Recently, Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry Jr. was involved in a traffic incident with the city’s police department and now Detroit’s Inspector General will investigate the matter.
Police say Cushingberry was pulled over about 10 p.m. Tuesday because he almost ran his car into officers, near Livernois and Northfield, who were in the area on an investigative detail. Cushingberry did not stop and a chase ensued.
When Cushingberry finally stopped, officers smelled marijuana and spotted an open intoxicant, police sources said.
Apparently another chase began when Cushingberry drove away again. Another car was called to help and after Cushingberry was stopped, he was belligerent and uncooperative. He then pulled out his City Council identification card.
Detroit Police chief James Craig says the officers then followed proper protocol by notifying a supervisor. The supervisor then let Cushingberry and his passenger go with a traffic ticket for failure to signal.
The two original officers were upset that the supervisor would not let them arrest Cushingberry and let police officials know, the supervisor is now under investigation.
Cushingberry has stated he was racially profiled and asked his fellow council members to forgive him if they were “embarrassed by the driving while black incident.”
According to police sources, of the original two officers who encounterd Cushingberry, one was white and one was black.
The city’s Inspector General is James Heath, the office was created in 2012 to investigate claims of waste, fraud, abuse or corruption in city government by elected and appointed officials and city employee’s.
One man’s opinion:
We are about to see if Detroit really wants to start changing it’s image or if they are going to take the same old approach.
If the police account is correct, and I believe it will prove to be in this case, then Inspector General Heath should recommend that Cushingberry be removed from office and then he should forward the case to the Michigan State Police for an independent criminal investigation.
The evidence of open intoxicants and possession of marijuana are long gone but I believe there would be enough to charge Cushingberry with fleeing and eluding, a 2-year felony.
Cushingberry’s use of the racial profiling card in this case also should infuriate African Americans. Racial profiling is used and it is wrong, but crying wolf only hurts the case to try to stop it. It is similar to a woman who falsely accuses a man of rape. She not only hurts the accused, but also all the woman who were sexually abused and are not believed. Most women abhor a false accuser like this. Cushingberry should be treated the same.
The police supervisor should also be held accountable for his actions, up to and including dismissal. When he arrived at the scene and the officers advised him of the situation, Cushingberry should have been immediately arrested and searched pursuant to that arrest. At that time there was also probable cause to search the vehicle, which under ordinary circumstances would have been done.