At least one Grosse Pointe Park police officer is capturing humiliating photos and videos of a black man with disabilities and texting them to co-workers, friends and family, the Motor City Muckraker has found.
Most of the videos are shot from squad cars while at least one African American man is told to sing and dance. Some of the subjects are even in the back of police cars.
Grosse Pointe Park Capt. David Loch said the department is launching an investigation.
“If you are in possession of something, we will meet with you,” Loch offered.
We are not revealing the source of the texts and videos but were able to verify they were sent from the cell phones of police officers. Many of the photos and videos have been forwarded numerous times. The videos appear to depict at least two different men.
“It’s disgusting,” the source of the messages said. “It’s part of the culture in Grosse Pointe.”
Because of the humiliating nature of some of the videos, we aren’t publishing most of them.
On the border of Detroit, Grosse Pointe is emblematic of the racial divide. In 1960, a civil case revealed the community used a screening process to effectively make it impossible for black people and “Orientals” to buy property. Grosse Pointe remains an area of wealth and privilege – and critics say it has done little to ease fears of racism.
“I won’t even go there anymore,” Anthony Baker, who is black, told me. “Last three times I went, I got pulled over every single time. Never got a ticket, just lots of questions.”
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.