Grosse Pointe Park Police suspends five officers - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Grosse Pointe Park Police suspends five officers involved with controversial video

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GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. (AP) -- A Detroit suburb is suspending five police officers for their roles in the posting of videos that show one officer asking a man to dance and make odd noises.

Grosse Pointe Park police Chief Dave Hiller said Wednesday that the officers will be suspended without pay for up to 60 days and face one year's probation.

PLAY THE VIDEO TO HEAR HILLER EXPLAIN HIS DEPARTMENT'S ACTIONS>>

City spokesman Greg Bowen says safety employees will undergo sensitivity training that deals with how officers interact with people who are mentally ill.
 
Michael Scipio of Detroit says he's the man in the video. He says he's had many encounters with Grosse Pointe Park police, who have stopped him for public intoxication, driven him home and taken him to the hospital.

GROSSE POINTE PARK PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT RELEASES RESULTS OF INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AND REFORMS

Mayor and chief apologize to citizen involved, holds officers accountable

Grosse Pointe Park, MI – The City of Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department is announcing the results of a week long investigation into allegations of police misconduct arising from published videos of a citizen taken by officers on duty.

 "I am deeply disappointed by the actions of the officers involved in this incident," said David Hiller, GPP Chief of Police. "This type of behavior is unacceptable by any standard and will not be tolerated by the department. I apologize to Mr. Michael Sipio, the people of Grosse Pointe Park and everyone who has been touched by this disturbing incident for the actions of these officers. We are holding those responsible accountable and taking steps to insure this kind of incident will never happen again."

   Last week, news media outlets reported on several videos of Mr. Sipio taken by one officer while on duty. The videos, more than a year old, were accompanied by one other disturbing photograph with a racially disparaging message. One officer admitted to taking the videos that were circulating and four others also admitted to engaging in similar behavior with Mr. Sipio or viewing, circulating and not reporting the incidents to the chain of command. The officers in question will be suspended without pay, reprimanded and placed on probation.

   In addition to the discipline, the department is engaged in the following reforms:

-          Reorganizing patrol officers so beat officers have new supervisors and partners

-          Reassigning supervising officers

-          Increasing training for all officers dealing with people with mental illness

-          Increasing cultural sensitivity and awareness training particularly for people with disabilities

-          Reinforcing the department's policies on social and electronic media

   Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Palmer T. Heenan agreed with the reforms and offered his apologies.

   "I applaud Chief Hiller for holding the officers responsible for this incident accountable for their actions. I am optimistic the steps he is taking to prevent this type of thing from happening in the future will be successful," said Mayor Heenan. "We are all saddened by this incident and offer our sincere and deepest apologies to Mr. Sipio. We will learn from this and move forward."

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