The International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) would like to clarify and respond to issues raised in recent Facebook postings and items in internet news media regarding a target that included the IALEFI® logo, and depicted a young black male with a gun.
First, IALEFI does not print, publish or sell targets. IALEFI does license several target manufacturers to produce targets approved by the Association. The target in question has never been used at any training program conducted by or supported by IALEFI. This target was, however, manufactured by one of the target companies licensed by IALEFI.
IALEFI, a non-profit organization, has served society for 35 years by providing state-of-the-art training to law enforcement officers and agencies throughout the country and worldwide. IALEFI’s thousands of members come from every state in the United States and over twenty other nations. We welcome, and our membership includes, people of all races and nationalities. Last year we conducted some 25 training conferences throughout the United States. We publish a quarterly journal, several training reference works and sets of training standards, and serve as a source of information on law enforcement firearms training issues.
Virtually every major target company produces targets depicting whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, males, females, zombies, etc. The world we live in contains both good people and criminals of every race and nationality. IALEFI has, for over ten years, authorized the printing of targets that include a white male, a white female, a black male, and a male who appears to be Hispanic. We have never received any complaints concerning any of these targets until two days ago. The recent complaint was reportedly prompted in part by an alleged exchange of words between a customer at a commercial shooting range and an employee of the range. IALEFI has nothing to do with the shooting range, did not even know of its existence until two days ago, obviously cannot control what is said by the range’s customers and employees, and has no way of confirming the truth of what is alleged to have been said that offended the customer.
Regarding the assertion that the target depicts a “black teenager,” we are advised that the black male shown in the target was about 24 years old when the photograph was taken, having finished his service in the U.S. Marine Corps two years earlier. He provided his photograph to the target manufacturer without charge, in the interest of promoting more realistic law enforcement training. He is reportedly disappointed that some individuals have misconstrued the purpose for the target.
Regarding the inflammatory assertion that IALEFI is encouraging the shooting of black teenagers, IALEFI has for 35 years been a leader in developing and promoting decision making and judgmental training for law enforcement officers, training them in the legalities and constraints of justifiable use of deadly force, and in situational control and other tactics designed to minimize the instances in which deadly force must, regrettably and unavoidably, be used. We have no doubt that IALEFI has, through these efforts, saved many lives, including those of law enforcement officers, members of the public, and criminals as well, of every race and nationality.