Detroit officer demoted for mocking woman on Snapchat after he impounded her car

Posted at 4:52 AM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 04:52:51-05

(CNN) — A Detroit police officer — who referenced “black girl magic” as he filmed a woman he pulled over walk home in the cold — has been demoted, the police chief said in a news conference Thursday.

Chief James Craig said the officer, a corporal in the Detroit Police Department, stopped the woman for expired registration. Her vehicle was towed, and as she walked to her home in the cold the officer posted a video on Snapchat saying “Bye Felecia.”

The officer did offer her a ride, Craig said, but she declined.

Craig said the officer also made a reference to Black History Month, which he called even more problematic.

The video included a “Celebrate Black History Month” filter, with the caption “What black girl magic looks like,” CNN affiliate WXYZ reported.

“What they put on there, that’s racist. They’re demeaning my child for no reason,” Monique Mobley, the woman’s mother said.

The Chief called the posts racially insensitive and expressed concern for the woman walking in the snow. Michigan’s extreme winter weather forced the state’s government offices to close Wednesday and Thursday.

The officer is under an internal investigation, but the department has begun moving to penalize him.

“I’m not troubled, I’m not disappointed, I’m angry,” Craig said. “This officer will be held accountable for his actions,” he said. “We are moving to remove his corporal rank.”

According to Craig, the officer had been in the department for 18 years, before Craig was hired as chief. But his history in the department has been troubling, Craig said.

“After reviewing the history, there is a patten, and I’m concerned about this pattern,” Craig said.