The notorious Detroit PD “STRESS” Squad

Read about the notorious STRESS (“Stop the robberies enjoy safe streets”) unit of the Detroit Police Department, circa 1971) in todays Detroit Free Press. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2021/09/05/detroit-police-stress-unit-ricardo-buck-craig-mitchell/5656626001/. The unit of the then white-controlled DPD came under fire in the days before cell phone and body cameras after two black teens were shot in the back by a white officer who claimed they attacked him. Forensic evidence showed the killings could not have happened as police described. The tragic murder of these two teens marked the beginning of the end of the STRESS unit, which upon examination looked more like a murder squad that was being assisted with cursory and conclusory investigations, planting of evidence and failure to prosecute.

This is the 50th anniversary of the teens’ murders. The DPD discredited and intimidated witnesses to these 1971 murders, making them afraid to come forward publicly but their statements were found in the Homicide Bureau’s investigative file, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Detroit Under Fire website. https://policing.umhistorylabs.lsa.umich.edu/s/detroitunderfire/page/home.

DPD can find a fifty year old file when Detroit Under Fire comes knocking, but they can’t find any files whatsoever concerning a joint investigation conducted by DPD, the FBI, and other federal agencies into three to five child pornography rings operating in the Detroit area and involving “at least 100 youngsters.” The investigation spanned over several months beginning in November 1984 and focused both on adults who were filming kids engaged in sexual activities as well as adults responsible for importing “kiddie porn” into Michigan. The investigation uncovered an estimated 20 adults who participated and/or facilitated the production of these films using children ranging in age from four years old to early teens.  Why? Undigitized files, no man power to sort through their shitty warehouse filing “system,” basically–too hard to even attempt to locate.

Child porn? Child sex ring? Joint investigation with the FBI? Can’t find it. Shameful STRESS unit murder case file from 1971–oh yeah, we got it.



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