An investigation into what witnesses initially described as a violent robbery perpetrated by two men impersonating Detroit police officers has led to the arrest of two actual police officers, both long-time veterans of Michigan police departments. The reported reason for the crime? The recovery of a cell phone stolen from one of the police officer's daughter.
On July 21, a concerned driver snapped photos of a violent robbery taking place outside a gas station in Detroit. According to witnesses, the two officers pulled into the station's parking lot, exited their truck with their guns drawn and badges showing, and detained two young men. Not long later, the officers allegedly pistol whipped the two young men and robbed one of them, taking a cell phone and wallet.
The police officers were identified after Fox 2 in Detroit aired the photos last week. "Several unidentified police officers were working this particular robbery case, recognized one of the suspects in the photographs as being a member of the Detroit Police Department," Detroit Police Chief James Craig told the station on Monday. "In fact, they were police officers, just not working on-duty at the time."
Both officers were arrested, though charges are pending. One officer is a 20-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department. He was arrested by SWAT Team members when he showed up for work at his precinct. The other is a former Detroit police officer who has spent the past 17 years as an officer in the nearby St. Clair Shores Police Department. He was arrested at his home.
Police sources told Fox 2 the two police officers were searching for the suspects who stole a cell phone from the daughter of the St. Clair Shores officer. The St. Clair Shores officer's attorney wouldn't confirm the rumor, though he didn't exactly deny it either. “This is a situation where there's more to it than what meets the eye or what's being reported.” Tony Flood, the officer's attorney, said. “They're not rogue cops. They're not cops on the street trying to take down innocent people.”