DETROIT – A former Detroit police drug officer was hailed as a hero after being shot in the line of duty, but a prominent attorney said he's a liar and a cheat.
The lawyer claims Hameed Mohamad lied in sworn affidavits to get search warrants that ended in the arrest of an innocent person.
Mohamad wasn't aware of a camera that appears to have caught him in a lie that could have sent a man to prison for years. Now an internal affairs investigation is underway.
Mohamad was a 20-year veteran on the Detroit police force. During a drug raid on Halloween in 2015, he was shot in the leg with a high-powered weapon.
"The police claimed to have surveilled a house and had evidence that there was drugs and money and guns in the house," said David Steingold, a Metro Detroit attorney.
Steingold said his client was looking at six or more years in prison if convicted. He said police raided the house on Westbrook Street, finding drugs and guns, but the man they arrested sold the house months before.
Police were allowed to raid the house because Mohamad signed a sworn affidavit saying he witnessed the man coming and going in his car acting suspicious and carrying packages that he suspected contained drugs.
"There was absolutely nothing to suggest they had seen any of this," Steingold said.
After being arrested, the man told his attorney he wasn't driving anywhere on the day Mohamad said he was watching him. He said he could prove it. Due to a previous drunken driving conviction, he has an interlock system that tests breath for alcohol.
"It's on constantly and has a camera," Steingold said. "Anytime anyone tries to start the car, there's a picture taken and it shows conclusively that no one was operating the car on the day."
When called to the stand to testify under oath, Mohamad pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify.
"If he did, he would have to admit that he made a false entry, which is perjury and potential obstruction of justice, or be caught in a lie because it was no question," Steingold said. "It was established beyond anyone's doubt that nobody was driving that car."
The Wayne County prosecutor in the case immediately dismissed all charges. The man was free to go.
What should happen to Mohamad?
"I think, absolutely, he should be charged with perjury and attempted obstruction of justice, and I'd like to know whether or not this has happened on other cases," Steingold said.
A formal complaint was filed last April, but more than a year has passed with Mohamad still on the job. He won't comment, and the chief won't comment, saying it's still under investigation.
"It's hard for me to believe that of all the warrants he may have been an affiant on, that this is the one and only occasion where he just made something up," Steingold said.
Police said they haven't yet finished the internal investigation. Chief James Craig said he expects it to wrap up in about the next week, so he will address questions afterwards.
The man accused of the crime said he's relieved that the charges have been dropped, but he's worried that Mohamad might have sent others to prison with bogus search warrants. He said he wonders why Mohamad is still on the job.
You can hear from that man tonight on Local 4 News at 11.