OFFICERS TRIED TO ARREST EACH OTHER THEN ALL RESISTED
Cops from adjoining Detroit precincts argued with one another, shoved and even threw punches Thursday night time throughout a raid on a suspected drug home, leaving two cops injured, an investigation beneath method and a black eye on the division.
“That is in all probability certainly one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said during a news conference Monday afternoon at police headquarters.
Two officers accused of exchanging punches as the incident unfolded have been placed on restrictive duty and a supervisor was reassigned from special operations pending the outcome of the investigation, Craig said.
Poor communication led officers from the 11th and 12th Precincts to be in the same area, at the same time, without proper notification, Craig said.
Officers from the 11th Precinct planned to raid a suspected drug house in the area they are responsible for covering. As they approached it about 6 p.m., the officers confronted two people several doors away, apparently not realizing they were undercover cops from the 12th Precinct, Craig said.
The officers from the 11th Precinct ordered the undercover officers to the ground and at some point an officer pointed at shotgun at the pair. Shortly after, the 11th Precinct officers continued to execute the search warrant.
“This is when it started to go terribly wrong,” Craig said.
Officers from the 12th Precinct, who were working a drug investigation and had a team in the area, approached the 11th Precinct officers as they conducted the raid.
Video from the scene captured arguing and shoving among some of the two dozen officers there, Craig said. The video has not been released but is being reviewed as part of the investigation that will be turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed.
“At one point during this situation, one officer grabbed another,” Craig said, adding one was put in a headlock and a punch flew. Then an officer punched back.
One officer sustained an injury to his lip and the other officer has an injury to his eye. The officers, one from each precinct, were treated for their injuries and have been put on restrictive duty, officials said. Craig said assault and battery charges could come from the incident.
A third person, a supervisor from the 12th Precinct, has been reassigned as the investigation continues.
“It appears that this supervisor did not have control of the situation,” Craig said. “And had a tendency to get the officers from the 12th Precinct excited to the point we have this very embarrassing situation.”
Craig said somebody from the 12th Precinct should have let the 11th Precinct know their offices planned to be in the area, but that didn’t happen.