Paper: 3 Miami officers fired over target practice ‘jokes’

MIAMI (AP) – An internal Miami police investigation has found three rookie officers joked in a group chat about using the city’s primarily black neighborhoods for target practice.

According to investigation documents obtained by the Miami Herald (, the officers told an investigator they were only joking. The newspaper says officers Kevin Bergnes, Miguel Valdes and Bruce Alcin were fired two days before Christmas. It says Alcin is African-American and Valdes has a black grandfather.

The remarks upset colleagues and came as the department is under supervision of the U.S. Department of Justice following a series of police shootings.

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

A police union says the officers should have been reprimanded, not fired. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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