What kind of person does such a thing?

I came across this story about a white Detroit police officer Gary Steele who stopped a young black woman Ariel Moore, 24, because her car license tags had expired. He then had her car towed and forced her to walk home in the bitter cold that had gripped Detroit on Tuesday, all the while driving alongside her and filming her misery and posting it to his Instagram account.

Steele, meanwhile, drove alongside Moore, posting videos to his Snapchat with racial taunts like “What black girl magic looks like,” and “celebrating Black History Month.”

Local news station WXYZ-TV publicized the Snapchat posts, and Steele, an 18-year veteran of the department and a corporal, was then put on administrative leave and demoted from his rank following. Officials are conducting an internal investigation on the matter.

When I read it, I wondered what kind of person would do something so cruel. Well, now we know. It is a person who has a history of cruelty that was known to the police department and he was kept on anyway.

Back in 2008 he attacked his ex-girlfriend. He was “originally charged with torture and assault with intent to commit murder, among other crimes, but got to plead to a misdemeanor charge of reckless discharge” and as a result of a plea deal “pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless discharge of a firearm” and only got probation for one year, even though he “could have faced penalties ranging up to life in prison if he had been convicted of original charges including torture, assault with intent to murder and other felony counts.”

This is a person who should be in prison, not on the police force.


  1. Michael Sternberg says

    Bad as the taunting and mocking was, the story (at least now) states that according to body cams Steele and another police officer had offered Mrs. Moore a ride, and that she had only roughly one block to go. It does appear that she chose to walk.

  2. John Morales says

    Taking you at your word, Michael, it seems to me that Ms Moore showed exemplary prudence by precluding what might well have become a worse situation.

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