Insufficient evidence to prove Cushingberry abused his authority - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Another ruling cites insufficient evidence to prove George Cushingberrry abused his authority

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By M.L. ELRICK, Fox 2 Investigative Reporter

Detroit’s Inspector General just announced that there was “insufficient evidence to conclude that Detroit City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry abused his authority” during a January traffic stop.

Inspector General James Heath cited conflicting accounts by police officers regarding whether Cushingberry flashed his city employee identification card or driver’s license when he was stopped, as well as a lack of video or audio recordings from the traffic stop.

Heath did recommend that the city establish guidelines for officials interacting with police on non-city business and said the police department should review its policies to avoid creating “an atmosphere of favoritism.”

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CITY OF DETROIT OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL:

DETROIT – The City of Detroit Office of Inspector General (OIG) announces the release of its report examining the January 7, 2014 traffic stop involving Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry and members of the Detroit Police Department. The OIG finds “that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that Detroit City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry abused his authority during the course of his interaction with members of the Detroit Police Department.” Additionally, the report makes two recommendations:

A. The Executive and Legislative branches should formulate guidelines which govern employees’ “non-official” interaction with law enforcement and other city personnel.

B. The Detroit Police Department should review its Notification Policy to ensure that it does not mistakenly create an atmosphere of favoritism.

The OIG worked collaboratively with the Detroit Police Department in conducting its investigation. Inspector General Heath stated that, “the thoroughness of the report was made possible in large part due to the cooperation of Police Chief Craig and Commander Thomas of the Internal Affairs Division. All parties to the incident, including Councilman Cushingberry, participated willingly in this investigation.”

The final report can be downloaded at WWW.DETOIG.ORG.



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