Two Detroit Cops Charged With Robbing Drug Dealers

One of the less talked about problems with the war on drugs has been the serious corruption it has introduced into our police departments and here’s a perfect example. Two Detroit officers have been charged with shaking down drug dealers, stealing their money, drugs and personal property.

Two suspended members of the Detroit Police Department were indicted Wednesday and accused of robbing and extorting people.

Lt. David “Hater” Hansberry and Officer Bryan “Bullet” Watson are expected to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Thursday in federal court on charges that include robbery conspiracy. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in federal prison. A third man associated with Hansberry, Kevlin Brown, also was charged in the case…

According to the indictment, Hansberry and Watson carried out traffic stops and fake arrests before stealing drugs, money and property.

The alleged conspiracy started in June 2010, ran through October and involved Hansberry and Watson also arranging drug deals and then stealing money, drugs and property, prosecutors alleged.

They “would also identify themselves as law enforcement officers performing official law enforcement duties in order to coerce their victims into complying with their demands and to encourage their victims to flee, leaving behind their controlled substances, money or personal property,” prosecutors alleged in the indictment…

Instead of turning over the money, drugs and property to the Detroit Police Department, Hansberry and Watson sold the drugs — sometimes through informants — and split the money, the Justice Department alleged.

This is hardly unusual. Cops shaking down drug dealers rather than arresting them is pretty routine and goes on all over. The situation practically demands it because who’s going to blow the whistle on you? The dealers can’t very well call the police. Things were so bad in Detroit that the chief of police disbanded the entire drug unit last year. The entire Atlanta drug unit was also disbanded after the infamous Kathryn Johnston case, when it was revealed that the officers carried drugs in their patrol cars to plant on people to coerce them into becoming informants.

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  • Modusoperandi

    You have to shake down the Small Fish so that you can work your way up shaking down the Big Fish.

  • dingojack

    ‘Shake downs’, ‘shootings’, ‘verbals’ and ‘loading up’.

    Sounds like Australian cops pre-Fitzgerald. Almost makes one nostalgic (not).


  • Gretchen

    Lt. David “Hater” Hansberry and Officer Bryan “Bullet” Watson

    Wait, they already had gangster names?

  • jufulu
  • grumpyoldfart

    Get on to the drug squad, buy a couple of investment properties, and retire at forty.

  • Artor

    “Get on to the drug squad, buy a couple of investment properties, and retire at forty.”

    Hell, if you work somewhere with “civil forfeiture” laws, you can just seize a juicy piece of property & buy it from the department for pennies on the dollar.

  • dannorth

    You Americans are always knocking off french movies. This was the storyline of the 1984 film Les Ripoux.

    Usually you do an american version of the film not a news story.

  • left0ver1under

    People should be forced to sign waivers when the become cops: “If as a cop you commit a crime, you forfeit the right to a trial and accept being deemed automatically guilty.” The quality of people applying to be cops would improve measurably.

  • cycleninja

    With nicknames like “Hater” and “Bullet,” they’re not even trying to pretend they aren’t part of a gang, however legally sanctioned.