Detroit officer in racist Snapchat post also accused of breaking woman's arm

A woman has filed a lawsuit against the Detroit police department, the city, and a former officer after she says her arm was broken during an arrest.

In a press conference Friday, attorney Geoffrey Fieger announced that on behalf of Elaine Keymo Murriel of Detroit, a $25,000 lawsuit was filed against the City of Detroit, Detroit Police Department and former police officer Gary Steele for an incident last year. Steele was fired in late February after sharing a racist Snapchat post of a young woman during a traffic stop. 

"The incidents of racial discrimination and racial profiling and invidious racially motivated incidents is still far too great and it reflects a failure to train and a failure to screen in terms of the continued employment of officers who have no business being on the force," Fieger said.

Detroit officer fired after racist Snapchat post

According to the lawsuit, on May 31, 2018, Murriel was dropping off her infant son at his father's house near the intersection of Dover and Faust roads in Detroit. At the same time, Ashante Moore, who was dating the father of Murriel's son, was driving in the same area. Muriel had personal protection order against Moore due to previous heated incidents. 

The suit states that as Murriel was getting her son out of the car, Moore drove her car toward Murriel in an attempt to run her over. That's when Murriel, a CPL carrier, pulled her gun and shot toward Moore's car because she was "fearing for her life and the life of her son," according to the document.

Several Detroit police officers responded to the scene, including Steele. The lawsuit states that police reports note that Murriel was "extremely compliant," and that she told officers that she had a CPL and she was carrying a firearm, which she had secured in the trunk of her car. She had also told them she fired toward Moore's car.

The document states several witnesses and the child's father supported Murriel's explanation that she was acting in self-defense. Despite the witness statements, Fieger alleges that officer Steele decided to arrest her.

"Steele decided to unlawfully seize and arrest the plaintiff. Defendant Steele suddenly and physically placed plaintiff under arrest. Plaintiff was holding her infant son in her arms at the time defendant Steele physically placed her under arrest," the lawsuit states.

The suit states that as Steele attempted to handcuff Murriel, she began screaming in pain as Steele was "viciously and savagely bending her left arm backward, forcing it to bend backward, in an abnormal manner." It states Steele broke her arm, snapping a bone in her elbow - the lateral epicondyle bone.

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Attorney Todd Weglarz said Murriel was taken to the hospital, given an X-ray where it was determined her arm was broken, and was given a sling. She was jailed for four days without medical care before she was released. 

All charges were later dropped. Weglarz says Murriel then had surgery and physical therapy, and is still recovering. 


Fieger also announced a second woman on the behalf of Ariel Moore - no relation to Ashante Moore in the above listed case. Ariel Moore was recorded in the aforementioned Snapchat video filmed by Steele.

Moore was pulled over for an expired plate in late January. After pulling her over, Steele asked the woman to get out because he was going to tow her vehicle and she was then forced to walk back home in extremely cold temperatures.

Then Steele shot video of the woman walking with the caption "What black girl magic looks like" and "celebrating Black History Month."

"To this day, the victims haven't heard from Mayor Duggan or Chief Craig or the City of Detroit and these lawsuits are a way to redress this," Fieger said.

The plaintiff is seeking $75,000.