Councilmembers speak out after Cushingberry traffic stop - KMSP-TV

Councilmembers speak out after Cushingberry traffic stop

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(WJBK) -

Detroit City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr. did not talk to the media during Friday's council session but he did address his fellow council members and apologized to them for an incident he calls "driving while black."

Cushingberry believes he was a victim of racial profiling when police stopped him Tuesday night. During the traffic stop an open container of alcohol and marijuana were found inside the car. Cushingberry was ticketed for failing to use a turn signal and then released. He has admitted a strong smell of marijuana was present, but he attributes it to the second passenger in the vehicle who has a medical marijuana card. He also says an empty rum bottle was from an old party.

The Detroit City Council has the authority to vote and remove Cushingberry from his position if they believe he is no longer fit to be president pro tem. Fox 2's Alexis Wiley asked Council President Brenda Jones if the council was considering taking this action. Jones responded, "Why are we considering to have anyone removed for a ticket?"

Other council members shared their thoughts on the situation.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch the report from Alexis Wiley

"I think that making sure that we're all doing things that are above reproach and that don't even give the appearance of some kind of wrongdoing is really important, especially right now," said Saunteel Jenkins.

"You've just got to be sure that you keep in mind that you represent the community, and it's not you representing yourself," said James Tate.

Police Chief James Craig has addressed Cushingberry's concerns of racial profiling, saying one of the officers involved in the traffic stop was black. Craig has ordered an internal investigation of the actions of a police supervisor who released Cushingberry. The city's inspector general is also investigating Cushingberry's conduct during the traffic stop.

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