If there were ever a pantheon of racists (aside from your middle school American history textbook, that is) former Detroit police officer Gary Steele surely deserves an honorable mention.
To wit: Steele was so racist he was actually fired from the Detroit Police Department along with his partner earlier this year after an incident where he seized a black woman’s car, mocked her on his SnapChat, and forced her to walk home in subfreezing temperatures.
As she walked alone in the cold, Steele placed a Black History Month-themed “What Black Girl Magic Looks Like” filter on her.
She had an expired license plate.
Now, Steele is being sued by that woman, Ariel Moore, along with another black woman, Elaine Murriel, whose arm he allegedly broke during an arrest in 2018.
According to NBC News, citing the lawsuit filed by on April 26, Detroit police responded to an incident in which Murriel fired a firearm in self-defense:
Murriel was dropping off her son at his father’s house in May 2018 when the father’s girlfriend tried to run her over with a car, and Murriel fired her legally owned firearm in self defense, her lawsuit alleges.
When officers arrived, she told them that she had a legally owned firearm and had recently discharged it, and she was “extremely compliant,” according to officers’ reports, the lawsuit said.
That is, until Steele escalated the situation by violently placing Murriel under arrest, the suit claims. The 18-year veteran ordered one officer to hold Murriel’s arms and instructed another to rip her child from her arms.
From NBC News:
While Steele was trying to handcuff Murriel by “pulling and yanking” on her arm and she was screaming in pain, Steele “viciously and savagely” bent her left arm backward “in an abnormal manner, and against the natural range of motion,” the suit said.
Despite Murriel’s screaming, Steele pulled her arm back “with such force” that he broke it, according to the suit.
According to a previous NBC News report, Steele pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in 2008 for attacking his ex-girlfriend and firing a gun.
Moore and Murriel’s lawsuits were filed separately on the same day. Moore is seeking $75,000 in damages from Steele and his former partner, Michael Garrison, as well as the Detroit Police Department, and the City of Detroit. Murriel is asking for $25,000.
Both suits will be represented by attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who told WDIV TV the purpose of the cases is to push DPD and the City of Detroit to enact meaningful changes to their policing.
“When it costs them money, then they start making changes,” Fieger said.