Federal Lawsuit Accuses Detroit Police Officers of Illegal Marijuana Raids

Federal Lawsuit Accuses Detroit Police Officers of Illegal Marijuana Raids

Several Detroit police officers are under federal investigation for allegedly conducting illegal medical marijuana raids in Michigan. At least one of the raids in question was conducted outside of Detroit police jurisdiction.

One raid was conducted at the home of Timothy and Hatema Davis, less than 20 miles north of Detroit, in Warren, MI. The couple reported that at least six masked-officers carrying rifles kicked their front door down last December, handcuffed them both, and proceeded to seize property and destroy their legal medical marijuana grow operation without ever presenting a warrant.

Timothy was a licensed medical marijuana caregiver and Hatema is a legally registered medical marijuana patient under Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act. The size of the cultivation facility was within the legal parameter of 72 plants that they were permitted to have. During the raid, police stole 50 of the plants.

According to the lawsuit, after storming through the home, the masked officers interrogated Timothy for five hours inside an abandoned building in Detroit, to which he was transported in handcuffs. After the questionning, Timothy was free to return home and was never brought up on criminal charges or contacted about the event again.

The lawyer representing the couple involved in the lawsuit, Michael R. Dezsi, reported that this type of illegal search and seizures had been ongoing for “quite some time.” Dezsi told MLive,

“This particular segment of the police department has been terrorizing the community and terrorizing business owners. I’m not sure why it hasn’t come to light.”

Dezsi later cited a “fear of retaliation” as the most likely reason that it took so long for the officers to be caught.

Many of the officers named in the lawsuit were part of the Detroit Narcotics Unit led by Lt. Charles Flanagan. The unit has since been dissolved. Another officer named in the lawsuit, James Napier, committed suicide in January after learning that he was being investigated by the FBI and Detroit Internal Affairs for narcotics fraud.

The next step, according to Dezsi, will be to serve the city with the civil lawsuit, which he plans to do this week. The city will be expected to file a response within 30 days.

photo credit: marijuanaandthelaw

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