Saturday, February 2, 2019

Racist Detroit White Cop Humiliates Black Woman

Racism isn't just about committing genocide or hurling racial slurs in a never ending Tourette's spasm. It's also about refusing to extend the same courtesy to someone else that you would extend to a member of your own or more preferred group. It's about enforcing the law to the full extent without exceptions when it comes to THEM but being reasonable when it comes to US. Although Michigan is a great state it is also in many ways the Mississippi of the Midwest when it comes to race, though Indiana and Ohio are always in the running. One thing which my parents and other older people always stressed to me was to follow rules as best I could because usually many of the people enforcing the rules would have no mercy on me for even a minor violation. They wouldn't give me the benefit of the doubt. I learned that to be true. 

What strikes me about this story is not the fact that the officer made a legitimate traffic stop. It's that the white officer took pleasure in humiliating and insulting a black woman. Yes, regardless of race, everyone should always keep their driver's license, vehicle registration and insurance paperwork up to date and paid in full. I certainly do. But I think that in this case the officer would have found something else with which to harass the young woman. He could have let her go with a warning. He could have written a citation and kept it moving. He chose the most serious penalty (impounding) and also chose to insult the woman.

Detroit — A Detroit police officer has been reassigned while the department investigates racially-charged comments made during a traffic stop and posted to the officer's social media this week. The alleged incident happened during a traffic stop near Joy Road and Stout Street on the city's west side Tuesday night, police said. Officer Gary Steele pulled over Ariel Moore, 23, for an expired registration on her license plate and seized her vehicle. He told Moore to exit the vehicle and that it would be towed. Moore walked about a block to her home in below freezing weather.

Video posted to Steele's Snapchat obtained by WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) shows Moore walking home as he says "priceless" and "bye Felicia" with caption tags that read, "What black girl magic looks like," and "celebrating Black History Month." Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the officer had the lawful right to make the stop and tow her vehicle, but the comments made him angry. 

“I’m angry because this was a racially insensitive post,” Craig said during a press conference Thursday. “...At that point, the officer makes the bad decision to make a Snapchat post saying 'Bye Felicia' and that’s derogatory and that’s not what we expect of our police officers. On top of that, she’s walking a very cold night, it’s dark and now in my view, she’s in harms way even if she only lived a block away.”

Steele, who has been with the department for 18 years and works to train other officers, has a troubling history with the department. In 2008, Steele was charged with physically attacking his ex-girlfriend and firing a gun near her head in Canton. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charged, served probation and was able to remain on the police force. "His departmental history predates my appointment," Craig said. "There would have been a different outcome had I been a chief in those years, but I can’t go back and undo what’s already been done. But his history is troubling… There’s a pattern and I’m concerned."

This isn't the first officer to post insensitive content to social media. In September, former officer Sean Bostwick, 27, was terminated for posting a Snapchat photo of himself in uniform with the caption "another night to Rangel (sic) up these zoo animals." 

That white cops working in a mostly black city in a department led by blacks still feel so comfortable being so openly racist and contemptuous of black people shows that racism is pretty deep and in some people apparently irredeemable. You can't talk it out of them, pray it out of them or wish it out of them. All you can do is promise and deliver swift and certain harsh results for any untoward talk or behavior. 
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