At Reason, Elizabeth Nolan Brown describes the execution of the “Human Trafficking” warrant:
“Everybody’s like, ‘Don’t move, don’t move or we’ll shoot you,'” Noel Navarete told local 4 News. His brother Isaias, 18, said he was in the bathroom when police kicked down the door.
According to family matriarch Maria Navarete, police told her to “shut up, you have no rights” when she asked what was happening. She claims police never showed her or anyone in the household a warrant.
Nothing surprising there, as being polite and gracious in the exercise of brute force isn’t part of the deal. And when the crime underlying the warrant is “human trafficking,” one of those phrases that catches in a person’s throat because it sounds so horrifying, who can blame the cops for not being genteel in their actions. Even if the people who are on the business end of their force are the children they’re there to save.
One of the teens was the family’s 13-year-old daughter, who lived there. She wound up face-down and handcuffed on the floor, along with the rest of her family, after cops cut through a locked gate outside the southwest Detroit home and entered with their guns drawn.
Had this 13-year-old, who had yet to take driver’s ed and had no reason to understand why a cop might be pointing his gun at her, not been sufficiently compliant, would he have blown her head off? Well, would anyone want a cop to feel threatened by the child?
As has been noted over and over, in furtherance of laws to save society from all evils, there is always a potential for death, for harm, as the cops have only their guns to compel people to do as they say. When it’s some petty offense, like non-payment of a traffic ticket, it seems like crushing overkill. But when it’s “human trafficking,” surely it’s worth the risk of killing the child you’re there to save. After all, what could be worse?
Then again, what made this raid for human trafficking necessary? The police explained, even apologized, after they realized that it was all a silly mistake.
Police apologized, explaining that a mysterious heroin-addicted woman in a local hospital said she and several underage girls had been held against their will and forced into prostitution; the woman (visually) identified the Navarete’s place as where it went down. That night, police began observing the house, soon witnessing two girls get dropped off by an SUV and go inside. Apparently, that was enough warrant a furtive middle-of-then-night raid on the place.
The confluence of two things, a “mysterious heroin-addicted woman” had delusions which were confirmed by two girls going into the house. Because what are the chances that two girls might go into a house? Unless they lived there. Or one did and the other was a friend coming over. Or some combination of a million perfectly normal young girl-type activities that had absolutely nothing to do with human trafficking.
But the cops had human trafficking on their mind, because the mysterious heroin-addicted woman put it there, and wasn’t that reason enough to point a gun at a 13-year-old girl? Someone has to protect the children by potentially killing them.
“Everything that we did, I would see the officers executing the exact same way if we had to go again,” Assistant Police Chief Arnold Williams told 4 News. He said the investigation into potential human-trafficking rings nearby was ongoing.
After all, it was a totally successful raid. No cop was harmed.