State Representative Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (D-Detroit) released a statement today regarding the reports that officers in the Grosse Pointe Park Police Department, which is part of House District 2, may have been engaged in racially derogatory behavior in their interaction with a mentally disabled African-American man. Tinsley-Talabi made it clear that racism must not be tolerated in Grosse Pointe Park, especially when it is committed by those meant to protect and serve the people.

“Using one’s position of authority to intimidate any person, especially a mentally challenged minority, is repulsive,” Tinsley-Talabi said. “Using that authority to the point of forcing them to sing or act like an animal cannot be condoned for one second.”

Recently, video was released showing a mentally disabled African-American being provoked to sing, dance and act like a chimp. The video was purportedly recorded by a member of the Grosse Pointe Park Police Department. Yesterday, Grosse Pointe Park officially asked the Michigan State Police to investigate the incident and an investigation has officially started.

“There is no question that racism lives. It lives every time someone crosses the street to avoid a person of color. It lives every time a person is viewed as different because of the color of their skin. And most notably, it lives every time this sort of behavior is witnessed and not challenged,” said Tinsley-Talabi. “Along with the Grosse Pointe Park community and citizens across the district, I am calling for a prompt and unbiased investigation into these acts. I expect immediate and direct action to be taken, and I call on everyone to end the toleration of hate.”