In 2017, a meme started going around claiming that a group of undercover cops in Detroit posing as drug dealers ended up trying to arrest another group of undercover cops. Of course, Snopes took on the task of finding out if it was true, and it turns out it is. Detroit cops did try to arrest each other.
Detroit undercover cops arrest each other
In November of 2017, Snopes (cited below) reports that “Special-operations officers from Detroit’s 11th Precinct were preparing to execute a search warrant on a suspected drug house, but unbeknownst to them, cops from the department’s 12th Precinct were operating within the 11th Precinct’s territory. This intersection of two different groups of police who had not coordinated with or made their presence known to each other set the stage for chaos.”
This is why communication is important!
When two 11th Precinct met the supposed drug dealers, they tried to detain them while their colleagues executed a search warrant on the drug house. However, cops from the 12th Precinct burst in before it could be secured. This triggered a brawl between undercover agents. Obviously, the officers didn’t know one another.
“More officers from the 11th district arrived to serve a search warrant and that’s ‘when it started to go terribly wrong,’” Snopes reports Detroit Police Chief James Craig saying. Camera footage show officers punching and shoving one another.
The embarrassing aftermath
Reports say over two dozen total officers were involved, some in full tactical gear, and one needed to be hospitalized after the fracas.
“This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department since I’ve been appointed police chief,” James Craig told reporters. “In fact, I’d have to tell you it is probably one of the most disappointing things I’ve experienced in my entire 40-year career.”
During the botched operation, 12th precinct officers, who were posing as drug dealers, were held at gunpoint by police from the 11th precinct. “I am thankful that no one was more seriously injured,” Craig said. — WTF fun facts