Short Take: For The Children, Any Source Will Do

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.

14 thoughts on “Short Take: For The Children, Any Source Will Do

  1. DaveL

    mysterious heroin-addicted woman in a local hospital said she and several underage girls had been held against their will and forced into prostitution

    So a heroin addict walked into the ER on her own and started spontaneously spinning a tale of being a victim of human trafficking, prompting staff to call the police to investigate?

    Or was it something more like, a heroin addict was caught with heroin on her by police, brought to the hospital following arrest, and subsequently had the screws put to her to turn informant or else face life plus cancer?

    1. SHG Post author

      Or it was whatever it was, given the limited information we have and the sanity not to indulge in baseless delusions. Take your pick.

  2. John Barleycorn

    Kids are short. “Short Take”?


    Come on help a guy out…

    What’s up this Short Take Contagion that is infecting so many of your otherwise plafully cogent and consise headlines as of late?

    You been reading fashion magazines or hanging out in dental offices lately and reading too many copies of Highlights Magizine or what?

    1. Rachel M.

      Possibly our fearless author has a new found “interest”, as you could say, in the “taking” of the “short”…

      Jokes aside I can hardly tell the difference in length. Possibly that’s more of a reflection on me than SHG.

      Who can tell?

      1. John Barleycorn

        He’s up to something! I just don’t know what it is yet…

        I notice he slipped in the “Open Thread” deal too. I must say, I am not pleased with his acceptance of the glib-header-“qualifiers” in this regard.

        But I reckon he ain’t too pleased with all the deleting of angst and folly he has had clean up, that I have been splashing his way on the night shift into his comment section while on the midnight patrol duty lately either.

        But something is definitely up…

        Its a tough call!

        Definitely John Barry, I thinks though. But whether to go with Science Fiction from Midnight Cowboy or Bond is a tough call.

          1. John Barleycorn

            I did not.

            RIP John, but have a roll tonight John.

            Give the esteemed one a kick in his dreams tonight to the rhythm and beat of the “theatric”.

            You are a fortunate man esteemed one, adds even more flavor to your character. Not an odd combination, if you think about it, you and John.

            Would love to hear some stories. If I had known, I would have been writing John a few letters about a SJ soundtrack back when you got this here SJ project started years ago.


          2. John Barleycorn


            If I were to start digging around in your archives, just imagine the calluses your delete digit, might develop.

            Oddly spooky relevant post from the past.


            RIP John!

            P.S. I hadn’t noticed the addition of the, CROSS: THE ARCHIVE until I had reason to take a stroll. NICE! You got more class and sense than you sometimes let on.

            You audience has too many scaredy-cats still to blossom the back pages of many of those posts. What can I say? I am polite or I would have already kicked that party off.

            P.S. If you were wild and crazy, you would open the back pages archive to additions … Just think how much “fun” could be had…

  3. Scott Jacobs

    “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. “But next time, if the family could have a beloved pet dog – maybe even a service animal – that we could shoot, that would be great…”

  4. James L. Smith

    “Kill them all,” said the bishop on hearing of the capture of the city half Christian and half heretics, “for the lord knoweth them that are his.”

  5. Billy Bob

    The cops were right as rain: Maria Navarete has no rights. She never had any rights. What was she thinking? It’s a Constituitional Crisis par excellence. Not since Nixon Agonistes have we seen such abuses of power against the hoi polloi, the downtrodden and those merely attempting to get thru life without making waves (and/or getting arrested for crimes committed by no one.) The Bill of Rights today are merely an apostrophe, an asterisk for an enlightenment dream gone awry. You have the right to remain silent; anything–and EVERYTHING–you say can, and will, be used against you!

    The Founding Fathers were so well-intentioned. Unfortunately for their progeny and those who fell for promised-land claptrap, and came here unwittingly thinking the roads were paved with gold,… well, you can fill in the rest. Some made it, and others made it to prison, or got unceremoniously excommunicated.
    Yea, we like E.N. Brown. She eats true grits for breakfast. And we follow her on Twitter, which is more than we can say for the Prez.

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