Police mistakenly raid home they thought was tied to human trafficking in Southwest Detroit

Family of 8 handcuffed at gunpoint

DETROIT – Detroit police mistakenly raided the home of a family of eight early Wednesday.

Police cut the lock on the gate at the home on Livernois Avenue in southwest Detroit and entered the house with guns drawn.

“’Who are you? Why are you here? Why are you in my house?’ and they said, ‘We’re the police, we’re the police,’” said Maria Navarete.

The officers handcuffed the family and held them facedown on the floor, including a 13-year-old girl.

“Everybody’s like, ‘Don’t move, don’t move or we’ll shoot you,’” Noel Navarete said.

Maria Navarete said the police told her to shut up and that she had no rights.

Her son, Isaias Navarete, said he was in the shower when police kicked in the bathroom door.

“I’m angry because how are they going to come in here and give us one reason, then give us another reason, and then just say they’re sorry and leave?” he said.

Police said they came to the house on a rescue mission.

A heroin-addicted woman in the hospital told them she was held against her will with other young girls. The woman pointed out the Navarete’s home to police.

According to police, overnight they saw an SUV pull up to the house that two girls got out of. That was enough to raid the home, police said.

Police said they were rough with the family to protect themselves, and they apologized.

According to police, while they had the wrong house, they still believe there is a human-trafficking operation in southwest Detroit, and they are continuing to investigate.

“Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again,” said Assistant Chief Arnold Williams.

A warrant was typed up for the raid, but if it wasn’t shown to the family, that is another problem Detroit police will need to address.

Police called the family to try to explain what happened and apologize again. Some members of the police department said they may return to the home to apologize to the family.

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About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.