A police officer in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., confessed to taking at least one demeaning video showing an African-American man being commanded to sing and make animal noises on Friday.
Motor City Muckraker, the blog that first published videos and a photo allegedly made by police officers in the upscale suburb bordering Detroit, reported Friday that the officer was taken off duty and is "expected to face discipline next week."
The man in the videos, Michael Scipio, appeared at a protest held Wednesday at the Public Safety headquarters in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., and said he was unaware that police had filmed him. The Huffington Post last week reported that city officials had opened an investigation after the videos and photo appeared online.
“An officer has stepped forward to take responsibility for the video and for interacting with Mr. Scipio in that fashion. The officer has been removed from patrol duty pending the conclusion of our investigation,” Grosse Pointe Park spokesman Greg Bowens told the Detroit Free Press.
City officials declined to comment on the officer until the investigation is complete -- especially while they ask the Motor City Muckraker blog or the public to come forward with any other videos that might exist.
Muckraker founder Steve Neavling told The Huffington Post last week that he has almost a dozen similar videos, but he has elected not to share them at this time due to their "humiliating nature." He emailed the Detroit Free Press a statement that he is arranging to deliver them to city officials, but is awaiting permission from his confidential source.
Malik Shabazz, the head of the Marcus Garvey Movement/New Black Panther Nation who led the protest on Wednesday, said that the incident, if investigated properly, could become a "teachable moment."
"We've come so far," he said, "but these instances remind us that we have still so much further to go."