Police Abuse

Detroit Cops Arrested Teens for Warning Relative About Prostitution Sting, Made Them Walk Out of City, Lawsuit Claims

The cops are accused of driving the boys around the city at high speeds and dropping them off on a random corner and ordering them to walk home.

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CAVE CANEM/flickr

Police in Detroit arrested three Dearborn teens for allegedly trying to warn an older relative against approaching an undercover cop who was posing as a prostitute. The arrest, in August, has yielded a lawsuit from the families of the teenagers, who claim police drove the teens around the city at high speeds, improperly impounding their card, Snapchatting a photo of one of the teens in handcuffs, and dropping the teens off in an unfamiliar area in Detroit and forcing them to walk back to Dearborn, USA Today reports.

17-year-olds Hassan Abdallah and Ibrahim Bazzi, and 18-year old Ali Chami were charged with interfering with police activities. The charges were eventually dropped, and while the teens deny they were trying to warn the older man about the cops' prostitution sting, their attorney notes that's not against the law, either.

"It's not a crime," Amir Makled, one of the teens' lawyers, told USA Today. "That's a First Amendment issue right there, it's not as if they were in the middle of an arrest." Makled called the idea of charging the teens "outrageous" and said the officers were "just out of control."

"What I heard that really offended me was that these kids were arrested on the basis of what seems to be more a speculative crime involving somebody else. There was no underlying crime," another attorney, Nick Hadous, told USA Today. "Why would you drop them off at a Detroit location, especially when two of them were minors? Are their lives that worthless that you don't even consider their safety? And putting it on Snapchat?"

At the end of the night, the cops dropped the Dearborn teens off on a random corner in Detroit and ordered them to walk home, the lawsuit alleges.

Police claimed they did not use force during the arrest and that they had no video or audio of the incident. A spokesperson for the department told USA Today all four cops whose full names were given in the lawsuit remain employed with the department, but declined to comment on the lawsuit itself.

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  1. Umm, excuse me, but isn’t what they did, child endangerment?

    1. Seriously – try letting your kids walk alone anywhere without getting arrested.

    2. “Go walk through Detroit.”

      That’s actually attempted murder.

    3. And kidnapping.

  2. “It’s not a crime,” Amir Makled, one of the teens’ lawyers, told USA Today. “That’s a First Amendment issue right there, it’s not as if they were in the middle of an arrest.”

    The charges were dropped. What more do you want? And it’s not the cop’s fault that Detroit doesn’t have an adequate public transportation system.

  3. What’s the alt text a euphemism for, Ed?

  4. Who in the department gets to ring the bell and chant ‘Shame!’ at the kids? I assume it’s a seniority thing or maybe it’s just the officer who got the most gold stars this month?

  5. Straight out of The Wire.

    “See that? That’s the Little Dipper, and that way’s North and home. Fuck with us again, and I’ll drive you to goddamn Virginia.”

  6. “The males were yelling across the street and waving their arms to get the attention of an older Arabic male who was making his way toward our … decoy. The males were yelling, ‘Don’t do it! Don’t do it?’ ” the police report stated. “The males appeared to be discouraging the older Arabic male from talking with the decoy.”

    Are they claiming these 3 men are telepaths and were able to know that the woman was in fact a decoy? Or are the cops, perhaps, telepathic and knew the 3 were attempting to disrupt a sting as opposed to evangelizing against prostitution as per the hadith of Bukhari?

    1. They tried to stop a citizen from breaking the law and that’s somehow illegal. So obviously, authorities want you to break the law. I also hear that they run kiddy pr0n sites.

    2. More importantly, where is the picture of the undercover cop who was posing as a prostitute?

  7. They’d win a huge payment from the lawsuit if there were a shred of physical evidence, but since there isn’t, they’re fucked.

    1. I see it just the opposite. If there’s no paper trail, that’s a clear violation of department policy, and if there are four cops involved, one must be a supervisor, and this is much better reason to clean house and fire somebody.

    2. theres the snapchat, which would be from one of the cops cell phones. from snapchat sesh timestamp you get gps location of the phone from the carrier starting with the session and ending a few hours later. that would confirm that the kids were detained. you goto the dropoff point & subpoena video recordings from local biz if available. theres potentially a significant amount of evidence here. these cops arent napoleons of crime. they are betting that their membership in the DPD gang enables them to flaut the law wout consequence.

  8. Drop the cops off, unarmed but in uniform, and make them walk home from the most crime ridden precinct in Detroit.

  9. I am simply shocked that Arab men would be found consulting a prostitute. Are there no goats in Detroit?

  10. So the teens got in trouble with the law for allegedly warning an adult *against* potentially violating the law?

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

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