MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Detroit Cops Raid an Innocent Family's Home at Gunpoint on Bogus Sex-Trafficking Tip

Maria Navarete says police told her "shut up, you have no rights" as they handcuffed and pinned down her and her children.

Screenshot/NBC Local 4 DetroitScreenshot/NBC Local 4 DetroitIn the high days of America's militarized war on drugs, baseless and botched home raids have become a defining feature—with often disastrous consequences. Now we're seeing the same sort of overzealous enforcement efforts in the fight against forced prostitution. This week, Detroit police raided an innocent family's home after receiving a faulty sex-trafficking tip and then seeing two teens enter the house.

One of the teens was the family's 13-year-old daughter, who lived there. She wound up face-down and handcuffed on the floor, along with the rest of her family, after cops cut through a locked gate outside the southwest Detroit home and entered with their guns drawn.

"Everybody's like, 'Don't move, don't move or we'll shoot you,'" Noel Navarete told local 4 News. His brother Isaias, 18, said he was in the bathroom when police kicked down the door.

According to family matriarch Maria Navarete, police told her to "shut up, you have no rights" when she asked what was happening. She claims police never showed her or anyone in the household a warrant.

Police apologized, explaining that a mysterious heroin-addicted woman in a local hospital said she and several underage girls had been held against their will and forced into prostitution; the woman (visually) identified the Navarete's place as where it went down. That night, police began observing the house, soon witnessing two girls get dropped off by an SUV and go inside. Apparently, that was enough to warrant a furtive, middle-of-then-night raid on the place.

"Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again," Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams told 4 News. He said the investigation into potential human-trafficking rings nearby was ongoing.

In efforts to catch imagined "pimps" and human traffickers, officials have long considered the liberty and rights of adult sex workers (and their customers) to be an acceptable sacrifice. The rest of us were really never far behind.

Photo Credit: modified screenshot (quote added) from NBC Local 4 Detroit news

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Hugh Akston||

    According to family matriarch Maria Navarete, police told her to shut up, she had "no rights," when she asked what was happening.

    Who says cops never tell the truth? #thinblueline

  • BYODB||


    "Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again," Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams told 4 News.


    Yuuup. Standard Operating Procedure. You see, women have a right to their bodies to do with as they will, up to and including an abortion, but if they decide to take money to access their vagina as an explicit contract that's just too far.

    Never mind that some might consider a man paying for dinner and a movie as payment for services rendered if the woman decides to have sex with him that night. That can run a hundred bucks pretty easily. Or that she could be paid money for sex legally as long as it's filmed and distributed.

    Our country is broken.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Never mind that some might consider a man paying for dinner and a movie as payment for services rendered if the woman decides to have sex with him that night.

    Everyone pays for it one way or another.

  • Robbzilla||

    Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again," Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams told 4 News.

    Which is why he should be fired, along with every single cop who partook in this raid.

  • BearOdinson||

    So the cops observed the house for maybe a few hours, and saw 2 girls get out of an SUV and enter the house.
    How the fuck would they know enough to storm the house? They have literally no intelligence.

    On the theory that underage girls were being held against their will and forced into prostitution.
    And raiding the house with no knowledge of what is really going on, they are just as likely to hurt the girls they are supposedly trying to save,

    On the word of an unidentified heroin addict.
    1 person. No corroboration. No evidence in the extensive time they observed the house, that anyone was being forced to do anything against their will.

    Who identified the house "visually".
    Really? Because the girl on heroin could pick out a house visually from the hundreds of thousands of houses in the Detroit area?

    These cops were so stupid it borders on the surreal. Never mind that they were evil fucks.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    They have literally no intelligence.

    That is an excellent summation of the Detroit Police.

  • The Last American Hero||

    That is an excellent summation of All Police. From dumb fucks facing no consequences like these guys to the White Knights that enable these assholes.

  • ||

    On the theory that underage girls were being held against their will and forced into prostitution.

    Technically, the 'Traditional Family' is just a long-game prostitution/sex-trafficking pyramid scheme.

  • Microaggressor||

    +1

  • Juice||

    On the word of an unidentified heroin addict.

    that may or may not actually exist

  • RabbitHead||

    Are there really hundreds of thousands of houses left in Detroit?

