Detroit Cops Rob Men At Gunpoint
Detroit — A photograph snapped by a citizen and distributed to the media led to the arrest of two police officers who allegedly robbed and assaulted two citizens last week, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Monday.
The two men — one a sergeant and 20-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department; the other holding the same rank in St. Clair Shores — allegedly wore their badges around their necks and drew their department-issued pistols on July 21, when police say they robbed two men at an east-side gas station. One of the victims was assaulted, Craig said.
“It wasn’t until a photograph was sent to the media that someone investigating the case recognized him as a Detroit Police employee,” Craig said.
Further investigation revealed his alleged partner was a St. Clair Shores sergeant who attended the Police Academy with him before leaving Detroit’s police force after two years, said Inspector Brian Stair, head of Detroit Police Internal Affairs.
According to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, it has received a warrant request for the two officers, who Craig said are likely to be charged with robbery and assault in the next day or so.
Although there were at least two reported instances of fake cops robbing citizens recently, there’s no evidence linking the two sergeants with any other robberies, Craig said, adding that police are investigating whether they may have been involved in other heists.
“It’s no secret we’ve had other incidents involving police impersonators, so we’re taking a close look at that,” Craig said.
The Detroit sergeant was arrested Saturday while working at the 12th Precinct. His alleged accomplice also was arrested Saturday at his home.
The alleged robbery happened around 4:45 p.m. at a Citgo gas station on French Road. They drove to the station together in a private vehicle, approached the victims with their guns drawn and badges hanging from their necks, Craig said.
“It’s alleged they stole money and a cellphone,” Craig said. Stair added that one of the victims was struck with one of the officers’ guns, although his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
“The Good Samaritan who took those photographs saw that something wasn’t right,” Craig said.
Both victims are in their early 20s.
Craig pointed out that, because the two officers are not suspected in the other reported robbery involving fake cops, there are others who are impersonating police officers and robbing citizens.
“We should be diligent in making sure when we’re stopped, it’s by police officers,” Craig said.
Craig said “99.9 percent” of Detroit’s officers are honest and hard-working, and “when a member of this organization disgraces the badge, we take it personally.”
A spokeswoman for the St. Clair Shores Police Department said the department is aware of the ongoing investigation but provided no further information.