muckraker report

Grosse Pointe opens internal investigation into cops’ racially charged videos

Grosse Pointe Park police officially opened an internal investigation today following our report Thursday that at least once officer was capturing humiliating videos and pictures of what appears to be several black men and texting them to colleagues and family.

“On Thursday, November 14 2013, the Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department was contacted by an individual who said that he was in possession of video clips and a photo of African American males,” police said in press release to Huffington Post. “The video clips and photo are allegedly made by an officer of this department. The department has begun an internal investigation of this matter. The Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department does not tolerate unprofessional conduct by its officers when interacting with any citizen they may come in contact with.”

Police have declined to update us on the investigation, but we provided them with more images from the text messages today. We’ll be giving them additional evidence this weekend.

Most of the videos are shot from squad cars while at least one black man are told to sing or dance in humiliating ways. One of the subjects is even in the back of police cars.

We will be releasing more videos in the next several days.

Steve Neavling

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.

  • jimmyt

    Police, the real terrorists

  • george1776

    It is irrelevant if this is done to a white, Hispanic or Black American no officer should ever, ever besmirch or degrade his official responsibility as peace officer in any capacity. This is an insult to his badge and to all the other officers who take an oath to protect and serve. Even though this individual is drunk or suffering from some mental problems no officer should cross the lines of his authority. This officer should be fired and those who participated reduced in rank.

  • Truthbtold

    This is certainly racism, the majority Caucasians are in denial about this video and what it represents to African Americans. Even though it’s 2013 Jim Crow laws are still being enforced.

  • WhatWeThinkOfThis

    Sounds to me like the Grosse Pointe Park police department has too many officers. These guys don’t have anything else to do, so they drive around causing trouble with whoever they can find to take advantage of.

    I can’t figure out what there is to investigate. These rogue cops are total idiots and don’t deserve to work at any city department. I wouldn’t want my tax dollars paying for their salaries and benefits.
    I think it is obvious that even the Michigan State Police feels these cops are guilty of abusing their powers since they want nothing to do with investigating them.

    This country has too many police officers doing things like this and worse. Right now is the perfect time to start downsizing government workers when they are caught doing things they aren’t supposed to be doing. Things like this cost taxpayers a lot of money when lawsuits are filed against their city for the police officers’ conduct.

  • Claire Carr

    Mr. Neavling, the fact that you call yourself an “investigative journalist” is beyond appalling. First of all, exactly what “investigating” did you do to write this article? Did you investigate into the background of the man that was videotaped? No, because you did not even address him by name. Did you interview the man featured in the videos? Obviously not, because if you had talked to him for even a minute, you would have heard the songs he sings-even without the implied force of a badge.

    Was it wrong to tape the man singing? Perhaps. But calling an entire department “racist” because they videotaped one man’s VOLUNTARY antics is unfair as well as irresponsible.

    Is it not the first & foremost duty of a journalist to report the facts? By the looks of this “article”, you are just another disgusting excuse for a reporter seeking recognition by breeding hate through blatant misrepresentation.
    Congratulations on your 15 minutes of relevancy.

    • gpointewife

      Have you been in GPP and seen traffic stops? Seen police question young black males walking down the street and drive by young white males?

      …yeah… Rose colored glasses.

  • donaldopeoples

    Too bad for many of the GP folks that money can’t buy character. They often seem well read but ill bred.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesse.c.locke IamAmericanB4black

    I know a few people like this, they sing and dance at the drop of a hat, without prompting most of the time. Actually an older cousin is one of them. However, I wouldn’t want some cop recording him and having a good laugh at his expense but if you do this kind of thing in the public on a regular basis you are bound to be recorded doing it eventually. Is it a color thing? Are there whites in this cops patrol district? Are there whites that do this sort of thing (drunkards acting a fool in public)? I don’t know. It would be interesting if someone familiar with the area would comment on it.

    • truthzone333

      News Flash, there is a difference between singing and dancing on your own choice and a cop with a gun demanding you do it.

