Supervisor disciplined after alcohol found in traffic stop

Supervisor to be disciplined after cup of alcohol, smoked joint found in Cushingberry's car

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(WJBK) -

Detroit police have completed their preliminary investigation into a traffic stop involving city councilman George Cushingberry Jr. Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the findings suggest Cushingberry may have received preferential treatment.


 - Cushingberry pulled into oncoming traffic and failed to signal and, in doing so, cut off the path of the marked police unit as he was leaving the Penthouse Lounge.

 - As the officers exited their police vehicle and began to approach, Cushingberry began to drive a short distance.

 - As the officers requested Cushingberry's driver's license, he attempted to turn on the vehicle. An officer reached in and recovered the keys.

 - The councilman was uncooperative during that encounter, and he did mention his status as a council person by showing his ID. No driver's license was shown nor was any proof of insurance shown.

 - Cushingberry's vehicle registration was expired by one day.  

 - A strong odor of marijuana was present.

 - An empty alcohol bottle was present.

 - A half-filled cup of alcohol was present.

 - A smoked marijuana cigarette was present on the center console.

 - Cushingberry's passenger in the vehicle had four marijuana cigarettes on his person.

 - Six officers responded to the scene before the sergeant arrived. Upon his arrival, he directed four officers to leave.
 - Cushingberry acknowledged having one drink at dinner.

"The magnitude, when you talk about smelling marijuana emanating from the vehicle, a half-filled cup of alcohol, unregistered vehicle, no evidence of driver's license on your person, the question that your viewers and listeners would have is - if I were stopped, would I be treated the same way? And certainly, there's a great likelihood, certainly with the enforcement posture of this department as it relates today, that some action would have been taken," Chief Craig says. He adds, "Certainly, when you look at the totality, when you look at the public safety issues, when you look at the violations, it tends to suggest that the councilman was given preferential treatment."

The responding supervisor, who let Cushingberry go with a ticket, will be disciplined. Craig says the investigation is still pending to determine what that disciplinary action will be.

Craig adds no additional charges will be initiated against the councilman. No evidence was kept.

The findings have been reported to the city's inspector general.

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