JUST NOW: Detroit undercover cops fight other Detroit undercover cops

This situation is as dumb as the headline seems. Apparently there’s not a lot of communication going on between the 11th and 12th precincts at the Detroit Police Department. This embarrassing little tid-bit made the viral rounds after last Thursday and did not make the brave men in blue of Detroit look too great.

“Two special operations officers from the 12th precinct were posing as drug dealers as part of the “push off” operation in the Seven Mile area of the city. The “push off” involves officers pretending to sell drugs to customers, before arresting potential buyers and seizing their vehicles.

But instead of customers, the two were ordered to the ground when officers from the 11th precinct arrived at the house in the east of the city, FOX 2 reported. When more officers arrived and began raiding the house, the two different groups began fighting with each other.

Sources told FOX 2 that guns were drawn and punches thrown during the fight, with one officer treated in hospital for undisclosed injuries. One of the units reportedly had a body camera video which recorded the entire incident. An internal investigation has been launched by Detroit Police Department into the incident last week.

Sergeant Nicole Kirkwood told the Detroit Free Press: “We’re still conducting our investigation. And that’s pretty much all I can say.” WXYZ TV reported that two dozen officers were involved in the altercation.” – Sky News

The 12th precinct was so good at entrapping drugees to buy fake drugs they were able to get other cops to believe the scheme was real. Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like pretty standard practice to inform officers in neighboring precincts that you have a fake scheme devised. Especially in an area that is known to be a hotbed for drug activity.

Detroit Police Chief James E. Craig held a press conference on Monday afternoon to address the situation that has made headlines around the country.

“Craig said officers from the 11th Precinct were in the process of raiding a suspected drug house near East Seven Mile and I-75. As they approached the house, the officers confronted two individuals about 6 or 7 doors away, he said.

The 11th Precinct officers didn’t realize the two were plainclothes officers, ordered them to the ground, with one officer pointing a shotgun at the pair, Craig said. Shortly after, the 11th Precinct officers continued to execute the search warrant at the suspected drug house

Officers from the 12th Precinct approached the 11th Precinct officers as the search warrant was being executed, Craig said. Arguing, pushing and shoving followed. “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 officer to his eye. Both were treated for their injuries and have been put on restrictive duty.  A third person, a supervisor from the 12th Precinct, has been reassigned as the investigation continues.” – Detroit Free Press

Detroit police officers pointing guns at each other? Definitely not ideal. Especially in a city that Forbes has ranked most dangerous in America.

So, to get this somewhat straight, special operations officers from the 11th precinct obtained a search warrant for a house on the same block of the 12th precinct’s undercover operation, according to Detroit Police Chief James E. Craig. Just down the block, for reasons that are unclear, the 12th precinct ordered the 11th guys to the ground by shotgun point. Then, as the original search warrant was being executed, more guys from each precinct showed up for the rumble like they were newscasters in Anchorman.

Without simple communication a situation like this is almost inevitable. Really, how much energy does it take for one precinct to phone the other and tell them they have two undercover officers on the street that day? Don’t quote me on this, but I don’t think officers first question to suspected drug dealers is, “Are you an undercover cop?”

There is body cam footage of the incident so the public will be able to see the bewildering debacle very shortly.

But let’s look on the bright side of this intersquad brawl. Is it impressive that neither group of cops were able to decipher the fact that the other two were also cops? Some say yes. Some say it proves that these special and undercover operators are as sneaky and deceitful as Lance Armstrong. That level of fraud can help you lock up a lot of drug dealers or guide you to seven straight Tour de France titles. But, as Lance can also attest to, you can’t play that game forever. It’s a quick, slippery slope to the bottom.

Others say this was a case of superiority. Like 12-year-old teammates in the hockey locker room strapping up the helmet and gloves for a good ole fashioned locker-box. Just throwing haymakers to show who is tougher. Nothing more primal than a little survival of the fittest. When it’s over everybody has gained a new respect for the other.

But is there not enough crime in Detroit that these two operations had to come in contact with each other? Is the city not big enough for two simultaneous drug stings? Are there not enough REAL drug enterprises around the city? Was those two dozen police officers time effectively used? Probably not.

After hearing this story it’s hard to imagine that the bad guys in town aren’t winning in some capacity. The cops are fighting each other while the drug dealers could have been watching from across the street while figuring out which squad is superior like they’re in Super Troopers.

I’m fine with the squads battling for superiority, just not on the taxpayer’s dollar. Take it off-the-clock boys. At least take it to the back alleys like civilized humans and not inside a Detroit resident’s home.

At first this seemed kind of funny. This is the type of thing you only see in movies or read about in The Onion. But two dozen officers were involved in this brawl. Weapons drawn and fists flying. It doesn’t exactly give the people in Detroit a feeling of confidence in the entirety of the justice system.

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