DETROIT — Dearborn resident Ray Fayad has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District, accusing police officers of targeting him because he’s Arab American and illegally raiding his business and seizing his property.
Fayad filed the lawsuit in December, naming the cities of Highland Park, Ecorse and Hamtramck as defendants, as well as their police chiefs, officers and a confidential informant who works with Highland Park police, according to the court records.
In the suit, it is claimed that on January 8, 2016, officers “fabricated probable cause in order to conduct a raid on (Fayad’s) business…(the officers) not only raided the property under false pretenses, but they stripped the property of dozens of whole vehicles, hundreds of major auto parts…expensive machinery and tools, as well as other property.”
They also raided Fayad’s home in Dearborn “in order to create the illusion of a legitimate law enforcement action, even though (Fayad) had committed no crime,” according to the suit.
“(The) officers’ conduct deliberately damaged (Fayad), in part due to his Arab national origin,” the lawsuit alleges.
Fayad is the owner of Rock Auto Depot in Belleville, while the police officers named in the suit were members of the COBRA auto theft task force that included cops from multiple cities.
The task forced disbanded last year due to a lack of funding.
Two of the defendants have been accused in previous lawsuits of calling Arab Americans slurs, the News report said. They are Hamtramck Officer Michael Stout and Highland Park Cpl. James McMahon.
Previously, two lawsuits ended in settlements by Highland Park and Hamtramck for more than $500,000. Another officer, Ronald Dupris, was fired from Hamtramck Police for firing a Taser at a colleague after an argument, and was reprimanded for assaulting a mentally handicapped man while working for the Southgate Police. It is claimed in the lawsuit that the Fouth and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution were violated by raiding Fayad’s home and shop without cause.
The raid took place on Jan. 8, 2016 at his business, after which 90 vehicles, transmissions, tires and other auto parts and tools were taken. His home was raided later than day and he was held for three days “without being arraigned, nor informed of the (basis) for his arrest,” The Detroit News report said, where mistreatment allegedly occurred in a Hamtramck jail.
The matter has still not been resolved, the suit states.
“Despite repeated requests and attempts to reclaim his wrongfully seized property, (Fayad) remains deprived of his business and personal property, removed and detained by these defendant officers without any due process, said deprivation arising pursuant to the customs, policies and practices of…Ecorse, Hamtramck and Highland Park.”
Fayad and his attorney William Goodman are seeking unnamed damages.