Photo Credit: Detroit Police Body Camera Video
In a caper right out of the Keystone Cops two different squads of armed undercover Detroit narcotics officers clashed earlier this month in a buy-bust operation gone badly awry.
No one was hurt or seriously injured – so the primary damage is that done to the already tattered reputation of the Detroit police.
Just since the turn of the century the department labored under a Justice Department consent decree from 2003 to 2014 because of its reputation for excessive force and brutality – thousands of untested rape kits were found in a police warehouse in 2009 two consecutive police chiefs were forced to resign over sex scandals in 2011 and 2012 and six Detroit cops including an assistant police chief were charged last year with extortion and bribery in a scandal around steering towed car business to repair shops.
Still – even Detroit Police Chief James Craig was shaking his head over this latest incident.
‘This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department’ Craig said at a news conference called after the clash.
Things went south on the night of November 9 when two officers from the 12th Precinct were posing as drug dealers in order to arrest would be buyers.
Two potential customers showed up but they turned out to be undercover officers from the 11th Precinct out to bust drug dealers.
And those 11th Precinct narcs had backup and a search warrant waiting once the buy went down.
‘That’s “when it started to go horribly wrong’ Craig said.
Body camera video shows the two groups of cops shouting – shoving – and throwing punches at each other.