Detroit police working to end ‘reckless’ drag racing, drifting across city

Police believe social media is fueling problem

Drifting and drag racing has become a massive problem in the City of Detroit. On Monday (June 6), we told you about a Detroit police officer who was dragged while trying to stop a drifting driver.

DETROIT – Drifting and drag racing have become massive problems in the city of Detroit.

While attempting to stop a vehicle Monday, June 6, a Detroit police officer was dragged by that vehicle, which was said to be drifting in Corktown.

More: Officer dragged by a car in Corktown has been released from hospital

Now, there’s concern that even more people could get hurt if this issue goes unchecked. Detroit police believe social media is fueling the problem, as stunts are getting bolder and the stakes are getting higher as people look to monetize the likes and shares those videos get.

But the cost is so much greater than that.

Detroit may be the Motor City, but the drifting and drag racing that’s happening on city streets is illegal. And the issue hasn’t always been so severe.

“It’s crazy, it’s dangerous, it’s reckless and it’s a huge resource tax on the Detroit Police Department,” said Detroit Police Commander Eric Decker.

Decker is with DPD’s Organized Crime Unit and, each weekend, he says he has 20-40 officers are out looking to break up gatherings throughout the city.

“It’s not just ‘I’m spinning around in a circle,’” Decker said. “They’re stealing cars, bringing guns, creating accidents, and killing people. It’s ridiculous.”

There was a crash on the east side of Detroit that killed a 10-year-old girl last month. Police say the 16-year-old driver was drifting in front of officers at a traffic stop before taking off, losing control, and crashing into a tree.

“Two weekends ago, officers in the 10th precinct responding to drag racing/drifting event (were shot at),” Decker said.

Those officers were shot at by a man hanging out of a car window. The incident was recorded on dash cam video.

Read: Detroit police search for 2 men who allegedly shot at squad car Saturday morning

“Some people are like, ‘Oh, police don’t have anything better to do.’ We have a lot of better things to do,” Decker said. “We wish we could put those resources into a whole lot more things, but we’ll continue to be out here, chase people off and take people to jail.”

Even when you take the guns and stolen cars out of the mix, the stunts carried out by those drag racing and drifting can be deadly.

“It elevates it,” Decker said. “How crazy can I be? How wild can I be? How dangerous can I be?”

Detroit police will continue to dedicate officers to stop the dangerous activity and the crowds that come with them, officials said. They are also putting pressure on social media companies to do something about the content being posted on their sites and apps.


About the Authors:

Pamela Osborne is thrilled to be back home at the station she grew up watching! You can watch her on Local 4 News Sundays and weeknights. Pamela joined the WDIV News Team in February 2022, after working at stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.