Protesters to gather in Grosse Pointe over cops taking racist videos

Grosse Pointe Park PoliceAre you angry about Grosse Pointe Park cops capturing demeaning videos of black men? Do you want to send a message that this kind of behavior shouldn’t be tolerated by law enforcement? Do you think an outside agency should investigate the video scandal?

If so, join activists of all races tomorrow as they stage a protest Wednesday at noon outside of Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Headquarters, 15115 E. Jefferson, to call for an outside investigation and the immediate removal of any officers involved.

“If we don’t show up in force and demand that this type of behavior should not be tolerated, we might as well rewind the clock to the 1950s,” Daryl Brown told me. “We have to break the silence – white, black, brown, everyone. Let’s together show that we won’t stand by as our citizens are ridiculed with men carrying guns and a badge.”

Demonstrators in the suburbs and Detroit are encouraged to attend in what organizers says is a long-overdue discussion about the race and class chasm between the Grosse Pointe communities and Detroit.

Until the 1960s, Grosse Pointe barred black people from moving there. Today, critics charge that the Grosse Pointe communities, which are much more tolerant, still have a long way to go before erasing negative stereotypes of African Americans.

Meeko Williams, of Detroit, said he’s stopped visiting a friend because the chances are great that he’ll get pulled over by Grosse Pointe police.

“I can’t go see him because the police will stop me, and they follow me into Detroit as well,” Williams told me. “So yeah, there’s been discrimination for a very long time.”

Jason Hardy is white and has lived near Grosse Pointe Park for most of his life. He loves the community and believes racism is less rampant than it was a decade or two ago.

“But with the police, it’s different,” Hardy said. “I’ve watched them pull over black people after black people one evening on Jefferson. There was no shame about it.”

Can’t make it to the rally? Email the GPP public safety department at publicsafety@grossepointepark.org.

Have any questions about the demonstration, call Shabazz on his cell phone at (313) 646-3375.

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.

  • KikenJuden

    Wouldn’t the best thing to do be to ship all the negroes back to Africa so they don’t ever have the chance of experiencing whitey’s evil racism?

  • Ryan Healy

    Obviously, when someone’s career is on the line it’s prudent not to rush an investigation, but how on earth is Grosse Pointe Park not getting out in front of this on a PR side while international reports are painting it as truculent against integration? Are the community leaders that obtuse?

    • Scott Ellis

      Agreed, but it appears that today they have moved swiftly to consult Kym Worthy, hire Greg Bowens as a spokesperson and invite the State Police to investigate. These are smart and positive moves it would seem to me. I’m not sure they would have taken this so seriously if not for the prospect of having nothing to say to the protesters knocking on their door tomorrow morning. http://www.freep.com/article/20131119/NEWS02/311190130/Grosse-Pointe-Park-racial-harassment-state-police

      • StretchRun

        Bowens is a strange choice. His politics are far left. Can’t the police find a black spokesperson who isn’t such a radical?

    • StretchRun

      It’s simple, Ryan. They don’t want the crime of Detroit to migrate into their community. They pay exorbitant taxes to maintain the lifestyle that they want in their towns. If they allow their community to fall victim to the crimes that occur a few short blocks away, people will start moving out, home values will plummet and before long Grosse Pointe will look like Detroit. Is that what anybody wants?

      • Ryan Healy

        Michael Scipio was not a motorist. I don’t understand the relevance of your comment to this story.

        • StretchRun

          The story talks about people being pulled over. Whatever the policeman was doing is an isolated incident and it can’t be seen as representative of the entire community. However, others might see a pattern in pulling over vehicles driving out of Detroit as indicative of a larger problem.

    • StretchRun

      You are right, they need to do a better job with P.R. All they have said that I have seen is that they need to see more of these videos that are reputed to exist to see if there is a pattern they are dealing with, or an isolated incident.