Are 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have any questions about the demonstration, call Shabazz on his cell phone at (313) 646-3375.
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.