Detroit Police, Mayor discuss review of 6th precinct after racist posts, firing

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It's been five weeks since Detroit Police Chief James Craig determined the sixth precinct in the city of Detroit was racially divided following a Snapchat video showing an officer disparaging a black woman.

"Many reflected and said this was the sixth precinct's dirty little secret," Craig said. "It's like the child who’s always getting in trouble with the law you don't want to talk openly about."

An environmental audit of the department, conducted over two months and involving 24 people found more than just two bad eggs however. Four command staff were found to fall short in handling a culture considered racially insensitive.

"This is not how we treat each other," Craig said. "This is not how we treat our community. If you go down the path, as the mayor already indicated, zero tolerance."

At a press conference that discussed the findings, both the police chief as well as Mayor Mike Duggan gave their take on the events leading up to the call for an audit, and their plans moving forward.

"Detroit police officers are sworn to protect our citizens and it was sickening to watch the way Ms. Moore walked home in the cold while being mocked with racial comments," said Duggan.

The comments came after Cpl. Gary Steele, pulled over a young woman for an expired plate in late January. After pulling her over, Steel asked the woman to get out because he was going to tow her vehicle and Moore 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."

A second officer was also fired for his actions in the same precinct, identified in early march as Michael Garrison. 

The chief said the officers would avoid working overtime by ticketing and towing cars at the end of their shift. A pattern later emerged showing the owners of those vehicles were primarily African American.

The shakeup in command now includes one demoted commander, a new African American female captain and two new sergeants who will now be running the precinct. The officers will also be getting some additional cultural diversity training and participate in panel discussions.

"I'd be foolish to think that there are not other individuals that harbor racist tendencies," Craig said, "but the key is how we respond to that. I think by doing this intensive work, it's going to have a chilling effect."