UPDATED: Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority police officer Gillespie has been placed on leave amid a probe of anti-Arab remarks captured on video.
Officer Gillespie, who clearly says “go back to where you came from” said he only meant to tell the man to go back to Illinois, even though the officer was white and the man of Arab descent.
The investigation into officer Gillespie comes after two Metro Detroit activist groups called on the police authority to discipline the officer after online footage went viral sparking an aftermath of comments critical of the incident, which took place on Monday in Brownstone Township at Lake Erie Metropark, according to Detroit News.
The footage posted by Frank White on July 1 begins with officer Gillespie (badge #113) apparently saying something to the man as he’s leaving a wave pool in Rockwood, Michigan.
“I know the laws, OK buddy?” the man replies to officer Gillespie.
“Got back to where you came from,”Gillespie mumbles under his breath.
“Hey!” a young man shouts to the Arab man.
“Hey, sir!” he says again pointing to the officer.
“He said go back to where you came from after you walked away.”
“Yes I did,” the officer replies.
“That f’king dumb ass b—c,” the young man says.
“Fuck you,” he adds.
“You fucking said that?” another man witnessing asks.
The officer nods his head.
“Go back to where he came from?”
The man he was talking to jumps in.
“Where did I come from?”
“Illinois,” the officer replies.
“Where did I come from? Tell me where I came from?”
“Illinois,” he repeats again.
“Go back to Illinois.”
“What your name and badge number?”
“113, officer Gillespie” he says.
Eventually, a woman approaches officer Gillespie who creeps along and smiles before the video ends.
White posted the following caption to Facebook last week saying he was proud of his son for standing up to the officer.
So this happened yesterday at the (WAVEPOOL)as we made our way to our cars I noticed an (Arabic) Man really upset with the MetroParks Police “officer” so I started recording.As the Man walked away with his daughter the MetroParks officer says “GO BACK TO WHERE YOU COME FROM” My son frankie heard him say it,and yells to the Man,what he just had heard.The officer tried to play it off by saying he meant go back to illinois.#RACISMINAMERICA#METROPARKS #PUREMICHIGANproud of my son FRANKIE for speaking up. Lake Erie Metropark
Watch footage of the incident above.