  • Jasvinder Singh Obhan

    I just wish the Indian police was allowed to do this to the Nigerians who have been a big nuisance in India :)

    • http://cambrey.com/ Cambrey

      It’s sad when other people of color forget they had the very same British colonizer. Have some compassion.

      • Jasvinder Singh Obhan

        Compassion for Drug Pushers, illegal immigrants and scamsters? No compassion for Nigerians..

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    I lived in the city of Grosse Pointe from the early ’80’s to the late ’90’s. Overall the citizens of Grosse Pointe are not like what is portrayed by the videos. Are there some citizens who are prejudice against blacks and are a a donkey’s rear, yes? Yes, but it is a small minority just like there are some blacks who are prejudice towards whites.

    Give Grosse Pointe Park time to investigate the problems and appropriately react to them.

    Good job Steve Neavling. As a white person I am embarrassed, but good job.

    • truthzone333

      Please do not compare white racism against blacks and other minorities to minorities feelings about whites…unless blacks once enslaved, hung, and used their privileged power against whites…which they didn’t.

  • Kenny

    Sadly I’m not surprised by some of the comments I have read. Racist, bigoted white people proudly support white police officers treating African Americans like ‘chimps’ for their amusement. Nothing is going to happen to the white police officers because Michigan is controlled by a Tea Bagging Koch Sucking Governor.

    • JukeJointJimmee

      Oh boo hoo. STFU.

      • Kenny

        I must have struck a nerve. You must be a proud white racist Tea Bagging Koch Sucker.

        • http://www.motorcitymuckraker.com/ only living girl in detroit

          Please refrain from personal attacks. I don’t want to have to ban you.

  • Michael J Pacteles

    A wanna be Charlie Leduff

  • Bob Sanders

    Seriously people, take a deep breath and calm down. Neavling makes it seem like the entire department is out there randomly forcing great numbers of minorities to perform all sorts of humiliating acts. From what I can tell, there is ONE half-crazy, drunk dude that daily makes a fool of himself by drinking in public and going on silly rants and songs (without prompting). This isn’t “racism”. My source says that all the cops know this guy by name, nobody ever mistreats him, they give him rides home when citizens call to complain about him, they feed him, etc., etc. There is nothing illegal about video recording somebody in a public place. I don’t think it’s correct or proper for these police officers to be doing it, but it’s not “illegal”. There should be an investigation and it should stop, but if you think that this is evidence of huge corruption or a racist police force, then you’re an idiot. Nobody is gonna get fired. Go to GPP court and watch all the white people that are ticketed and arrested. All of the police in the Grosse Pointes do a great job keeping the streets safe, and that typically means keeping people like this drunk dude in his home town. Let’s focus on the source of these videos for a second and ask why they are surfacing YEARS after they were taken? How about that Neavling, want to comment on your “secret” female source? I didn’t think so. You can’t even get your facts correct, the one picture which can be found circulating on the Internet and isn’t even from Grosse Pointe clearly says “Got to…” but you write “Gotta…” Not a big deal? If he can’t even get that right, why should we believe Neavling got any of the rest correct???

    • GP For Life

      “From what I can tell, there is ONE half-crazy, drunk dude that daily makes a fool of himself by drinking in public and going on silly rants and songs (without prompting).”

      I knew that guy looked familiar! He peed on my trashcan once while yelling at me. It was late on a Sunday afternoon. A cop drove by shortly thereafter and I told him about it and the cop said: “He’s cool.”. He just wanders around hammered out of his gourd. He seems very confrontational, but apparently he must not be.

      Looks like they’re toning down the one-sided reporting too. Less quotes from random people saying how this is the culture of racism.

      Also, are you just publishing things an angry-ex is sending you? You may want some non-biased confirmation.

      • truthzone333

        Whatever the “drunk dude” is doing does not give the police the right to treat him like sh*t. You people are too dumb to know that this is exactly why most minorities don’t trust the police which only makes their job harder.

