Detroit, Michigan police officer Gary Steele is out of a job, almost a month after posting Snapchat videos mocking a Black woman who decided to walk home in subzero temperatures after having her car impounded.
According to CNN,
Police Chief James Craig said on Wednesday that of the 24 allegations that were lobbed against Steele, 11 were upheld, falling into three areas: the post itself, the improper characterization of the woman, and the fact that Steele knowingly made false statements during investigation interviews.
“Former police officer Steele has lost the trust of those he served,” the chief said.
Steele first came under scrutiny in late January. He and his partner, who has not been identified, pulled over Ariel Moore, a Black woman, for having expired license tags, impounding her car
. The officers did offer Moore an escort home, which she declined.
The seemingly innocuous situation soon turned into allegations of racial insensitivity, however, as Steele whipped out his phone and started recording footage for Snapchat of Moore walking away. He and his colleague are heard in the video quipping, “Priceless,” “Walk of shame…in the cold,” and “Bye, Felicia.” Accusations of racially charged behavior were further heightened by the fact that Steele also used premade filters on the app that read “What Black girl magic looks like” and “Celebrating Black History Month” in his footage.
Following the incident, Steele’s record was also brought under scrutiny, as he was charged back in 2008 for attacking his ex-girlfriend and firing a gun near her head. Despite this violent incident, Steele got off with misdemeanor charges on a plea deal, only serving probation, with his job still intact.
After the initial fallout from the incident, which caused Steele to be demoted, he and his partner were ultimately suspended without pay
pending an investigation.
Steele’s partner will face a disciplinary hearing next week, CNN
The results of the internal investigation will be handed over to county prosecutors for review, Craig acknowledged, also noting that the department will also be reviewing other employees in the precinct where Steele worked to see if there are any systemic issues that need to be handled.