Click here for update: Five police officers suspended.
Grosse Pointe Park will announce the results of its investigation today into police capturing and circulating videos of a black man with disabilities.
The location is fitting – the diverse St. Ambrose Catholic Church, where the victim in the video scandal, Detroiter Michael Scipio, attends services.
“It is a place of forgiveness and a place where people from Detroit and Grosse Pointe go to worship,” said media relations expert Greg Bowens, a Grosse Pointe Park resident who was hired to handle the scandal. “It is a perfect place to talk about rededicating ourselves to what makes us all worthwhile.”
The videos, first revealed by Motor City Muckraker, show a black man with disabilities singing and dancing for at least one Grosse Pointe Park cop. Those videos were then circulated within the department and among friends and family, the Motor City Muckraker found.
We have stopped circulating the videos at the request of the victim’s supporters.
City officials are expected to announce whether the officers who circulated the videos will be disciplined.
What’s clear is that the officer who captured the videos will be disciplined, and cops in the department will be required to attend sensitivity training.
Bowens said city officials were outraged when they saw the videos and called for an immediate investigation.
“They are taking this matter very seriously, and they have been since Day 1,” Bowens told me.
To be sure, Grosse Pointe Park is the most progressive of the Grosse Pointe communities. Voters there chose Barack Obama as president for both terms, and more African Americans are moving in and sharing positive experiences.
‘Those videos don’t reflect the values of Grosse Pointe Park residents,” Bowens said.
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.