Detroit police officer fired over 'racially insensitive' video posted to Snapchat

Police chief: Officer used racially insensitive language on other occasions

DETROIT – The Detroit police officer who posted a racist video to Snapchat has been fired from the force.

Detroit police Chief James Craig said he wants the prosecutor to press criminal charges against former officer Gary Steele.

"I've made the determination that police officer Gary Steele be terminated from his position," Craig said.

UPDATESecond Detroit police officer fired in connection with 'racially insensitive' Snapchat

Craig said Steele posted a "racially insensitive" Snapchat after having a woman's car towed because of expired registration. Craig said body camera footage shows the woman was offered a ride home, but refused and walked a block in the cold and dark.

The Snapchat captions included the phrase, "black girl magic," referenced Black History Month and the officer made a verbal comment, "Bye, Felicia."

The post sparked an internal investigation with more than 50 interviews which Craig said revealed Steele had used more derogatory language in his 18 years as a police officer.

"Terms he used on several occasions, such as 'Keisha,' - 'Jakes' and 'Homies,' which were all derogatory, demoralizing and degrading and, yes, racially insensitive," Craig said.

There were several calls for Steele's termination from community leaders and organizations.

The internal investigation is far from over. It's now focused on Steele's partner and the sixth precinct where Steele worked.


About the Authors:

Koco joined the Local 4 News team in September of 2016. She was born and raised in Metro Detroit, attended Central Michigan University, and previously worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.