Catching drug-related offenders is a fundamental duty for many of the nation’s police officers. Undercover cops are often used to criminals in the act by posing as either buyers or sellers. Usually, their efforts are known to other law enforcement officials. But, in one case, not everyone was well-informed, leading to a hilarious, though potentially deadly, situation.
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Two undercover officers with Detroit’s 12th precinct were sent to the east side to act as drug buyers as part of a “buy and bust,” according to a report by Dangerous.
The pair approached what they believed was an active drug den, hoping to catch dealers in the act of selling by attempting to purchase some of their product, but the site wasn’t what they thought it was.
In reality, the drug house was being controlled by undercover officers from Detroit’s 11th district.
Neither group of undercover cops was aware of the other’s activities, leading to a potentially deadly situation that was later considered an embarrassment for the city.
Body cameras captured footage as things unfolded, including cops taking swings at one another.
At one point, officers on both sides began drawing their guns and trying to order each other to the ground, still completely unaware that they were speaking with fellow undercover cops.
According to neighbors, the violent confrontation involved more than two dozen officers.
While keeping drug operations secret is important, a possible failure in communication meant that critical information regarding the other precinct’s activities wasn’t passed along, ultimately resulting in the full-blown debacle.
The incident was being investigated, according to a comment made by Detroit Chief of Police James Craig.
Luckily, no one was killed during the encounter, though the high-level of tension does show that it was likely a real possibility.