By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Three teenagers from Dearborn and Romulus have filed a lawsuit against Detroit police claiming mistreatment and false arrest during a prostitution sting in Detroit.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Hassan Abdallah and Ibrahim Bazzi, both 17 and from Dearborn, and Ali Chami, 18, of Romulus in U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Michigan Nov. 18.
Abdallah and Bazzi said they were sitting in their vehicle eating snacks in the parking lot of Caesar’s Coney Island, 15621 W. Warren Ave. in August waiting for Chami to leave work at the restaurant.
The three said they then saw a man they recognized at the CVS/pharmacy, 15640 W. Warren Ave. parking lot, waiving at him to tell him hello.
Detroit police were in the area conducting a prostitution sting with an undercover prostitute outside the restaurant.
Officers accused the teenagers of warning the man at the CVS not to approach the undercover prostitute, according to the lawsuit.
Next, the teens said, police arrested the three, and searched and towed Abdallah’s vehicle for the alleged interference.
In the lawsuit, the teenagers claim that police officers drove them away from the restaurant at a high rate of speed without sirens or emergency lights.
Instead of taking the teenagers to the police station to be picked up by their parents, the lawsuits states that six police officers dropped them off at Tireman and Abington in Detroit. They were told to walk home to Dearborn instead.
The lawsuit names Michael Carson, Ibrahim Abdul-Hamid, Jordan Leavy and Joseph Machon, as the Detroit police officers as well as two others also involved who were not named.
Bazzi also claims that one of the officers shared a photo of him in handcuffs via the social media application Snapchat during the arrest.
The three teenagers were initially charged for interfering with police activity, but the charges were later dismissed.
Amir Makled, one of the attorneys representing the teens, said that even if the teenagers were stopping a prostitution incident that wasn’t a negative act.
“The teenagers are good students who have college and a future ahead of them,” he said. “Their treatment they received by police was uncalled for.”
The Detroit Police Department declined to comment because the investigation and lawsuit are ongoing.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])