A mentally ill man was the primary target of racially charged videos captured by Grosse Pointe Park police officers, the Motor City Muckraker has learned.
One officer, who quipped about “the coloreds” in a text message, sent at least six videos of the same mentally ill man singing or stuttering on command. Sometimes the subject was in the back of a squad car; other times he was approached by police and told to perform for the camera.
At times he looked annoyed or embarrassed.
Police are conducting an internal investigation based on videos and text messages we’ve received.
We broke the story Friday after confirming that more than a dozen demeaning videos of were sent and forwarded from the phones of Grosse Pointe Park police.
The story has gained international attention but has been virtually ignored by the local media.
Grosse Pointe and Detroit have a complicated, ugly history – and the disparities between the communities are stark. Until the 1960s, Grosse Pointe made it virtually impossible for African Americans to buy property, and prejudices lingered.
Today, the Pointes are 85% white, while Detroit is 83% black.
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.