Grosse Pointe Park police caught on video taunting citizen
By Donald Barnes
Special to the Michigan Citizen
GROSSE POINTE — Video surfaced last weekend of a Detroit resident, Michael Scipio, being harassed and taunted by Grosse Pointe Park police officer Mike Najm.
The officer is seen telling Scipio, who is mentally challenged, to sing and drink his beer while on camera.
Allegedly Najm shared the video with friends and family before a disgruntled divorcee of a different Grosse Pointe Park officer released it.
The footage has outraged local residents. Many responded to a call by Min. Malik Shabazz for a protest Nov. 20 outside of Grosse Pointe Park’s city municipal building on East Jefferson calling for Najm’s dismissal.
Rev. Charles Williams II and the National Action Network have also organized protests and made demands of the Grosse Pointe Park police department to discipline the officer.
Kris Hamel of the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice, lives off of Mack Ave. on Detroit’s eastside in a neighborhood that borders Grosse Pointe Park.
At the protest, Hamel says she sees African Americans constantly being harassed by police in the area.
“I’ve seen three squad cars surrounding a young mother with children in the backseat, I see multiple cars all the time for (mere) traffic stops,” Hamel told the Michigan Citizen.
“The evidence of what these racist cops have been doing doesn’t shock me one iota. It just seemed like an extension of what I’ve seen with my own eyes, it’s really important to fight racism.”
Shabazz addressed the protestors before going inside to meet with Chief David A. Hiller and other city officials including Grosse Pointe Park’s press secretary Greg Bowens.
“We feel what’s been done is an injustice, no human being should be treated (that) way,” Shabazz told supporters and local media after the meeting.
Scipio has been known to walk around his neighborhood singing and dancing while enjoying a beer.
According to barbers of Da’ Barber Shop located on Mack and Somerset, Scipio is a regular on their street who stops by to sing a song through the doorway.
The barbers say Grosse Pointe police habitually remove Scipio from the Grosse Pointe side of Mack Ave. brining him to Detroit and occasionally taking him to his place of residence.
Following the private meeting, Shabazz said he expressed outrage to the Grosse Pointe Park officials and demanded the officer’s firing.
Shabazz said city officials told him they do not tolerate racism and are shocked about the event. No charges have been brought against Officer Najm.
Any misconduct will be handled accordingly city officials told Shabazz and have requested a week’s time before issuing a statement. The chief also asked the Michigan State Police for assistance in the investigation, Shabazz said.