  • ||

    after cops cut through a locked gate outside the southwest Detroit home and entered with their guns drawn.

    They should've built a bigger wall.

  • Longtobefree||

    And why didn't the claymore go off? Was it the doberman's night off?
    It's not like there is a constitution to protect our rights.
    Lacking detail, the story still implies the first, and fourth amendment were violated.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Police apologized, explaining that a mysterious heroin-addicted woman...

    Sure, blame it on the libertarian.

  • BYODB||

    Nice one Fisty, good catch!

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    woman...

    libertarian...

    DOES NOT COMPUTE

  • ||

    libertarian...

    It doesn't describe her beliefs as much as note possession or class. Women have no agency so like bohemian furniture or laborador retrievers the adjective describes the owner, style, class, or origin. The guy that sold the heroin to was obviously a libertarian and she was addicted, ergo... libertarian woman.

  • ||

    a mysterious heroin-addicted woman

    I sincerely thank ENB for this woman's brave story.

  • Chipper Mourning Somali Roadz||

    The lesson I am taking from this is: be nice to junkies.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Jerryskids||

    "Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again," Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams told 4 News.

    Procedures were followed, all the officers went home safe, that's all that matters. If you want to break an omelet you gotta break a few eggs, everybody in the omelet-breaking business knows that.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Well fuck you then, Assistant Chief Williams.

    Some folks, a chippin's too good fer.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    One of the teens was the family's 13-year-old daughter, who lived there. She wound up face-down and handcuffed on the floor

    ...which just goes to show how interested the police were in providing any aid whatsoever to the alleged victims.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    It was for her safety.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    For real, these cops wanted to kick down a door and hurt and terrorize some people. That's it. There is absolutely no other reason for them to have done what they did the way they did it.

  • ||

    Terrorizing is just the icing. The main reason for their action is to get a bust, a feather in their cap, a step closer to a raise and promotion. As we can see, going off half-cocked is no problem for them, and they are all that matter. Who will stop them? Who will police the police? Not the average citizen. They believe in being policed and have paid through the nose for it. The average citizen choses to ignore this carnage, just as the average German citizen looked away when their Jewish neighbors were taken by the Nazis.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hey be fair, I'm sure they would have eventually rendered aid for her boot-shaped face bruises.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Or they'd just charge her with the heinous crime of assaulting an officer's boot with her face. It could go either way.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    "Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again," Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams told 4 News.

    Why do people seem to dislike police officers?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Because there aren't enough laws on the books making it a hate crime to dislike police officers. Doy.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    From another article:

    The investigation began when an underage girl arrived at an area hospital with track marks -- police say heroin injections forced upon her by traffickers -- and claimed she'd escaped the house on Livernois where she was "slave-trafficked" and drugged with heroin over a four-month period. .

    The victim told investigators multiple other underage girls were inside enduring the same torment.
    Williams said surveillance was set up Tuesday and police observed two girls or young women exiting the rear of a green SUV one street over. They walked to the Livernois home, he said.

    Based on that information, along with the victim's statements, Williams said that was enough to secure a search warrant.


    He hopes the residents take into account "what was at stake," an underage sex-trafficking operation.

    The assistant chief said the witness's information appears to be "valid" and the investigation into a sex-trafficking operation continues.

    I am pretty sure that information isn't "valid" or valid.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He hopes the residents take into account "what was at stake," an underage sex-trafficking operation.

    Yes, suspicion of the mediapathic offense du jour is worth destroying any number of innocent lives over. Just ask Tony, who insists a few threads down that the existence of an investigation is proof of guilt.

  • BearOdinson||

    Wait, so the teenage girls who were supposed to be held against their will and forced into prostitution, were let out of an SUV 1 street over from the home they were supposedly being held at.
    Against their will.
    1 street over.
    Just the 2 girls.

    As I said, stupidity bordering on the surreal.

  • BearOdinson||

    So while the girls were walking from the street over, the police were watching.

    And didn't stop the girls to see if they needed help.

    Or to gain knowledge of the situation inside the house.

