Councilman George Cushingberry refuses to talk with the media, but he and his staff have spent much of the day bullying Fox 2 reporter M.L. Elrick on Facebook today after he was shoved by police while trying to interview the councilman.
“Black officer vs White “Victim” routine does not fly in the City of Detroit,” read one Cushingberry post.
In another post, “We are not stuffing our jails with Black Males to make you happy.”
Cushingberry called Elrick a “prick” several times and accused the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter of assaulting one of the sergeants.
“Elrick assaulted a police officer. He must apologize to him at once!” read another post.
Cushingberry expressed anger today when Police Chief James Craig said he’s launching an internal investigation to determine whether excessive force was used. In the meantime, the head of council security was removed from his job today pending the probe, prompting Cushingberry to call for the officer’s return.
“We want Sgt. Mitchell back!”
So what does Council President Brenda Jones think of all of this?
She declined to comment earlier but later released this statement:
During last night’s Detroit City Council Community Meeting, there was an incident involving Fox2Detroit reporter M. L. Elrick and council’s executive protection unit. The exchange occurred while the unit was escorting President Pro-tem George Cushingberry to his seat after a late arrival. The reporter, while attempting to force an interview, blocked Councilman Cushingberry’s path and the unit responded by enforcing a protective space allowing the councilman to proceed to his seat.
Due to the nature of the reporter’s behavior, Sgt. Robert Mitchell, head of the unit, contacted his superiors and filed an incident report. DPD investigators were sent to the scene to gather evidence and interview witnesses. The reporter departed prior to their arrival. Councilmembers were informed during the meeting and later escorted to their vehicles without further incident.
The council appreciates the service of the trained professionals on the Executive Protection Unit who protect them everyday. The incident is under investigation.”
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.