Newly-freed man says corrupt Detroit police officer’s bogus testimony landed him in jail

Judge tosses convicted man’s case after arresting officer declared corrupt

Detroit dad says corrupt DPD officer's bogus testimony landed him in jail

DETROIT – A man previously charged with drug possession is suing the city of Detroit and its police department -- specifically after his arresting officer was found to be corrupt.

Renard Austin, 40, of Detroit was arrested in October of 2018 when Detroit police raided his friend’s house. Austin was charged with possession of heroin, but he claims he didn’t have any drugs on him -- and the house being raided wasn’t his.

Austin did say, however, that one Detroit police officer was on him, big time.

Austin says that Michael Mosely, a former Detroit police officer who worked in the narcotics unit, kept asking “where’s the money?” during the raid. Austin claims the former officer told him “If you pay $10,000, this will all go away.”

Mosely was one of several former Detroit police officers recently found to be corrupt. He was indicted in August of 2019 after allegedly taking a $15,000 bribe from a drug trafficker. The former officer plead guilty to the charge, which raised questions about the integrity of his past arrests and testimonies in drug cases.

This year, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy put out a list of officers that her office would no longer accept testimonies from, since they were declared corrupt. Mosely was on that list.

Related: ‘Operation Clean Sweep’: Detroit police Chief James Craig says corrupt officers won’t avoid charges

Austin, who was originally facing 40 years of imprisonment, says his first lawyer told him to take a plea deal and serve two years in prison. Attorney Issa Fawaz helped get the courts to toss out Austin’s guilty plea, and a judge decided to throw out the entire case.

“Anything this guy touches might be corrupted,” Fawaz said of Mosely. “It is scary that someone has that much power.”

Austin is now a free man. He has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Detroit and the Detroit Police Department regarding Mosely’s alleged corrupt behavior.

Related: Former Michigan Senate member pleads guilty to felony, misdemeanor charges

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.

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.