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Police Confirm Standard Target Practice Cut Out Character Has Back Turned

NEW YORK — NYC Police Commissioner Dermot Shea confirmed today that police shooting targets all come standard with their backs turned, clearing up any speculation that the police’s long history of shooting suspects in the back is somehow an accident.

“We train our officers to the highest standards in the world, and we’re very proud of the example they set when pursuing and assaul… er, detaining suspects,” Shea told a crowded room of reporters following the latest shooting of a fleeing person of color. “We take our motto of ‘To Protect and Serve’ very seriously, especially when protecting and serving ourselves.”

Police across the country have recently faced heavy scrutiny after a long series of officer-involved shootings, stretching back seemingly to the invention of police and guns. Many feel these shootings are unjustified and disproportionately target black suspects — an accusation Shea vehemently denies.

“The safety of our officers is our number one priority, followed closely by the safety of the public. That’s why we train our officers to fire at the safest possible moment — when a suspect begins to flee,” Shea said. “And I can assure you, the fact that our target practice cutouts happen to all be black is just a paper printing thing, and is purely coincidental. Purely.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was quick to condemn Shea’s words, but for completely different reasons than reporters anticipated.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable for the police force to practice on fleeing black targets, when criminals take so many other forms in this city,” de Blasio said in a written statement. “Why not use targets that look like homeless people, or a guy selling cigarettes outside of a bodega? As long as they stick to one image, they’ll never be able to properly over-police all of our great citizens.”

At press time, after increasing media backlash, Shea called a second press conference to announce that the NYPD would begin training non-lethal methods of detaining suspects, though his use of air-quotes and a visible wink at the end of his speech left many reporters skeptical.