Suburban cops under investigation after punching, kicking black Detroiter


Michigan State Police are investigating the violent arrest of a black man in Detroit by two white suburban officers Monday.

The arrest was captured on video by an outraged homeowner, prompting state police to launch an investigation following complaints from Detroit authorities and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

The officers were from Grosse Pointe Park and Highland Park and were part of a multi-jurisdictional task force. The officers punched and kicked the suspect while he was facedown.

When the victim cried out, “Jesus,” while getting punched, a Grosse Pointe Park officer became outraged.

“You’re calling Jesus? Don’t you dare! Don’t you fucking dare!” he yelled.

We broke news in November 2013 that Grosse Pointe Park cops were humiliating a mentally ill black man and circulating humiliating videos of him. The officers were briefly suspended and forced to undergo sensitivity training.

Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director David Hiller quickly defended the actions of police, saying the suspect was wanted for pointing a gun at a mother and her two children in a carjacking. Police tracked down the car and chased the suspect on foot before arresting him.

“The subject continued to reach for the area of his waist band and refused all orders to show his hands,” Hiller said. “He curled up in a ball and his right hand again went under his clothing. Fearing for their safety and those in the immediate area, an officer delivered a kick to the thigh area of the subject thus allowing the other officers the ability to arrest the subject. Located in his waist band was a loaded semi-automatic handgun.”


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.

  • falseprophet

    More kicking, less discussing criminal rights.

  • Patrick Griffith

    Typical Steve, letting race and his own agenda dominate an article. No background on the man who was arrested and of course featured is his ongoing distaste for grosse pointe. Not even a good read, to be honest.

  • mediabites

    Got some media bias going here. Black Detroiter, really?
    What about black car jacker, or armed robber, or absconded parolee.
    Are you tryingto equalize this felon with the legitimate black patrons oof Detroit? It’s biased sensationalism like this that has caused the media on its downward spiral.
    This is why the major news dailies, particularly in New York and Detroit are downsizing or shuttering it’s doors for good. And good riddance.
    I expect better from you Steve. Leave the sensationalistic trash to garbage reporters like Elrick, who as we speak, is probably looking for some aged attorney to bully and beat.

  • maggiemay

    Okay, got it. Let’s move on with your next story about how racist and brutal the suburbs are, especially Grosse Pointe. I’m sure you can come up with something, you always do.

  • TimeEd

    “Suburban cops under investigation after punching, kicking black Detroiter”

    Do you mean after punching, kicking armed and dangerous carjacker who is resisting arrest while carrying a loaded pistol in his waistline? You’ve denied clickbait in the past, but this one is just too obvious not to call you out on.

    “When the victim cried out…”

    Again, you mean the paroled criminal who just forced a family from their vehicle with a gun?

    I don’t know what exactly your problem is with the suburbs, but it’s clearly affecting your way to write clear, unbiased articles. It really is insulting for those coming here to get a story that shows both sides. You’re the only writer from any outlet that is reporting the incident in such a biased light.

    • Oberyn_Martell

      Yes so wonderful that the violent career criminal is now the victim. I detest the media.

  • Bruce Channell

    Quote from the perpetrators attorney”I am shocked,shocked I say “…..I’m sure he is….

  • banmar

    I’ve been a police commissioner, and given that experience, I would have suspended these two cops with an eye toward dismissal after seeing this video. It’s not the fact that the subject had carjacked a grandmother and her family at gunpoint, or that he had a violent criminal record, or that he’s black and failed to respond to police orders from white cops. It was the cruel and violent way those cops beat and kicked him and then taunted him when he called out for Jesus. Every encounter between the police and a suspect(s) need to be conducted as though the Chief and community police monitors are observing the interaction.

    I’m not sure if this is a white vs. black, Detroit vs. GP or some kind of other ongoing controversy, but I strongly suspect that if this had been a white Detroiter with a similar criminal record, there would have been far fewer kicks and punches received by the suspect.

    • bebow

      An analogy comes to mind. What’s seen on display in the video resembles the conduct of abusive parents, who completely fail in their responsibilities to supervise, discipline (teach), and impose firm structure 24/7/365 and then explode in violence when their children misbehave. “That’ll teach you a lesson,” they think and sometimes say. It never works. In fact, it produces the opposite of what is desired.

