Family of man in video want apology from Grosse Pointe Park police
Family says man on video is mentally challenged, homeless, and probably didn't understand what was going on
GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. – People are concerned about the racial motives of videos that allegedly depicts white Grosse Pointe Park police officers targeting black men.
Local 4 has learned more about the man in one of the videos. He is mentally challenged and homeless but he has a family loves him dearly. Now, they are speaking about the video.
"My response was, 'Oh my God that's my brother.' You know, 'That's Ronnie,' that's what we call him," said Valerie Scipio, the man's sister.
Valerie was stunned. Her daughter, Latora Scipio, began fuming.
"I knew immediately it was my uncle," said Latora. "Choice curse words were used."
Seeing their loved one, 55-year-old Michael Scipio, made fun of in a cellphone video allegedly shot by a white, on-duty Grosse Pointe Park police officer was less than amusing.
"It was sad because he didn't know what he was doing, they were just mocking him," said Valerie.
Family members say Michael often wanders the streets of Grosse Pointe Park because his parents used to live in the area.
"You know, there are so many people out here that are like my uncle and when you see police officers that were trained to protect and serve treating him like this, it makes you look at the whole department," said Latora.
Valerie says she can from the video that it was a day when Michael had not taken his medication. You can hear what appears to be an officer ordering Michael to dance like a chimp and clap his hands.
"He walks away a lot because he won't take his medicine," said his sister. "My mother, she is so old, and she is practically crying about it."
The video is on the Internet now for all of the world to see. It has caused this family so much pain. They are calling for all of the officers who were allegedly involved to be terminated.
"It didn't have to be my uncle, it could have been anybody else and I still would have been upset because you don't treat people like that," said Latora.
The family is asking for a one-on-one meeting with the police chief and a face-to-face apology.
On Tuesday, the Michigan State Police agreed to launch an investigation. However, on Wednesday MSP informed Grosse Pointe Park officials that they had to decline and they will not be involved in the investigation.
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