The two Detroit police officers who were heard on a Snapchat video mocking a young, Black woman who was walking home in the freezing cold after they seized her car are now facing stricter discipline.
According to the New York Daily News, Detroit Corporal Gary Steele, and his partner, who has yet to be identified, have now been suspended without pay in the incident.
Steele was originally demoted to corporal following the incident, and there were no reports of discipline for his partner.
Last Tuesday, the two cops pulled over Ariel Moore for having expired license tags and impounded her car. They did offer to escort her home but Moore declined and started walking in the sub-zero temperatures.
That was when Steele took it upon himself to pull up his Snapchat and record footage of Moore walking while he and his partner started quipping, “Priceless,” “Walk of shame…in the cold,” and “Bye, Felicia.”
To add insult to injury, Steele also used premade filters on the social media app that read “What Black girl magic looks like” and “Celebrating Black History Month” in the footage.
White DETROIT Cop Gary Steele mocks Black Woman after SEIZING her CAR ' BYE FELICIA ' on SNAPCHAT with STICKERS 'What black girl magic looks like and “celebrating Black History Month.” pic.twitter.com/jc2de8dKsj
— Monroe Muhammad Jr (@noifoi48) February 1, 2019
Police Chief James Craig slammed the commentary as “racially insensitive,” and has now escalated the punishment of both men as the department investigates if the comments were part of a larger pattern, the Daily News notes.
“The statements that you saw in the video reflects some other contacts that Officer Steele and his partner had at different times, comments about (a) walk of shame, and certainly some derogatory remarks as it relates to both African-American men and African-American women,” Craig said during a press conference. “When we look at a police officer engaging in this kind of behavior, this is not our expectation.”
Steele is also under increased scrutiny, given that he was charged in 2008 for attacking his ex-girlfriend and firing a gun near her head. Despite the violence of his actions, Steele was given a plea deal on misdemeanor charges, got off with only probation and was even allowed to remain on the force.
Craig acknowledged earlier that he was “concerned” about the pattern of Steele’s behavior, considering the cop’s history.
In the meantime, the chief added that the department paid for Moore to get her car back and that he personally reached out to the family.