click to enlarge
Detroit police squad car.
Wayne County prosecutors are mulling felony charges against four former Detroit cops as part of a corruption investigation that has forced eight other narcotics cops to leave the city’s police department.
DPD’s internal affairs is leading the ongoing probe, dubbed “Operation Clean Sweep,” which has found “a pattern and practice of corruption” in the department’s beleaguered drug unit, Chief James Craig said.
"I don’t think there’s been any time in this department's recent history where we've had a corruption investigation that's resulted in the number of separations we're seeing," Craig told The Detroit News
So far, Wayne County prosecutors are reviewing charges against four of the cops, and a case against a fifth officer was bounced back to DPD for further investigation, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Kym Worthy tells Metro Times
The investigation prompted four sergeants, two corporals, and six officers to retire or resign.
"They're still being investigated for the alleged criminal activity, but we were able to prove administrative violations that are fireable offenses, and when we presented the evidence, those officers chose to resign or retire under investigation," Craig said.
Another officer was fired after he was accused of giving a false statement to investigators, and on Tuesday, a sergeant was suspended for allegedly falsifying overtime records.
Some of the drug cops are accused of repeatedly lying on search warrants to conduct and steal money and narcotics. They also allegedly falsified overtime records, bilking taxpayers out money for work they never performed.
The internal affairs investigation, which began in August 2019, has yielded breathtaking allegations of widespread corruption
, ranging from planting evidence and robbing drug dealers to lying to prosecutors to obtain search warrants. It raises serious questions about the convictions of alleged drug dealers that date back a decade.
In March, prosecutors dismissed charges against two men because police tainted evidence.
"There is the potential that some other cases may be dismissed,” Miller said.
Drug cops in Detroit have a long history of corruption.
Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.