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November 19, 2013
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Detroit police investigate allegations of cops forcing racial videos

The department was contacted by a man who said he had video clips and a photo of black men that apparently were made by an officer

By Marlon A. Walker
Detroit Free Press

GROSSE POINT PARK, Mich. — Grosse Pointe Park law enforcement is investigating allegations that officerstook photos and video of black men while making them sing and dance like chimps.

Public Safety Department officials did not return calls for comment Monday, but forwarded a statement confirming an investigation has begun. The statement says the department was contacted by a man who said he was in possession of video clips and a photo of black men that apparently were made by an officer from the city's police force.

"The Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department does not tolerate unprofessional conduct by its officers when interacting with any citizen they may come in contact with," the statement said.

Grosse Pointe Park is an affluent city in metro Detroit with a population of a little more than 11,000, according to U.S. census figures. About 10.5% of residents are African American.

The investigation began after Steve Neavling of the Motor City Muckrakernews site posted a story last week detailing several incidents, which he said were among about a dozen videos being being shared from phones of Grosse Pointe Park police officers. Neavling is a former Detroit Free Press reporter.

Neavling posted two of the videos on his website. But he described more of them, saying many were shot from inside patrol cars while the black men were told to sing or "dance like a chimp." Some of the men, he said, were in the back of the patrol vehicles.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Copyright 2013 the Detroit Free Press

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