Undercover Detroit police attempt to arrest each other in 'embarassing' drug bust

By Ray Downs  |  Nov. 15, 2017 at 11:20 PM
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Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A group of undercover Detroit police posing as drug dealers tried to arrest another group of undercover police posing as drug buyers in a mishap that resulted in a brawl between more than two dozen armed officers.

"This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I've seen in this department," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Monday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The incident occurred on Nov. 9 when two officers from Detroit's 12th Precinct were posing as drug dealers in order to arrest buyers, according to WJBK-TV. Two buyers did arrive to the drug house, but they were undercover police officers from Detroit's 11th district. The officers did not know each other.

More officers from the 11th district arrived to serve a search warrant and that's "when it started to go terribly wrong," Craig said.

Body camera footage obtained by WXYZ-TV shows the two groups of police officers yelling, shoving and throwing punches at each other.

"They appeared to be like Keystone cops," Craigs said, referring to the fictional police officers depicted in comedic silent films.

Craig said an internal investigation has been launched to understand how the two precincts made the potentially fatal mistake.

In 1986, two Detroit police officers were killed in a similar incident.

"Thank God no one got seriously hurt or even worse, killed," retired assistant police chief Steve Dolunt said.

The Wayne County prosecutors office will also investigate to determine if criminal charges will be filed.

A resident of the neighborhood where the police brawl occurred had a suggestion for how police can further prevent incidents like this one.

"You've got to have to have more communication, I guess," the resident said.

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Topics: Wayne County
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