- A Detroit police officer has been fired over a “racially insensitive” Snapchat video, according to Police Chief James Craig.
- Craig announced the firing of Gary Steele on Wednesday.
- Steele reportedly filmed a 23-year-old black woman, Ariel Moore, walking home alone in the snow after he and his partner pulled her over for a traffic stop.
- In the video, two men can be heard making insensitive remarks about Moore from inside the vehicle, saying “priceless,” “bye Felicia,” and “walk of shame.” Those men are reportedly Steele and his partner, Michael Garrison.
- Steele was suspended earlier in February after the video first emerged, according to The Detroit News.
Detroit Police officer Gary Steele has been fired over a “racially insensitive” Snapchat video, Police Chief James Craig said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The Detroit News reported that Steele was suspended earlier this month after the video emerged.
Steele reportedly filmed a 23-year-old black woman, Ariel Moore, walking home in the snow after he and his partner pulled her over for a traffic stop. Moore was told her car would have to be impounded over an expired registration, according to Click on Detroit.
Craig said at the press conference that body camera footage shows Moore was offered a ride home by the officers, but she decided to walk home instead, according to Click on Detroit. Steele then reportedly recorded Moore as she begins to walk home and posted the video on his Snapchat.
In the Snapchat video, originally obtained by WXYZ, two men can be heard making insensitive remarks about Moore from inside the vehicle, saying “priceless,” “bye Felicia,” and “walk of shame.” Those men are reportedly Steele and his partner, Michael Garrison. A caption was added to the Snapchat video that read “This is what black girl magic looks like” and “Celebrating Black History Month.”
In the course of their investigation into the incident, Craig said internal affairs officers discovered that Steele had made other concerning comments about black citizens in his 15 years as a cop.
“There were at least two separate instances where the officer called African-Americans in a public space ‘Keishas,’ ‘Jakes’, or ‘homeys.’ What made it derogatory and degrading was the context in which it was used,” Craig said, according to the Detroit News. “Some would say ‘what’s wrong with Keisha?’ but … it clearly has racial issues when you make comments like that about a certain group of people.”
WXYZ also reported that Steele was charged with physically attacking his ex-girlfriend and firing a gun next to her head in 2008. He reportedly took a misdemeanour plea deal for the incident and remained on the police force.
A hearing for Steele’s partner is scheduled for next week. He remains suspended without pay.
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