Exclusive: Grosse Pointe cops film, humiliate black men – Motor City Muckraker

Text-message

Most of the videos are shot from squad cars while African American men are told to sing or “dance like a chimp.”

Grosse Pointe Park police officers are capturing humiliating photos and videos of black men and texting them to friends and family, the Motor City Muckraker has found.

One of the main culprits is Officer Mike Najm, who texted a picture of a black man in the back of a trailer and typed, “Gotta love the coloreds.” In one video, Najm can be heard telling a mentally ill black man to sing.

Most of the videos are shot from squad cars while African American men are told to sing or “dance like a chimp.” Some of the subjects are even in the back of police cars.

 Update: Police open investigation

Grosse Pointe Park Capt. David Loch said earlier today he was skeptical of the allegations because of a contentious divorce between Najm and his ex-wife, whom Loch presumed to be the source of the texts. But after we watched more than a dozen racially charged videos this afternoon sent from officers in his department, Loch said he would immediately investigate.

“If you are in possession of something, we will meet with you,” Loch offered.

We are not revealing the source of the texts and videos but were able to verify they were sent from the cell phones of police officers. Many of the photos and videos have been forwarded numerous times.

“It’s disgusting,” the source of the messages said. “It’s part of the culture in Grosse Pointe.”

Najm didn’t return calls or texts for comment.

Because of the humiliating nature of some of the videos, we aren’t publishing most of them.

On the border of Detroit, Grosse Pointe is emblematic of the racial divide. In 1960, a civil case revealed the community used a screening process to effectively make it impossible for black people and “Orientals” to buy property. Grosse Pointe remains an area of wealth and privilege – and critics say it has done little to ease fears of racism.

“I won’t even go there anymore,” Anthony Baker, who is black, told me. “Last three times I went, I got pulled over every single time. Never got a ticket, just lots of questions.”

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

Exclusive: Grosse Pointe cops film, humiliate black men – Motor City Muckraker.

 

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