Police in Detroit, Michigan, have launched an internal investigation after an undercover operation last week seemed to go terribly wrong.
The Detroit Police Department is looking into how officers from two different precincts attempted to carry out a drug bust at the same place and time.
Residents of the Andover community in east Detroit, where the incident took place, said the area has a bad drug problem.
“Definitely a drug problem in our neighbor for years,” one resident told WJBK, adding, “but I don’t think anyone can stop it.”
But Detroit police may have tried too hard Thursday to combat the problem.
Sources told WJBK that the sting operation began when two special operations officers from the 12th Precinct tried to carry out a “push off.”
A “push off” refers to undercover officers pretending to be drug dealers and then arresting potential buyers and seizing their vehicles.
The situation took a turn for the worse when the “customers” turned out to be undercover special operations officers from the 11th Precinct.
These “customers” ordered the other officers to the ground, thinking they were really drug dealers.
When additional officers from the 12th Precinct arrived on the scene, they reportedly began raiding a house in Andover.
But then, the officers from the different precincts began fighting each other. In the scuffle, punches were thrown and guns drawn.
Meanwhile, sources said, the homeowner stood watching the group of police officers fight one another.
After the incident, the higher-ups in the department were notified. Each officer involved in the scuffle is under investigation by Internal Affairs to determine what exactly happened and how the department can prevent it from occurring again.
An unnamed Andover resident told WXYZ investigator Jim Kiertzner that the incident was “very, very scary,” and explained that “there’s a lot of murders around here.”
“They dropped the ball,” the resident added.
One of the officers was reportedly wearing a body camera at the time of the incident, and footage of the event was captured and is now part of the investigation.