Cop suspended; officials probe 'Scarface' theft

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Detroit Police Special Operations officer was arrested and suspended after he allegedly stole a shadowbox containing a photograph of actor Al Pacino and memorabilia from the movie "Scarface" during a drug raid — the latest in a string of accusations of wrongdoing amid drug investigations.

The officer was arrested by Internal Affairs investigators after a fellow officer informed police officials about the alleged theft Friday of the expensive wall hanging on the city's northwest side, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

"He's been suspended, and the allegations are under investigation," Craig said. "I want to acknowledge that it came to our attention because another police officer brought it to us. ... We applaud whenever an officer becomes aware of alleged misconduct and takes action."

The suspended officer was part of a Special Operations team assigned to provide security for a crew that raided the suspected drug house, Craig said.

The raid of the house in the 16100 block of Lamphere Street netted more than $46,000 worth of heroin. Police also confiscated 15 firearms.

At some point, the officer allegedly stole the shadowbox, which in addition to a picture of Pacino, contained bullets that were used in the movie "Scarface."

"No charges have been filed yet," pending an investigation, Craig said.

The allegations are the latest involving wrongdoing by officers investigating drugs. A federal probe is being conducted into widespread corruption in the former Narcotics Section, which was disbanded in July.

Accusations include a sergeant who had failed to turn in 32 pieces of drug evidence confiscated from hospitalized suspects and another sergeant who reportedly falsified evidence tags for items seized during drug raids, including three flat-screen TVs, a laptop computer and an Xbox 360 video game system.

Earlier this month, a Warren couple whose medical marijuana operation was raided by a Detroit narcotics crew filed a civil lawsuit against officers, including James Napier, who killed himself as he was being investigated for corruption by the FBI and Internal Affairs.

In November, a lieutenant and an officer who were assigned to narcotics duty were suspended and are believed to be part of the federal probe into alleged criminal wrongdoing; while in August, a sergeant and five officers were suspended from the Narcotics Section after a surveillance video captured them taking away a box they never logged as evidence during a raid in February, 2013.

All of those cases are under investigation.

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