Woman Screams In Pain As Detroit Cop Breaks Arm During Arrest [VIDEO]

April 26, 2019 - 1:28 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - The Detroit Police Department and a former officer are facing not one but two lawsuits over incidents involving separate women. 

The lawsuits were filed in Wayne County Circuit Court by Southfield attorney Geoffrey Fieger over an alleged assault committed by now fired officer Gary Steele, as well as the racially charged "Walk of Shame" video Steele posted to Snapchat.

The first lawsuit stems from an incident that happened on May 31, 2018 near the intersection of Faust and Dover avenues, near the Southfield Freeway and Joy Road on the west side. Elaine Murriel claims she was dropping her infant son off at his father's house when the man's girlfriend -- whom Murriel had a personal protection order against -- allegedly tried to run her over. Murriel was fearful for her life, according to the lawsuit, so she fired her licensed handgun in the direction of the vehicle "to alleviate the imminent threat of harm."

Click here to read the lawsuit (.pdf format)

Four officers, including Steele, responded to a 911 call about the incident. Despite her claims of self-defense, which were corroborated by her child's father, the lawsuit says Steele decided to unlawfully seize and arrest Murriel.

Murriel, who was holding her baby at the time, repeatedly questioned why she was being placed under arrest and asked if she could call her mother to get her child. After Murriel said she wouldn't let go of her baby, Steele instructed the other officers to grab her hand and take the child so he could handcuff her. 

Once officers have the child, Steele pushes Murriel against her vehicle while grabbing her arm. Video of the incident captured by a police body camera shows Steele manipulating Muriel's arm "in an abnormal manner" before an audible crack is heard and she starts wailing in pain. "You broke my arm! You broke my arm! Oh my God, you broke my arm," Muriel screams.

As more officers arrive on the scene, confusion seems to spread. "What the f*** happened," one officer asks. "He didn't want to listen to the whole story... and now all this just f****** happened for no reason," another officer responds.

Murriel was taken to the hospital where an X-ray confirmed her arm was broken. She was given a sling and transported to jail, where she stayed for four days without medical assistance before being released, according to the lawsuit. She was never charged over the incident. 

The lawsuit claims Murriel suffered severe and permanent injuries as a direct result of Steele's wrongful actions. She's seeking upwards of $25,000 in damages.

"By making my client languish in jail with a broken arm for four day, that's outrageous," said Fieger. 

The second lawsuit stems from an incident that happened January 28, 2019 after Steele and his partner stopped a driver for an expired plate on Stout Street near Joy Road on the city’s west side. After pulling her over, Steele asked 24-year-old Ariel Moore to get out because he was going to impound her vehicle. Steele then shot and shared a video showing Moore as she was forced to walk home alone in the snow as one of the officers says, "Bye, Felicia." The post included the captions: "What black girl magic looks like" and "celebrating Black History Month." Both Steele and his partner were fired following an investigation into the incident. 

Click here to read the lawsuit (.pdf format)

The statements were made in reference to Moore to belittle, humiliate and embarrass her, according to the lawsuit, and she suffered emotional injuries and mental anguish as such. She's seeking upwards of $25,000 in damages.

"To subject my client to the type of invidious racial discrimination as is demonstrated on this 'walk of shame' tape is outrageous," said Fieger.

Both lawsuits accuse the Detroit Police Department of being "well aware of Steele's propensity for racism and violence, especially toward women." Fieger says Steele shouldn't have been on the force when either incident occurred. 

"These types of activities could have been prevented long ago by screening these officers at the time of their employment," he said. "Officer Steele had previously assaulted and beaten his girlfriend with a bat and a gun in 2008 and had been convicted of those offenses. ... He should have been screened off the force long ago."

The department attempted to fire Steele after the incident with his girlfriend, but he got his job back through arbitration.

Detroit police have not yet commented on the lawsuits.