DPD officer believes he witnessed kickback scheme at Chene Park

- Did six Detroit police officers under federal investigation, set up a towing scheme at Chene Park?

This new allegation was brought to FOX 2's attention by a DPD source after we reported that suspended officers could be part of a kickback scheme.

The source says he felt something was up when he saw it happening this summer, and it all clicked when news broke Tuesday of an alleged tow truck kickback scheme involving Detroit cops.

On August 27 at Chene Park, a number of concertgoers pumped to see Frankie Beverly and Maze left with no way to get back home.

A source from DPD says tow trucks from two towing companies hauled off several cars parked on Atwater, Jefferson, Franklin and in abandoned lots.

He says the same thing happened 10 days earlier during the Will Downing concert with the same towing companies. That makes him believe individual officers called the companies instead of requesting tows by calling central dispatch.

If central dispatch had been called, he says there's no way the same tow truck companies would have showed up twice.

That source from DPD says normally cops put up special signs during big events so people know not to park on streets like this. That, however, did not happen the nights of these concerts, so people parked on Atwater even though it was technically wrong.

Police saw them do it, but according to FOX 2's source they didn't bother to stop them.

And, as concertgoers enjoyed the soulful crooning of Frankie Beverly and Will Downing, the unnamed officer claims several trucks from the two towing companies hauled off more than 100 cars - roughly 70 each night.

And when concert-goers came out on Atwater and other streets around Chene Park, they saw that every single one of them were clear and they could only wonder what in the world happened to their car.

"If there's something other than regular enforcement going on, it needs to stop," says Shahida Mausi.

Mausi is the CEO of the Right Productions, which manages Chene Park. She says they've dealt with aggressive towing for the past two years and, while the group encourages people to park in authorized lots, she's not confident the mass towings are completely their fault.

"If they're not parked legally they are subject to enforcement, but enforcement needs to be always done on an equitable and consistent basis," she says. "If I park there at 10 a.m. and I come back and park at 10 p.m. and the signage hasn't changed, then how am I to know what I can and cannot do as a citizen?"

The Detroit police officer that witnessed the mass towings did not see the officers call the tow truck companies, but he did say they were visibly excited once the trucks showed up.

There's no confirmation the mass towings at Chene Park are part of the investigation into the FBI's tow truck kickback scheme.

The chairman of the Board of Police Commissioners says they heard concerns about mass towings around Chene Park and said it's due to limited parking in the area, so police had to crack down on people parking illegally on streets and abandoned lots.


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