Police grab, shove reporter trying to interview councilman in church entrance

Robby Soave Reporter
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Fox 2 news reporter M.L. Elrick isn’t happy that Detroit police prevented him from interviewing City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr. by grabbing him and shoving him against a wall — in the entrance to a church, no less.

“This is a city where police don’t come when you call, and then they go and attack you when you try to talk to a public official?” asked Elrick in an interview with Fox 2 news anchor Huel Perkins, in reference to the encounter.

Cushingberry recently became embroiled in a minor scandal when he was pulled over for reckless driving a week ago. He was with a friend, and apparently they had just left a strip club. Medical marijuana was found inside the vehicle, though the friend has a license for it. Cushingberry claimed he was racially profiled, and the incident has generated significant local interest.

Cushingberry has also been accused of financial improprieties. He plead no contest to professional misconduct, and will lose his law license for 45 days.

The councilman has repeatedly denied Elrick’s requests for interview, so the reporter decided to simply ambush him on his way to the city council meeting, which was scheduled to take place inside a community church.

Officers did not prevent Elrick from interacting with other council members, but as soon as Cushingberry arrived, Elrick was shoved out of the way of the door. Elrick said it was clear that Cushingberry had instructed the officers to take whatever steps necessary to shield him from press inquiries.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has launched a formal investigation, though he noted, “It doesn’t appear excessive force was used,” according to the Detroit News.

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