      Detroit’s Third World neighborhoods have been unpoliced since 2006. The areas outside of downtown and Midtown are out of control, because the city has completely failed in its responsibilities to 95% of the population and allowed the criminal menace to run buck wild for that length of time. Now that someone other than residents of black neighborhoods has something to lose if the criminals keep blowing people’s heads off, New Detroit thinks it’s going to teach the deviants a lesson with occasional doses of cheap, explosive, drive-by law enforcement. It won’t work. It never does.

      • Oberyn_Martell

        While I agree with you for the most part as far as the state of the city outside of the neighborhoods I don’t believe it holds true for this particular unit or this incident. This joint task force has actually been quite effective in clamping down on car jackings in the neighborhood they operate (quite bit inside the city borders). And this incident in particular I will maintain aside from the smack related to Jesus they were not inappropiate. This man was known to be armed and dangerous and was resisting arrest. That officer was struggling to get his arm behind his back so his partner delivered some swift kicks to subdue him.

      • “…New Detroit thinks it’s going to teach the deviants a lesson with occasional doses of cheap, explosive, drive-by law enforcement. It won’t work. It never does.”

        Again, we agree. We don’t need “drive-by” law enforcement. It’s gone too far for that. We must be more innovative and ruthless than that.

        Since the Constitution is pretty clear on the use of military force in subduing the population, outside of a state of emergency, we can’t do that. So, what are we to do? We need an outside force and we need a lot of them.

        It has to be an outside force so that A) we don’t have their pension costs and B) they’ve been untainted by the decades of corruption that has festered in Detroit.

        • Oberyn_Martell

          Again while I agree with both of your statements in general I don’t believe it applies to this particular unit. They aren’t just putting on shows for the media they have actually made a difference cracking down on carjackings. At least for their particular area they have grant money to enforce in.

          • Oh, I think it’s great “start”, but I am thinking more of a troop surge, than anything else. Just an overwhelming display of strength.

          • javierjuanmanuel

            its not just cops, its the culture, it needs a reboot. Its a hustle culture, for crime not hustle to own a sub shop, dry cleaners, or car wash.

            The courts need a reboot. The problem is after a certain amount of blacks move in any area, then the shady blacks show up, they vote in hustlers to city council, school board, judges, and mayor. Ten years after that a middle class area looks like hell, and no laws are enforced and everything is shit because enforcing laws, litter, dog tags, parking, loitering, cruising, building blight laws etc ALL BECOME RACIST!

            It becomes racist to ask someone to mow their lawn, or put a roof on their garage, or replace a window with something other than a board. The parents like the income from the kids hustling and selling weed, and steeling rims.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        I agree, it almost makes sense with kids who only ever saw this, but even the adults are warped now that its been lawless so long.

        This happened maybe 2007 in GP, two black kids from detroit, car jacked to senior women from canada sight seeing here in GP. They violently ripped the ladies from their convertable mustang, put gun in their face and almost ran them over with the car.

        The family of the perps thought it was no big deal, the GP judge sent them away for like 20 years maybe? Anyways the family REALLY thought they were going to get off, and FLIPPED THE EFF out about the sentence, because they are used to property crimes in detroit being nothing.

        Some of these people were 60 years old, AND I KNOW DAMN well they were not raised like that by their mom and sure as shit their big momma did not let that go down back in the 1920s.

        Yet fast forward, and not only is car jacking just not a big deal, they expect a slap on the wrist.

    • Lady, you live in a fantasy world. How do you handle the orcs there?

      • banmar

        Nope, no fantasy world here, Ayn Rand.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      you think cops who hate blacks seek out areas to patrol with their nemesis the black male?

      Maybe if they hated blacks for purely being black, they would work in areas with no blacks lime montana, minnesota, the UP, iowa etc.

      Pretty weird to basically work right next to the blackest city in america, then actively seek out to be on a task for to then go to that terrible crime ridden place when you have a cush job in GP.

      Do you think that puerto ricans and blacks that hate whites seek out jobs in white areas to terrorize them also ?

      I suspect that if it was a detroit cop and everyone was black no one would care. They do not care when black dudes kill each other, so a knee to the back is practically a hand shake in comparison.

      You sound like you would have been a terrible commish, as they hit him to get him to submit, they did not cuff him sit him on the hood then slug him in the face and gut for being black.

      HE GOT HIMSELF hit by not submitting !

