Recycling business owner sues Detroit claiming he was set up

The owner of a recycling business is using a security video against what he calls a setup by police.

It's a business owner versus a Detroit police officer and it's up to federal investigators to decide who is telling the truth.

Southwest Metals owner Joe Fawaz said the incident, captured on video, happened in March, 2013. 

"She looks to see if anyone is looking," Fawaz said. "And all of a sudden, she beelines right to the corner. She doesn't look to the left, she doesn't look to the right."

Fawaz alleges that Detroit Police Sgt. Rebecca McKay can be seen planting evidence during a raid.

"Right to the corner," he said. "She bends down, and she miraculously pulls something out."

It was DTE Energy copper wire and that's when Fawaz said McKay "lowered the boom."

"She comes back into the office and says, 'Joe, I found this, it's a felony charge,'" Fawaz said. "I didn't know what to say. Because we don't have that, we don't buy that.

"Then when I check the video, I realized what happened."

Fawaz filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Detroit Monday. He claims he has never had trouble with police until McKay joined the copper theft task force.

"We've cried out, we've talked to internal affairs," he said. "They have run their investigation, it is just taking too long. I just can't hold on. I am getting killed out there, she is hitting me with violations - just the other day she gave me 40 misdemeanor tickets."

Now his business license is in jeopardy. 

"The police are there to serve and protect, not to serve and harass," said Nabih Ayad, Fawaz's attorney. "It scares the hell out of anyone. ... To think that there are police officers - sergeants with that much power."

In a statement, city of Detroit attorney Butch Hollowell said: "We have carefully reviewed this complaint and have found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Sgt. McKay. We look forward to vigorously defending this case in court."

As for the wire that Fawaz claims McKay planted in his shop, charges were never filed. 

Fawaz will be in court Wednesday asking for a temporary restraining order to keep McKay away from his business until the investigation is complete.

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