontinued the use of mugshots on its range, Gonnerman said she still planned to send the police department dozens of photos of clergy members supplied to #UseMeInstead, to send the message "We're watching; we're paying attention to this."

The fact that most of the clergy speaking out at #UseMeInstead are white led to some backlash against the movement, the Huffington Post reports.

A student at Virginia Theological Seminary, Broderick Greer, told the website:

“I’m conflicted. I have so many wonderful white clergy friends involved in that hashtag. But it’s fallen into a ‘white savior’ narrative, that these white clergy have come to the aid of these helpless black people. And I don’t think that’s what we’re trying to promote."

Next Up

Union Gospel Mission graffiti side by side - Duluth PD

Vandals target longstanding Duluth soup kitchen, transitional housing site

Union Gospel Mission has been operating in the city since 1922.

i-94 crash st. michael - 2021.10.19

I-94 closed westbound after 'serious crash' in St. Michael

That side of the highway is expected to be closed for at least a few hours.

House for sale

The crazy Twin Cities housing market is showing signs of slowing down

Agents are seeing fewer multiple offers and no inspections are less prevalent.

Ben Simmons

Simmons' reunion with 76ers lasts mere days, chance for Wolves?

Woj says the Sixers remain "steadfast" in their plans for Simmons.

mitchell ottinger

Sub teacher involved in 'sextortion' of more than 10 minors pleads guilty

Some of the minors he knew from the school district where he worked.

flickr ice castles new brighton 2020 - Greg Gjerdingen

The Ice Castles, a winter favorite, are coming back to the Twin Cities

The popular attraction was canceled last winter due to COVID.

joey meatballs

4 new vendors coming to Rosedale's POTLUCK food hall

Three restaurants and a VR company are opening soon.

flickr - Lorie Shaull - Line 3 pipeline Palisade July 2021

Enbridge misses deadline to fix its groundwater blunder

The company had 30 days to stop the leak it caused by not following its submitted plans.

wikimedia commons - the beach boys 2019 - joergens.mi

Beach Boys bringing 2021 holiday tour to Minnesota

The iconic band's "Holiday Harmonies" tour stops at Treasure Island just before the new year.

pixabay - us supreme court

MN, WI attorneys general push SCOTUS to block to Texas abortion law

They say the law is in "direct contravention of nearly a half century of binding precedent."