‘We’re all family,’ says victim of humiliating videos by Grosse Pointe cops

A mentally ill black man who was the subject of humiliating videos captured by Grosse Pointe Parks police emerged during a protest today and appeared overwhelmed by the response.

“We’re all family,” the man, who had trouble enunciating, told more than a dozen reporters.

The man, whose identity was not released, was among several black people who were filmed by police while they asked the men to sing and dance in demeaning ways.

One text message, with a photo of a black man, read, “Got to love the coloreds.”

No officers have been disciplined yet because the investigation is ongoing, said Greg Bowens, a media-relations expert recently retained by the city. The city has about two dozens officers, none of whom are black.

Dennis Levasseur, a city attorney for Grosse Pointe Park, said that Bowens had been asked to speak due to growing community unrest.

“Residents of the Park are upset.  I live in the Park. Greg lives in the Park.”

Bowens reiterated Levasseur’s sentiment that the videos have struck a nerve in the Pointes.

“You go from one end of Grosse Pointe Park to another, you feel it,” Bowens told us. “People in their hearts, they’re hurt.”

About two dozen protesters of various racial backgrounds converged outside of the Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Headquarters on Jefferson.

“We want the Grosse Pointe Police Department to give justice to this man,” protest organizer Malik Shabazz said. “This is a human rights violation. This is a civil rights violation.”

Among a collapse of news reporters, Shabazz stressed that the videos pushed beyond the boundary of acceptable conduct and mandated disciplinary action.

“We want the police department to fire whoever was involved,” Shabazz said.

Echoing the civil rights movement of the 60s, Shabazz also called for a public boycott of Grosse Pointe Park businesses until the matter was resolved.

Since we broke the story Friday, people nationwide have expressed outrage that police officers in the 21st century would demean black, mentally ill men on video.

Locally, however, some residents weren’t surprised.

“When I heard about these videos … I wasn’t shocked one iota,” said Kris Hamel, who lives in East English Village along the Grosse Pointe Park border. “I see black people getting pulled over all the time, in inordinate numbers.”

  • Dust Buster

    the guy is lucky he is clever enough to hang around gp. his chances of surviving are much greater. if he lived in detroit chances are he would have gotten knifed over a shopping cart of returnables and died in an ally. clowns like shabazz would say a word because it wasnt a the right color killed him. to shabazz he would have been just another homeless black dude that succumbed to detroit

  • Dust Buster

    lol malik shabazz …… the leader og og the klan with a tan

  • StretchRun

    Neavling, you are getting called out. G.P. Police want to do the right thing, and they say that you referenced a pattern of videos but that you refuse to release the others. Do they exist or did you get caught in a lie?

  • DIRK DIGGLER

    Malik Shabazz is an IDIOT …

  • monkey hater

    Shabazz needs to mind his own business and worry about the the city that they destroyed……..detroit
    We moved out of Detroit because of idiots like Shabazz, unless you want Grosse Pointe to turn into little Detroit

    • DIRK DIGGLER

      Malik Shabazz is an IDIOT ….

  • Matt Barrett

    This guy is cool and I fe for him he comes into my church midway through mass some Sundays and starts yelling but he’s just trying to pray which I can respect

  • Lane

    This is the most amazing man really. I had to write an essay for class a couple months back about a moment in my life I felt truly loved, inspired. I decided to write about my conversations with Michael, and the first time he referred to me by my name. After knowing him for 17 years, my entire life, he has been unable to call me by my name, and I really felt honored and blessed when I heard it come out of his mouth. When I speak to him I am touch by his heart, appreciation, and simplistic understanding of the world around him. He once said to me, “You’re a human, and I am a human too, but they just act like I don’t exist.” He is so genuine, and eager to speak, or sing, to anyone! This past Halloween, he went to salvation army and bought colorful flowered clothing, including a lovely skirt, and wore it all week. He was so excited to tell me he was a “rainbow female garden!” It’s sad to see such a wonderful character dehumanized by my city’s officials.

    • Dust Buster

      wtf

  • Guest

    This is the most amazing man really. I had to write an essay for class a couple months back about a moment in my life I felt truly loved, inspired. I decided to write about my conversations with Michael, and the first time her referred to me by my name. After knowing him for 17 years he has been unable to call me by my name, and I really felt honored and blessed when I heard it come out of his mouth. When I speak to him I am touch by his heart, appreciation, and simplistic understanding of the world around him. He once said to me, “You’re a human, and I am a human too, but they just act like I don’t exist.” He is so genuine, and eager to speak, or sing, to anyone! This past halloween, he went to salvation army and bought colorful flowered clothing, including a lovely skirt, and wore it all week. He was so excited to tell me he was a “rainbow female garden!” It’s sad to see such a wonderful character dehumanized by my city’s officials.

  • bebow

    Their hearts should hurt, and then, their wallets should hurt.

    • Oberyn_Martell

      Who’s wallets? Why should the local business owners suffer because of something a police officer did?

  • GP For Life

    “Helen Srebernak of Grosse Pointe Park told reporters Wednesday that Scipio is seen constantly walking around the neighborhood and that police have been known to give him food or rides home.”

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131120/METRO01/311200085#ixzz2lDbHU8ra

    I was disappointed they didn’t interview Sam Riddle this time. Of course, if I were associated with a convicted felon, I would try to keep him away from the camera’s too.