      • banmar

        You don’t get to hit people for not submitting.

        • Oberyn_Martell

          Is that a joke? You absolutely are within legal rights to hit someone for not submitting. Especially when you’re suspected to have a deadly weapon on your person. That’s not even up for debate.

          • banmar

            It’s actually very true. Not a rabblerouser. Sorry if you don’t like my views.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            You’re using more verbiage that is evidence that you don’t actually have credentials you claim. It isn’t your views I have any issue with. These are statements of fact. Police may use force in situations of resisting arrest. There’s no viewpoint there. The viewpoint can be agreeing or not with that ability which OK you don’t but that doesn’t make it unlawful. Carry on “commissioner”.

          • javierjuanmanuel

            right her view COULD be, this is legal, I wish it was not.

            Instead as suggested she is trying to tell people it is illegal to get them riled up.

            Also she does not have to deal with the outcome, which is how do you make people submit with words. There are people with NO REGARD for themselves who hate everyone, and you just following them and yelling at them would make their day.

            You warn, then you put them on the ground!

          • banmar

            If you say so, Oberyn.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            Excellent counterpoint.

          • javierjuanmanuel

            its not a view if it is a lie. It is just a lie.

          • banmar

            Untrue, JJ, but please continue to believe what you like, including that the world is flat.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          you hit them in the process of making them submit.

          How do you make someone submit with words?

          Anyone can just walk away and you can then ….. what … hurl some clever barbs at them and zing their ego ?

          How does a female cop @ 140 lbs stop two 300 lb 6’5″ males? She has a gun thats how !

    • maggiemay

      Why always GP? A Highland Park cop was there too. Guess GP is just an easy target.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Muck is there any other cities where you mention things of the past in each new story chronically?

    I think you may have you may be so myopic you cannot see how transparent the hate is. This is NOT something you do as matter of habit, you reserve this JUST for GPP. You do it every time the city is mentioned, but I do not recall you ever doing it in any other town/story/series.

    Why is that?

    How about you stop, its makes a joke of the stories to people that are paying attention, it makes me think pssssh the only reason he even cares is so he can mention GPP again, if this happened in detroit by detroit cops I do not think you would care. If it happened in roseville by black cops, I do not think you would care.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      I want to ad, you can basically see this on cops about every third episode they have to really wrestle someone to the ground, putting knees in the back etc is NOTHING, its so you cannot role over on a cop and shoot him, same with roughly cuffing you. They are not fitting you for a fine custom suit, they are taking down a guy who would not submit.

      Again, get upset when they have a tape of a guy putting his hands on his head, interlacing his fingers as ordered and a cop sucker punches him.

      Do not shed tears for people running from the cops, who shoot at cops, who wrestle cops.

  • Steve, you had a chance to do the unpredictable and break with form, but you didn’t. I’ll admit, at first look one might think he was handcuffed. On closer inspection, you can see the suspect’s left arm moving around (obscured by the officer’s leg) while the cop yells “give me your arm”.

    Nice job layering in race into the story, too. Very subtle, like a handjob from a longshoreman. Rough and unsatisfying.

    You’re a good writer, one of the better ones, but it’s painful to read something that sounds as journalistic as your work, but has such an obvious agenda. What you don’t understand is that this is insulting to people. You’re framing a story to fit your agenda and people see it. It’s like the “got your nose” game, as condescending and demeaning as it is unreal.

  • maggiemay

    The women narrating the video is a liar. He was not cuffed when they kicked and hit him and at no time was he pistol whipped.

  • maggiemay

    The only reason you printed this is because a GPP cop was involved. You also neglected to mention that the suspect was a parole absconder previously convicted of armed robbery. Also, why was it necessary to bring up the 2013 incident?

    • Oberyn_Martell

      My favorite is white suburban cops black Detroiter. Steve is so transparent I’m beginning to question if he exists.

  • Oberyn_Martell

    The only problem with this arrest is the part where he smacks the guy for invoking Jesus. That’s truly the only point they stepped over the line. He was resisting arrest when they were hitting him and as soon as they got the cuffs on they stopped. The guy held up a woman and child and gunpoint and deserves no sympathy from anyone.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      But its context, the guy just tried to jack a square grandma with her grand kids.

