Detroit Councilman Apologizes for ‘Driving While Black’ Incident

“It’s unfortunate we still have these types of incidents in our city,” George Cushingberry told fellow lawmakers Friday.

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Snapshot 2014-01-11 09-43-19

Detroit Councilman George Cushingberry

ABC 7 screenshot

Detroit Councilman George Cushingberry was back at work Friday and apologized to his colleagues for what he called a “driving while black incident,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

He issued the apology after news broke Thursday that he was involved in a traffic stop involving alcohol and marijuana, the report says.

“I wanted to say to my colleagues, if any of you were embarrassed by the driving while black incident that happened to me, please forgive me,” he said at the council table of the incident that occurred earlier in the week, reports the Detroit Free Press. “It’s unfortunate we still have these types of incidents in our city.”

The council president pro tem declined to speak with reporters, he said, because he gave interviews on the incident on Thursday and because the incident is being investigated.

A former state legislator, lawyer and ordained Baptist minister, Cushingberry told the Detroit Free Press Thursday night that he was mistreated by two white police officers during a traffic stop Tuesday, which ended in a citation for not using his turn signal.

In response to reports by some news outlets that he was driving with marijuana and an open intoxicant in his car, he explained said that when he was stopped, he had an empty rum bottle, left over from a party about a week earlier, in his backseat, and a passenger who is a medical marijuana patient and caregiver who had marijuana on him, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Further, he said that he had one shot of rum with dinner at the nearby Penthouse Lounge, which he characterized as a neighborhood eatery and not a strip club as some media had reported, the Detroit Free Press reports. He said the officers did not check to see whether he had been drinking.

“It was obvious that I wasn’t drunk because he didn’t give me any field sobriety,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

Read more at the Detroit Free Press.

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