Detroit Woman Steals Police Car: The Body Cam Footage

Just after 11 am on July 5, 2019, Destiny Talora Hawkins stole a fully marked Ferndale Police Department cruiser and went for a joyride, later telling officers that she “just wanted to have some fun.” According to the police car’s event data recorder, Hawkins’ joyride hit speeds of 100 mph in a 35 mph zone and 92 in a 25 zone. Her adventure was cut short by an 80+ mph encounter with the rear end of a GMC Yukon at the intersection of 7 Mile and Stoepel in Detroit.

This is the body-worn camera footage you have been patiently waiting for.

*A couple of people asked how insurance works for government vehicles. The City of Ferndale self-insures its police cars.


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Author: rafael.nieves


27 thoughts on “Detroit Woman Steals Police Car: The Body Cam Footage

  1. 0:00
    13:17 "He just got in your cop car"
    17:55 Officer John Heath's body camera, immediately before the crash
    18:28 GTFO[of the car]!
    20:07 “Do you know how many people you just put in danger doing this?" Yeah.
    20:23 Officer Justin Harwood's body camera, immediately before the crash
    21:06 “Are you okay?" Yeah, I'm okay, I'm okay. "Get the fuck out of the car now!"
    31:35 An officer who is apparently deaf shows up.
    37:35 Watch your volume for a moment. Sorry about that 🙂
    37:55 “The AVL wasn't worth a shit." (AVL stands for "Automatic Vehicle Location")

    Make note of the involved Prius at 32:58, paying particular attention to the rear end damage it received. The driver of the Prius was forced to swerve in order to [narrowly] avoid a head-on collision with the gold GMC Yukon that Hawkins struck. Dash camera footage from the Prius is available now on Patreon, and will be available here tomorrow. The footage is pretty wild.

    One more thing that you may find interesting (even though it happens all the time): As you may be aware, I posted the police dash camera footage from this incident five days ago. A comment on that video stated that Ferndale Police Department doesn't release unedited body camera footage to their local media, a claim that I have little trouble believing given my experience obtaining this content. When I initially received the dash camera footage you saw last week, the raw files were accompanied by a form letter titled "Notice of Denial of FOIA Request." The letter was a denial-in-full of the body-worn camera footage portion of my request, citing as authority Michigan's "Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Privacy Act." Fortunately and unfortunately, I am used to denial letters. After discussions with the city attorney the police department eventually came around, and I am glad to be able to share this footage with you today.

    I intend to write more about the mechanics of this particular request on Patreon, but I want to share my main point more publicly as it is essential for success in fighting for access to public records: If you regularly pursue law enforcement records you are going to get denied. A lot. It is critical to understand that denial is not the end of the game. It's the start of the next level. Many requestors give up in the face of denial letters (which is often their purpose) but if you are going to obtain the records you are seeking you can't throw in the towel there. As is evidenced by the videos you see here, level two can be won.


  2. How did this ignorant police force not see that the first guy was playing this cop till she jumped into his car he gave the one sec finger to her as she was taking off in it hilarious stuff piggy pie

  3. The older lady in peach at the bus stop just had to get involved. She took charge of the situation including letting the officer know what charges should be filed and where to locate the stolen vehicle. Thank God she was there or they wouldn’t have known what to do! 😂

  4. The cop is the one who endangered others by leaving his vehicle either running or with the keys in it, in a crime ridden city like Detroit of all places. The gal who stole his car was obviously a simple minded ninny like most of the residents of Detroit.

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