      Just think for a minute about car jacking. Car jacking is the product of people to stupid to steal a parked car. There are by the way tens of thousands of 11 year old hood rats that know how to steal a parked car, you hammer a screw driver in the column and turn it. An actual chimp or monkey can do it.

      This piece of trash is to lazy to steal parked cars, he has to jam guns in the face or senior women !

      THEN invoke the name of Jesus.

      Its not about Jesus, its just offensive, I would want to hear that as much as hear him suggest he was doing this for a merit badge in boyscouts. Mf’er shut the hell up you scum bag ! You are not going to church, you are not a boyscout.

      • Oberyn_Martell

        Don’t get me wrong I’m not upset with theae cops. But he smacked the guy in the face for calling to jesus while he was cuffed so that’s the one part of the arrest that can come back to bite him.

      • Joeysback

        Could you be any more racist? “Hood rats”, “chimps”, “monkeys”?? Why don’t you just say what you mean?? Whether this guy deserved this treatment or not, YOUR take on it is pretty clear!

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Cops should not have to wrestle people or even chase them, you seem more upset a cop hit a guy who was resisting arrest and refusing lawful orders than the same dude sticking a guy in a law abiding females face to steal he car !

    Cops have to disarm you, and cuff you for everyone safety. The accused included. Do not rifle through your pockets, or glove box, or walk away when a cop tells you to stop, or stop putting your hands in your pockets etc.

    Save your outrage for when someone follows orders, and out of spite cops hit them.

    These cops are preserving their own life, the dude had a gun on his waist, he was either going to go for it to shoot them, or he was going to roll and make a run for it so he could be caught with out the gun on him, either way he would shoot a cop to not go to jail.

    Just answer me this, when you give a lawful command and they do not listen, what do you do ? They have to make them follow, sometimes that means a headlock and punch to the face if they are wrestling the cops, it means mace, tazer, shooting them what every the cops best judgement is for that moment.

    I keep seeing people say cops are no the judge and jury thats true, but he was not executed he was cuffed. Then Its confusing to not see anyone suggest that you not fight cops on the street, you fight cops in court. You submit peacefully to arrest, and go to court. Do not fight the cops. Its very easy.

  • bebow

    A Tale of Two Detroits is a story of depravity. For once in his life, Nolan Finley was correct. The facts in this situation won’t register with many (witness the narration), because the larger issue is a question of gross imbalance – deliberate, mocking, middle finger wagging imbalance that breaks along racial lines.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      wait who is being mocked ?

      • javierjuanmanuel

        ohh I get it now, the squares are being mocked for being stupid and working hard and doing whats right. Got it.

    • Please expound on these thoughts a little more, sir. I am interested in where you’re taking this, because I think we’re thinking along the same lines.

      • bebow

        Nolan Finley’s first column covers it. The state of imbalance couldn’t be plainer or more offensive.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          tale of two detroits i see is law abiding working square families, and the multi generation criminal families. There are people who want nice schools and clean streets, and a good life, then there are people who by 4th grade decided they do not want to learn, they DO WANT to be on welfare and thats it, and sell and steal for their side hustle. I know a TON of teachers, kids admit the welfare part, no shame. Even new black detroiter transplants to the burbs. Even in top 5 school districts, they waste the opportunity.

          • bebow

            That’s not how it’s playing out in reality.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Muck maybe every time you mention GPP and mention that incident, you should also mention that black guy was a well know drunk for years and the cops from GPP would drive him home, and after that incident he went on a crime spree and either raised up or hit a woman with either a hammer or a hatchet. Just seems fair to always mention it if anything that happens in GPP or anyone from GPP you reference that incident from 2013. Please be sure to mention that black guy is a notorious public drunk and violent. Ohh yeah and a theif.

    This was a joint task force, I think there was a black cop on the scene, one of the two main cops was from highland park, not sure you can call that suburban, since when you say that it is wink wink White vs black. HIghland park is detroits poorer more messed up black brother, with a much worse future than detroit.

    Please amend what you said with a mention of black cops on the scene, and cops from HP.

    This happened in detroit, not GPP, the GPP cop was only there because its a resistance to all the detroiters who come to GP to steal cars at night, or if you are dumb enough to leave your door open they come in unlocked homes even when people are home and steal purses of door nobs, and they loot unlocked garages.

    Its not people from GP doing this, its not people from marine city, or troy, or ann arbor.

    That cop does not want to be in detroit, but he wants less car theives in GP.