DETROIT (WJBK) - Three local teens are suing the Detroit police claiming they were mistreated during an undercover prostitution sting, but the officers say the teens were interfering with the investigation.
One August night in Detroit, two 17 year olds from Dearborn are waiting for their 18-year-old friend to get off his shift at the Caesar’s Coney Island on Warren Avenue. At the same time, Detroit police are conducting a prostitution sting operation across the street at the CVS.
Somehow the teens find themselves in the middle.
"Before you knew it. you had a bunch of police officers pulling into a parking lot. ordering them out of a car handcuffing them," said attorney Nick Hadous.
According to a Detroit police report. the teens were interfering with the operation by attempting to warn a relative not to engage with an undercover prostitute. Their attorneys say that's not a crime.
"Our clients said 'Don't do it, don't do it' so what," said attorney Amir Makled. "The objective of any good law enforcement official is to deter crime. If these guys were helping to deter crime, what's going on, what's the problem."
Either way they were cuffed and the attorneys say they were humiliated,
"There was a Snap Chat taken and posted on one of the kids under arrest, in handcuffs," said Hadous.
But as far as evidence to back this up - "They all told me the identical facts they were ambushed by these rogue officers," Makled said. "They pulled them out of their vehicle, handcuffed them and searched their car."
Right now they just have the teens story.
"We're going to be looking into getting the records if we can," Makled said.
The night didn't end there. According to the lawsuit the three teens were driven around by police and dropped off at the corner of Tireman and Abington in the city of Detroit. They were then told to get out and walk home - all the way to Dearborn.
"We’re talking about two minors here," said Hadous. "I'm offended as much as I am shocked."
But why would police go to these lengths? That's what this lawsuit is hoping to uncover.
"Are they mad they didn't catch another guy to get their numbers up," Makled said. "What's their motive, we are determined to find out."
The teens hired the lawyers back in August and got the criminal charges dropped, but the attorneys say that doesn't go far enough.
"They may have had criminal records as a result of nothing - an imaginary crime or officers that were offended," said Hamoud. "It's important to hold them accountable."
They are hoping a jury will determine how much money they deserve for that August night. Detroit police say they don't comment on pending litigation.