Grosse Pointe officer admits to taking humiliating videos of mentally ill man

A Grosse Pointe Park police officer has confessed to capturing humiliating videos of a black, mentally ill man, sources told us this evening.

The officer has been taken off duty and is expected to face discipline next week.

Our source said police handled the matter immediately and plan to restructure the department to reduce the chance of future misconduct. Officers also were told there will be no tolerance for cell phone videos unrelated to work while they are on duty.

The city plans to determine the officer’s discipline over the next week.

City officials declined to comment on the officer until the investigation is complete.

Greg Bowens, a media relations expert who was hired to handle the fallout, wouldn’t comment for this story but said Thursday that city officials and residents were embarrassed and hurt by the videos.

“My friends, my neighbors and residents are all appalled by what has occurred,” Bowens said on Fox 2’s Let It Rip on Thursday. “This is not a true representation of who we are in Grosse Pointe Park. We are working very hard at getting to the bottom of it.”

The Motor City Muckraker broke the story last week and uncovered videos that showed police telling a man with developmental disabilities to dance and sing. We obtained the videos from our source’s cell phone, and they appeared to show at least one other African American man as a target.

But the blurry nature of the videos makes it impossible to know for certain. We will be forwarding all videos and texts to the victim’s legal team.

Grosse Pointe Park officials are asking anyone with information about new videos to come forward.

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.