  • Robbzilla||

    That would compromise their "investigation"

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    These pieces of shit were so excited to do something other than their normal duties - intervening in domestic disputes and generally harassing everyone else - that they couldn't wait to play hero for once in their useless lives. They we're going to tell everyone how they busted a sex trafficking ring and saved the lives of dozens of poor, teenage girls. They were dreaming of all the pussy they were going to get, and all the free drinks, and free meals, and all the accolades. Everyone was going to shake their hand and shower them with praise. They would be Facebook celebs! Alas...

  • Not a True MJG||

    And people are complaining that they had insufficient intel?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The investigation began when an underage girl arrived at an area hospital with track marks -- police say heroin injections forced upon her by traffickers -- and claimed she'd escaped the house on Livernois where she was "slave-trafficked" and drugged with heroin...

    Did her story involve Albanians? With a moon and star tattoo on their right hands?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    If the cops actually wanted to catch the alleged perps, why not just surround the house and wait? What are the occupants going to do, call for their Uber flying car to escape?

    Like drug raids ... if they actually wanted to remove the scourge of drugs, they could just surround the drug house and wait. Let the perps flush the drugs -- now they owe somebody a whole lotta money, and it won't take an expensive trial and expensive long prison sentences to take care of them.

    Cops show their true values every time they execute one of these raids for victimless crimes.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    "He hopes the residents take into account "what was at stake," an underage sex-trafficking operation.

    The assistant chief said the witness's information appears to be "valid" and the investigation into a sex-trafficking operation continues."

    Actually, the police did a damn good job of demonstrating that no sex-trafficking operation "was at stake".

  • Brian||

    You really can't be too suspicious and paranoid.

  • Gene||

    Yep.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again," Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams told 4 News.

    Because FYTW.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    "The assistant chief said the witness's information appears to be "valid" and the investigation into a sex-trafficking operation continues."

    The chief continued: "Do you have any idea how many doors are out there that we still need to kick in? When my men break into a home, and they don't get to shoot somebody, they've got these tiny little boners just sitting there. Yes, I'm happy all my "men" made it home safe. But is going home with blue balls really "safe"?"

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "They didn't even have a dog for my guys to shoot, so they had to go next door and shoot some old lady's cat. It's inconsiderate, is what it is."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Police apologized, explaining that a mysterious heroin-addicted woman in a local hospital said she and several underage girls had been held against their will and forced into prostitution

    No, the sex-trafficking fake-news panic has no real world consequences. It's just fun and games with politicians on Twitter. Carry on.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So these cops kicked down a door and held the occupants at gunpoint with no warrant? Do they realize that if they had found the fabled suburban sex slave pen, that a halfway competent lawyer could have the charges dismissed on procedural grounds?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    They realize NOTHING.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I think they had a warrant, but they just didn't show it to the occupants. Exigent circs and all. They were probably concerned the family would flush the sex-slaves down the toilet before the cops could finish their spiel through the legally closed and locked door.

  • ||

    They were probably concerned the family would flush the sex-slaves down the toilet before the cops could finish their spiel through the legally closed and locked door.

    It's funny, but this seems to be the most reasonable explanation.

  • Longtobefree||

    Uh, if you don't start by showing the warrant - - - - -

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I'd guess, based on evidence and experience, that at least a solid majority of cops become cops because they like the idea of kicking down a door and holding people at gunpoint. The desire to actually solve crimes and enforce justice is pretty far down the list of motivations.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Where's fucking Dunphy to claim that this is no big deal and then brag about the time he won a lawsuit against his fellow cops for beating him up?

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    When I see that name I first think this: "I'm Randy Magnum, local Emmy-winning cameraman and nationally ranked pro kite surfer," and then I think this.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    ...and then you kind of black out for a while, and wake up nude in the backseat of a police car that's on fire.

  • Ken Hagler||

    "In efforts to catch imagined "pimps" and human traffickers, officials have long considered the liberty and rights of adult sex workers (and their customers) to be an acceptable sacrifice."

    For that to be true they'd have to first recognize that non-cops _have_ rights, and they've explicitly stated (as mentioned in this very article) that they don't.

  • JTP||

    Here in Georgia, as if it's not enough to kick down doors for bogus drug tips, now they're arresting innocent people for "driving under the influence of marijuana." And what happens when the drug test comes back clean? Do they apologize? Nope, they say you can't trust their own drug test over their drug-sensing super cop. You can't make this stuff up.
    http://www.11alive.com/mb/news...../437061710

  • Juice||

    Note to self: stay the fuck out of Georgia.

