DETROIT – An internal investigation is underway at the Detroit Police Department after accusations arose against a longtime narcotics officer.
Hameed Mohamad is accused of lying about evidence in order to raid a house. The man accused in the case had a camera that Mohamad didn't know about, and it saved the man from serving a long prison sentence.
Mohamad was honored as a hero after being shot in the line of duty, but the new allegations have put his reputation in question. The 20-year Detroit police veteran is now at the center of an internal investigation into whether he lied in a sworn affidavit in order to get a judge to sign a search warrant.
Mohamad said he saw a car coming and going from a home on Westbrook Street and suspected drug activity. His word led to a police raid and the arrest of the father of four.
"I just don't know what is going on and I'm just looking out the window and see, like, a lot of cars out there," the father said. "Police cars. Unmarked cars."
The man is hiding his identity because he fears retribution for speaking out. He insisted the officer's lies could have landed him behind bars for at least six years.
"They took me straight to Mound Prison Facility and I was fingerprinted and booked and charged," he said.
The man said he's upset that more than a year later, Mohamad is still on the job.
"I think he should pay for it the same way I could have went to jail for something he made up," the man said. "I think he should pay for that. He should get the type of time. Maybe he would understand what that feels like to really be on that other side."
Prior to the raid, Mohamad said he'd witnessed a person in a car driving suspected drugs in and out of the house. Mohamad didn't know the car had a camera inside that took the driver's picture every time they entered the car.
"It shows conclusively that no one was operating the car on that day," said David Steingold, the man's attorney.
When it was time for Mohamad to take the stand, he pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify.
"If he did, he would have had to admit that he made a false entry, which is perjury and potential obstruction to justice, or be caught in a lie because it was no question, it was established beyond anyone's doubt that nobody was driving that car," Steingold said.
The prosecutor dismissed the case immediately, and the father of four is glad he refused the plea deal. He said it was a hard decision knowing it would be his word against a police officer's word.
"I would say if you are really innocent, fight, and at least if you do end up in jail, you could probably live with the fact that you fought instead of going to jail knowing that you are innocent and didn't try to fight," he said.
He's worried that others might be in prison because of untruthful affidavits for search warrants.
"The officer should be looked into for any wrongdoings he did in the past, or the wrongdoings I know he did on my case, anyway," he said.
Detroit police Chief James Craig said he will address the case publicly when the internal investigation is complete, which is expected to be in the next two weeks. For now, Craig won't comment on where Mohamad is assigned or whether the city is looking into all of his arrests to see if others went to jail as a result of dishonesty.