James Craig Calls Officers' Fight One of His Biggest Embarrassments as Detroit Chief

James Craig (Deadline Detroit file photo)

The scene seems straight out of a movie. 

Detroit Police officers from two adjoining precincts traded punches after a misunderstanding led to two undercover cops being ordered to the ground at shotgun-point last week.

Police Chief James Craig calls it "disappointing" and says it shouldn't have happened, writes Elisha Anderson of the Detroit Free Press.

"This is probably one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen in this department since I've been appointed as chief," Craig said during a news conference on Monday at police headquarters.

It all happened in the 19300 block of Andover around 6 p.m. Thursday. The result: Two officers are on restrictive duty and a supervisor is reassigned from special operations, pending the outcome of the investigation. Authorities have not ruled out criminal charges. 

Craig said officers from the 11th Precinct were in the process of raiding a suspected drug house near East Seven Mile and I-75 when the officers confronted two men about a half-dozen doors away, the Freep reports.

The 11th Precinct officers didn’t realize the two were plainclothes officers, ordered them to the ground, with one officer pointing a shotgun at the pair, Craig said. The 11th Precinct team continued to execute the search warrant. 

Then officers from the 12th Precinct approached the 11th Precinct officers as the search warrant was being executed. Arguing, pushing and shoving followed. Then one officer put another in a headlock and punches were exchanged. 

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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