  • perlchpr||

    "Totality of the Circs"! The fucking pig actually says that in the article.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    Judging by the new professionalism, obviously that's short for "Totality of the Circus."

  • Liberty, Truth and Honor||

    Does sovereign immunity shield informants from civil liability when they cause harm to innocent people? Sue the junkie and subpoena the cops in as witnesses to waste their time? Good plan?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Civil liability? "Thou shalt not bear false witness" is the 9th freaking Commandment. You better believe that's a stonin'.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Sue the people who destroyed property, unlawfully detained and terrorized innocent people, not the junkie who's word they were stupid enough to believe.

  • Rebel Scum||

    "Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again," Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams told 4 News. He said the investigation into potential human-trafficking rings nearby was ongoing.

    "We did not learn a damned thing from this experience and do not intend to reform our methods." and/or "We are psychopaths who derive pleasure from enacting aggression against innocent people who are supposed to be presumed innocent."

  • yet another dave||

    In my olden day dreams, there was a time when (I assume) police had balls, would take that "information" and then a couple of guys would knock on the door, explain there has been a complaint, "somedody told us young girls are being forced into prostitution from this house. "Any truth to that? Mind if we take a look around? No? Ok well we'll be keeping an eye out. Ok? Have a nice night ma'am. And then keep an eye out fer fucksakes. Nope not anymore... jackboots, flash grenades and automatics, on the word of some sad sketched out addict.

  • ||

    Who will protect us from our protectors? asked Ayn Rand over a half century ago. Certainly not the MSM. Did any of them check the officer's story? Did they ask why they didn't get a search warrant? The spokesperson said they had enough to go without a warrant. Did any reporter challenge the legality? Has the Constitution changed? Does the MSM care? That would be - 3 NOs.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    "I told you so." -- Complete Works of Ayn Rand, Abridged Version, 2017

  • Vladilyich||

    The cop basically told the truth. "You have no rights!" Welcome to Trumpworld.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Because this didn't exist under Obama? Yeah, this is totally new. At least just scream Boooooosh did it! Have we stopped blaming Gerald Ford? I saw we blame him.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    Amateur. It's obviously all Taft's fault.

  • Dread Pirate Roberts||

    Let's put this in perspective, please. Do you really want to live in a world where the cops can't raid your your home in the middle of the night based on a tip from a junkie?

  • XenoZooValentine||

    Do they even train cops anymore, or do they just make them watch SVU marathons?

    "New professionalism" my sweet bargain-priced ass.

  • Jacks61||

    "a mysterious heroin-addicted woman"

    Gotta be one of the worst excuses I've ever read. Two teenage girls walk (not forced) into the house, and that's good enough? WTF?

  • Duke of url||

    Why don't these stories ever name the judge whom signed the warrant, if they even bother with those anymore?
    Just once, I like to read that some journalist included a line like; " ..The honorable judge Cecil Q. Rubberstamp, whom signed off on this, was assured that nobody important to his re-election campaign would be involved.... "

  • Heddin_South||

    Huh, the cops apologized?! That's an improvement.

  • jimheffner||

    Once upon a time in America, everyone was considered innocent until proven guilty. When are we going to address the culture of our boys and girls in blue. They and their handlers never seemed to understand that they're public servants nor that the lack of respect they show to others leads to their much tarnished image. Tuning up pill heads and intimidating motorists and property owners is not effective means of establishing authority and certainly does nothing for respect. Of course SWAT raids on the wrong address, sans warrant, shooting small barking dogs by policy and some innocent people not to mention destroying or confiscating property illegally seem to be their entitlements. Only the fearful paranoids and the privileged seem happy with the present state of affairs. Make our public servants accountable for their actions.

  • AlgerHiss||

    Sounds like Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams needs to have a no-knock raid at 2am at his house and then we'll talk.

  • CZmacure||

    For real, these cops wanted to kick down a door and hurt and terrorize some people. That's it. There is absolutely no other reason for them to have done what they did the way they did it.

    Sent from MailGet Review

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online