DETROIT — Today, the Detroit Police Department announced it was conducting an investigation into the behavior and actions of a Detroit police officer after a video he recorded on SnapChat during a traffic stop was discovered. The troubling video appears to shows the officer, Gary Steele, mocking a 23-year-old African American and Black History Month.
In response to this announcement, state Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit), Executive Vice Chair of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, issued the following statement:
“I am disgusted and outraged by the insensitive, obtuse, disrespectful and inhumane behavior of Officer Gary Steele toward Ms. Ariel Moore. His inept behavior is unbecoming for any man; let alone an officer of peace. It is neither funny, informative or entertaining to add insult to injury by further attempting to humiliate, demean and mock Ms. Moore (and the “Black Girl Magic” moniker), by broadcasting their encounter on social media. It only shows a gross lack of judgement and character on behalf of Officer Steele.
“And while I applaud Chief Craig for taking a first step toward disciplining the officer, it does not go far enough. This is yet another in a series of events where officers of the law have demonstrated there is a serious need for additional training around cultural sensitivity and diversity in our police departments.
“Those in positions of power must be held to a higher standard. I demand, at minimum, he publicly apologized to Ms. Moore and the entire Detroit Police Department. In addition, I implore the department to seriously investigate and contemplate whether he is worthy to continue to wear the uniform and badge of a Detroit Police Officer. Officer Steele’s behavior is irreparable and only further tarnishes the image of all the decent men and women who wear the uniform with dignity and respect. My sincerest compassion go to Ms. Moore—she and the City of Detroit deserve better. Your courage and fortitude are commendable and a testament to the tenacity of the #BlackGirlMagic you displayed on that cold dark night.”