A Detroit police officer was reassigned pending an investigation after seizing a black woman’s car and Snapchatting her walk home in the cold.
After 18 year Detroit police veteran Gary Steele pulled over 23-year-old Ariel Moore for having an expired registration, he informed Moore that her car would have to be impounded and offered her a ride home.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig is calling what Steele did next however “racially insensitive” and “problematic.”
After Moore declined the offer of a ride home Steele and his partner, who is also under investigation, followed her home in their police cruiser.
Local and national news covered what happened.
Steele began recording Moore in a Snapchat video where he used the pre-made app stickers “what black girl magic looks like,” and “celebrating Black History Month.”
In the video Steele can also be heard saying “priceless” and “bye Felicia” as he follows behind Moore.
The video which was posted Tuesday sparked an internal investigation that Chief Craig says could cost Steele his job.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig says they have reassigned a DPD officer following racially-charged comments posted on his Snapchat during a traffic stop on the city’s west side. @detroitnews pic.twitter.com/wULFXqr4zs— Sarah Rahal (@SarahRahal_) January 31, 2019
“I’m not going to tell you I’m troubled,” Craig told reporters during a press conference on Thursday.
“I’m going to tell you I’m angry. I’m angry because this was a racially insensitive post. This is not what we expect of Detroit police officers.”
Moore and her mother Monique Mobley were just as disturbed when WXYZ showed them the video.
“I’ve never had this happen to me in my life,” Moore said.
“I’m kind of shocked. I don’t really know how to feel right now. I’m still trying to take it in.”
“What they put on there, that’s racist,” Mobley added.
“They’re demeaning my child for no reason.”
Those reacting on Social media were also disturbed and outraged by Steele’s actions.
In what possible world would his comments be funny in view of the circumstances?— Pam Lanzotti (@pam_lanzotti) February 2, 2019
What about he partner? They both a terrible, just Steele documented it
— EK (@Essiemaeboo) February 2, 2019
Showing such bad judgment he deserved to be demoted. Imagine him having power over anyone.
— gangstanapper (@xFTWx) February 2, 2019
According to WXYZ Steele also has a previous history of misconduct.
In 2008 Steele prosecutors charged Steele with attacking his ex-girlfriend and firing a gun near her head. Steele accepted a misdemeanor plea and received probation but continued working as an officer.
While under investigation Steele has been reassigned from the Sixth Precinct and demoted from the rank of corporal according to ClickOnDetroit.
As the investigation continues Chief Craig says he plans on taking Steele’s history into account.
“I think after reviewing his history, without going into details of that at this point, there is a pattern, and I’m concerned about that pattern. That’s something I’ll be looking at and addressing, as well.”
Though given Steele’s prior history many wondered why he was still on the force to begin with.
“In 2008 he pled guilty to a misdemeanor after being charged with attacking his ex girlfriend and firing a gun?!?” How is he still on the job to do this? He should’ve been gone a long time ago!
— Sallie Livingston (@sl52591) February 2, 2019
Oh and he has a history of violence against women. Color me shocked.
— John Finn’s Wife (@severign) February 1, 2019
He should have been fired when he assaulted his GF and fired his gun. WTF, Detroit???
— CinnamonLattePlease ☕ (@MOMof11BravoVet) February 2, 2019
How could you actually FIRE a gun next to someone’s head and it’s a misdemeanor????
— Shelley Hobson (@hobsonshelley) February 1, 2019
how does he still have a job @detroitpolice after his first set of misdemeanor charges discharging a gun by someone’s head, they would have locked us under the jail for that!! These m************ with these badges get away with murder. “AMERICA, THE HATE”
— Shea Ramon (@shea_ladi) February 1, 2019
Although Chief Craig has assured that Steele “will be held accountable for his actions” most are agreeing that termination is the only acceptable outcome.
He needs to be fired. Gone….
— Jorge Varona (@cyclingcubano) February 2, 2019
He needs gone from public service.period.
— Sapiosexual NO Chump (@weehandchumpy) February 2, 2019
He needs fired immediately!
Not worthy of the badge.
— Michele (@Auntmickawicka) February 2, 2019
@detroitpolice reassigned?! Wow so he can be racist in a different department? Goody!😡
— Corrine (@loveabundantly) February 2, 2019