A Detroit police officer is under intense fire for filming a Snapchat video of a black woman as she did the “walk of shame” in freezing cold temperatures after he confiscated her car.
Officer Gary Steele, an 18-year veteran, has been reassigned with the Detroit Police Department while an internal investigation into the incident is carried out. However, the reassignment is not enough for some people who are taking to social media to call for Steele to be fired.
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
Steele seized and towed 23-year-old Ariel Moore’s car on Tuesday night after he pulled her over for having an expired registration. A Snapchat video, posted by Officer Steele, shows Moore as she walks through snow and sub-zero temperatures while one of the officers says “walk of shame in the cold.”
@detroitpolice Officer Gary Steele needs to have employment termination hearing as soon as possible. This is not public service. It’s a fucking disgrace.
— Stephen Bell (@StevoBell) February 1, 2019
Adding insult to injury, Snapchat stickers posted on the footage read: “What black girl magic looks like” and “celebrating Black History Month.” It ended with one of the officers saying, “Bye, Felicia.”
Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters on Thursday that he was angered by the footage and called it “racially insensitive.” He deemed the officers use of the term “Bye, Felicia” as “derogatory”, and the reference to Black History Month as “problematic.”
Chief Craig noted that bodycam footage shows the officers offered Moore a ride home, but called the Snapchat post a “bad decision.”
“On top of that, she’s walking on a very cold night. It’s dark, and, in my view, she’s in harm’s way,” he said. “It could’ve been my daughter, my sister. It doesn’t matter, it could have been anyone.”
@detroitpolice I would guess you all know by now you will need to let the racists douche Gary Steele go and I think it’s only appropriate given his racist video when you do, you make him do the walk of shame and post the vid here.
— JR (@thejagawa) February 1, 2019
This filthy race soldier pulled this despicable move.
This type of cowardly behavior is PROTECTED
A police officer posted a video of a black woman after pulling her over for a traffic stop and seizing her car in below-freezing weather. https://t.co/SQW74GRXWd via @blackvoices
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) January 31, 2019
Adding fuel to the social media fire encompassing Officer Steele is previous charges for a 2008 domestic violence incident involving his ex-girlfriend. Steele reportedly fired a gun next to his former partner’s head, but took a misdemeanor plea for probation and was allowed to stay in the force.
Why does Gary Steele still have a job? His 2008 incident should’ve been enough. On top of making that girl walk home and then mocking her with racist social media posts, he just get reassigned?
— Are You Valet? (@804Scoe) February 1, 2019
What’s even crazier with Gary Steele is that in 2008, he was charged with physically attacking his ex-girlfriend and firing a gun next to her head in Canton. He took a misdemeanor plea deal, served probation and was still able to serve on DPD. Shouldn’t have been on the streets.
— Branden Hunter (@JustCallmeBHunt) January 31, 2019
Fire Gary Steele. Someone like that has no place in law enforcement. Especially after firing a gun near his ex-girlfriends head. How do you justify having that guy as a police officer?
— nate (@NateTracy_) January 31, 2019
Chief Craig called Steele’s past “troubling” and said the crime took place before his appointment: “It would have been a different outcome if I had been chief,” he added.
“When I look at his background and the seriousness of what he was charged with, my question is, ‘What did the department do?’ I can’t go back in time and address that issue. It’s my issue now, but it does raise a lot of questions for me, especially when you look at his prior conduct.”