A main road leading from Detroit to Grosse Pointe Park has been blocked off this winter by mounds of snow – an image that recalls the blockades built to keep out black Detroiters a half century ago.
Grosse Pointe Park is dumping excess snow on Kercheval at the border of Detroit, occasionally blocking access to the suburban community’s entertainment district.
“It’s distasteful; I couldn’t believe it when I saw it,” Francis Moore, who lives in Detroit near the border, told me.
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But Grosse Pointe officials said the mound of snow was placed there because the road was already blocked off due to a broken water main beneath Kercheval near Alter. Despite blocking off the street again a few days ago, city officials said Kercheval has been reopened, and it’s passable when there isn’t a mound of snow in the way.
The snow mound also happens to be where developer David Cotton wanted to block off Kercvheval to construct a building and spruce up the retail area in Grosse Pointe Park.
Whatever the case, the mound of snow comes at a sensitive time for Grosse Pointe Park, where the police department reached a reform agreement Wednesday after officers were humiliating a mentally impaired black man.
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.