Police in Grosse Pointe, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, have been targeting black men during routine stops and ordering them to perform humiliating acts. The cops added to the embarrassment by taking cellphone photos and video of the men, then texting them to their friends. Now, Grosse Pointe Park officials are investigating this unusual case of police harassment.
Last week, Steve Neavling, a former writer for alternative weekly paper Detroit Free Press, published an exclusive report on his blog Motor City Muckracker regarding the acts of the Grosse Pointe Park officers. The piece focused mainly on the actions of Officer Mike Najm, who is heard in one video asking a mentally ill Black man to sing the words “drink drink drink” as he laughs in the background.
Another video shows an older Black man making animal noises into a passenger side window of a police vehicle, and Neavling claims to have several other videos he deemed unfit to share. There was also a photo Neavling placed on his site showing a Black man riding in the back of a pickup truck trailer with the caption: “Got to love the coloreds.”
Grosse Pointe Park Police Capt. David Loch said last Thursday that he believed the allegations were sparked by a tensions arising from a divorce between Najm and his ex-wife. However, Neavling, currently working for Reuters, was able to obtain more video and phots from unnamed sources. Loch has since launched an investigation into the matter after Neavling’s blog went live, according to a Huffington Post report.
Grosse Pointe Park is a coastal area of the Detroit Metropolitan Area, known for lavish homes, docked yachts and other suburban comforts. The area apparently has a history of racism, including what appeared to be questionable targeting of Black students for allegedly being part of a gang. Additionally, a former principal of a Grosse Pointe school blamed failing test numbers on the minority students instead of providing assistance.
Hit the next page to see Motor City Muckracker’s exclusive video of Grosse Pointe Park cops taping black citizens on the street.
Photo: Motor City Muckracker