A stolen 2021 Dodge Charger collided with an unmarked police car while doing donuts late on Sunday evening, August 8, 2021 in Detroit. Immediately after the collision, officers claim that the front passenger got out of the car holding a handgun, and an undercover police officer in the unmarked car shot and killed the young man.
The shooting happened amongst a crowd of around 200 drivers and cars that were street racing and doing donuts at the intersection of East Grand Boulevard and Milwaukee Avenue, according to Local 4 WDIV.
It’s not yet clear that the man was pointing the handgun at the police officers, according to local reports. Four suspects got out of the stolen Charger, including the man who was shot, but the three others fled the scene and have not been detained.
Detroit’s Chief of Police, James E. White, held a press conference on Monday at 3:00 pm local time to address the city and media. The chief prefaced the conference by remarking that the weekend of the incident was “extremely violent.” Chief White said, “We are seeing poor decision making, violence. We’re seeing people resolve disputes — relatively simple disputes — with firearms...” But he wasn’t referring to police.
According to Chief White, the police in the undercover car were monitoring the street race, and had called for support when the stolen Charger lost control and struck their unmarked car.
Both the police shooting and the theft were just a few points that the chief covered during the conference, but according to him, the bigger issue the police are facing is that these performance cars are falling into the hands of young and inexperienced drivers. The chief cited other incidents during similar gatherings.
Chief White also said these performance cars should arguably not be street legal, nor in the hands of anyone for that matter. He went on to say he’d “love to see auto manufacturers take some responsibility,” regarding the misuse of performance cars or “...at the very least,” he said, “let’ not make them so easy to steal...” This was in reply to a reporter who brought up the recent surge of car thefts through the use of counterfeit key fobs.
Another reporter asked if there’s any video of the shooting and Chief White confirmed there is, however, it’s being used in the investigation so it remains unreleased. There was no body camera footage at all, because according to police, the shooting officer’s body camera became dislodged during the collision, per Chief White. All of the other cameras at the disposal of the police were not on.This is consistent with the DPD’s policy for undercover surveillance.
Two of the officers involved in the fatal shooting have been placed on administrative leave.