Residents of Rashida Tlaib’s district can’t even trust the Detroit Police Department. Drug dealer shakedowns and vanishing evidence have angry residents issuing demands. Justice officials are quick to push back, promising total transparency while claiming the demands of liberal activists are way too invasive.
You can’t trust the cops
After a Police investigation discovered its narcotics unit planted evidence, lied to prosecutors, and even committed robbery and embezzlement, 7 groups of community advocates created a joint coalition. They were formed “to take Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Chief of Police James Craig to task and to demand fairness, honesty, and transparency in our justice system,” they wrote in a public statement.
Worthy assures they already have everything under control. “The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is aware that the ongoing investigation has been undertaken by the police department and an outside law enforcement agency.” The grassroots groups shout back that it’s not fair. “The police cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.” They demand an independent investigation and the appointment of an independent fact-finder. While those are both reasonable requests, the rest of their demands are clearly over-reaching.
Chief Craig insists that while he understands the community’s concerns, there is no need to overreact because nobody wants to weed out the rogue renegades who give his department a black eye more than he does. “We in this organization have no room for police officers engaging in criminality. Even when we find horrible, despicable conduct by members of this organization, we’re going to always remain transparent.” Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood backs him up. “The chief is the one who initiated the initial probe.”
The @detroitpolice is relentless, transparent and committed to addressing any allegations of corruption. "This is not reflective of the entire organization and the men and women who work consistenly to protect and serve the citizen of this great city", said Chief James Craig. pic.twitter.com/aCdEdrAkhU
— Detroit Police Dept. (@detroitpolice) February 12, 2020
Shaking down drug dealers
The investigation centers on shaking down drug dealers for cash, negligent supervisors who missed the red flags, and “using false information to get search warrants and convictions in as many as 12 drug cases.” In December, Craig reported they “seized documents, case files,” and took “forensic imaging” from 50 computers. They considered it important because they were looking for a pattern.
The probe began last August with the indictment of Officer Michael Mosley. After busting a Detroit dealer with two kilos of heroin and another of meth, Mosley made it clear that the charges could go away for the right price. In exchange for $15,000 left in a dead drop at an abandoned house, Mosley handed over the original of the dealer’s confession, where he admitted owning the drugs. He was caught by a federal wiretap discussing the arrangements. Mosley was attached to the Major Violators unit. It used to be called the Narcotics Squad but was disbanded when 66 Detroit cops were criminally charged starting in 2016.
The Detroit News also reported on another case where a large shipment of drugs disappeared on the way to court. Whatever it was that Detroit cops seized was “swapped out with another substance by the time it got to Chicago for a court hearing.”
Outside agencies involved in the investigation
“This probe was initiated by DPD, but we have the FBI helping us,” Chief Craig insists. They have “17 officers and agents involved from DPD, the FBI and Michigan State Police.” After setting up a special tip-line for dirty cop reports, “they’ve gotten dozens of relevant tips.” While the investigation will take a while, Craig assures the public “they will be charging as they go in either state or federal court.” So far, two sergeants assigned to MVU have been transferred.
They are taking a hard look at any case potentially contaminated by a compromised cop. “WCPO continues to review narcotics cases. When we have evidence of misconduct, we immediately notify the defense.” They found two so far. “When the investigations by DPD and the outside agency are complete we will take swift and appropriate corrective action.”
Officers on the street are furious with the bad apples in their ranks because it endangers their lives. Detroit is a war zone with police coming under sniper fire when they respond to calls. “Despite public perception, we as police officers have no time for dirty cops,” one officer relates. Referring to Mosley, the officer snarled, “I hope he fries for this.” Another officer says, “It’s just a bad time. This just erodes the public trust, while the great majority of us are out here trying to bust our asses trying to make a difference.”