A Detroit police officer is under fire for a racially charged Snapchat video of a black woman he pulled over for a traffic stop.
Officer Gary Steele has been reassigned while the Detroit Police Department investigates the video, which department officials confirmed he posted on Tuesday.
The incident began after he pulled over 23-year-old Ariel Moore for having an expired registration and seized the vehicle.
Steele then told her to exit the vehicle so the vehicle could be towed. She declined a ride home from the officers and had to walk a block home in below-freezing weather, according to Detroit station WXYZ.
The video shows her walking away, one of the officers says she is doing the “walk of shame,” and stickers are added that read, “What black girl magic looks like” and “celebrating Black History Month.”
Moore and her mother, Monique Mobley, said they were shocked when WXYZ showed them Steele’s video.
“I’ve never had this happen to me in my life. I’m kind of shocked — I don’t really know how to feel right now. I’m still trying to take it in,” Moore said.
Mobley didn’t pull punches. “What they put on there, that’s racist. They’re demeaning my child for no reason,” she said.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters on Thursday that he agrees with her assessment. “I am angry. I’m angry because this was a racially insensitive post,” he said, according to the Metro Times.
Although he noted that body-camera footage showed that Steele and his partner, who is also under investigation, offered Moore a ride home on Tuesday night, Craig said Steele’s Snapchat post was a very “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, according to the Daily Beast. “It could’ve been my daughter, my sister. It doesn’t matter, it could have been anyone.”
Craig said that Steele’s use of “Bye, Felicia” was “derogatory” and that the reference to Black History Month is even more “problematic.”
Steele has been placed on restricted duty, pending an internal investigation, according to ClickOnDetroit.
This isn’t the first time Steele has been in trouble. In 2008 he was charged with physically attacking his ex-girlfriend and firing a gun next to her head, according to WXYZ.
He took a misdemeanor plea deal for probation and stayed on the force.
Craig admitted Steele has a “troubling” history, which Craig said “predates my appointment,” according to The Daily Beast.
Craig added, “It would have been a different outcome if I had been chief.”
Steele did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
You can see a news report on the incident below:
Clarification: Language has been amended to more accurately reflect why Ariel Moore walked home after the officers seized the car.