        • GP For Life

          You’re absolutely correct. Good for you!

          My point is, “He’s cool” isn’t the typical response you get from a GP cop when you complain that a drunk, possibly vagrant, man just urinated on your trashcan while yelling obscenities at you in broad daylight. Which tells me they knew precisely who he was and knew he was relatively harmless despite him micturating on my trashcan.

          Also, I was quoting someone else who referred to him as a “drunk dude”. The poor man is seriously ill and has a drinking problem. I don’t think it’s cool to belittle anyone, let alone someone who can’t defend their self, but I hardly see this as evidence as some sort of systemic racism.

    • Crackercrusher

      Sure make a excuse for these cowards.. If one is doing it then they all are doing it.. You calm the F down……!

    • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

      If the video is from the police, and I believe Steve Nevealing,the officers will be reprimanded.. I surely hope so.

    • truthzone333

      People like you are the reason why most blacks think whites are insensitive dumb racists. People like you are NOT a credit to the white race…you’re the problem.

    • Khalil Fareed

      Salaams Bob Sanders, You Do Not Know What You’re In Grosse Pointe Park Municipal Court. 80% Of Those Ticketed Are African Americans. Judge Jarboe, Gives Whites All Kinds Of Breaks, That He Does Not For Minorities.I Was In His courtroom For A Ticket That Spiraled To $350.00 And Tried To Make A Payment Arrangement. He Asked Did I Still Reside At 1055 Whittier Road> Yes. Stand Over There. Asked Other Well-Dressed Brother, Do You Currently Reside In Bloomfield Hills, MI? Yes, He Replied. Go Stand Over There. Other meant By A Grosse Pointe Park Police Officer. When Judge Jarboe, Cleared The Courtroom, he Instructed Both Me And The Guy, Contact Someone To Payoff Overdue Tickets, Or We’d Have To Post Bond. We’ve Liven In The Pointes Since 1993. The Park, Since 2003. I’ve Seen The Institutionalized Racism Up Close And Personal. One Officer Even Tried To Stop Frisk me Walking While Black! I Do Not Live There Anymore. ShukronAllah, Thank God!

      • GP For Life

        So, you had tickets you didn’t pay and he ordered you to pay them or he was going to have you placed in jail?

        This is how the legal system works. I am not sure how you see the racism, here.

    • george1776

      It is irrelevant if this is done to a white, Hispanic or Black American no officer should ever, ever besmirch or degrade his official responsibility as a peace officer in any capacity. This is an insult to his badge and to all the other officers who take an oath to protect and serve. Even though this individual is drunk or suffering from some mental problems no officer should cross the lines of his authority. This officer should be fired and those who participated reduced in rank.

  • bebow

    Yes, please put it all up for inspection, since it seems clear the police department won’t handle the deviance without external force. It’s somewhat amusing to note the criminals are afflicted with the same condition. Not so amusing is the presence of a government sponsored group of armed character defects riding around at liberty to engage in acts of sadism. Do I need to point out this is a strong indication the police are also criminals? If they do sadism, they can and will do anything. How far beyond sadism is assault, for instance? What about rape or murder? Where does lying on the witness stand under oath fall on the deviance spectrum? Whoever fights monsters must guard against becoming one. When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back into you. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

  • BobNB

    How many officers are involved, based on your evidence? Seems like only one can be pegged down. At any rate, keep us updated on whatever action GP Park [hopefully] takes, and share additional evidence online.

    • truthzone333

      Didn’t you read the article? There are many cops involved because the videos and texts were sent to many cops and relatives and commonsense says that there is more than one cop to have this comfort level. Someone needs to treat you or your kind that way to see how it feels.

  • Miggoty Moss

    Probably a good idea that half the claims and BS material originally posted in this article have been edited out. Great investigative journalism :

    • http://www.motorcitymuckraker.com/ only living girl in detroit

      Wrong story. This is the follow up.