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Cush: Not at the strip club

George Cushingberry

George Cushingberry

Reports of traffic stop inaccurate

DETROIT — Newly elected Council Pro Tem George Cushingberry says the media has it wrong. On Jan. 9, Channel 4 WDIV reported Cushingberry almost hit a police car when leaving the Starvin Marvin strip club Jan. 7 on the city’s east side. That club closed down months ago.

The Detroit News reported it was the Starvin Marvin strip club on the west side, located on Livernois.  Some reports placed The Cush, as he unabashedly refers to himself, at the Penthouse Gentleman’s Club on Eight Mile Rd.

Cushingberry, who began his first week of work Jan. 6, was actually leaving the Penthouse Lounge on Livernois and Joy Road. The lounge is not a strip club but a bar/lounge.

In an interview with WDIV, Cushingberry told the reporter he’d used that location plenty of times during his campaign for council.

News reports stated Cushingberry had an open bottle of alcohol in his vehicle. According to Cushingberry the bottle was “not open.”

“There was no open intox,” Cushingberry told the Michigan Citizen. “The bottle was closed and empty.”

It was in the back seat he said, from a week ago.

Cushingberry said the smell of marijuana came from his friend, a passenger in the car, who is a medical marijuana patient.

“Look at how they’ve embellished,” he said, “by making people believe I had marijuana.”

Cushingberry said “to add insult to injury,” the reports stated he led the police on a chase.

“They said I was trying to get away. Can you imagine that in that weather in my old ’93 Buick.”

Jan. 7 was a night of subzero temperatures and city was still recovering from a record snowfall.  Many streets had not been plowed.

Cushingberry says he was racially profiled.

“I haven’t been treated like that since when the police used to throw us on the ground routinely,” says Cushingberry, referring to the time of DPD’s STRESS unit.

He added that he believes he’s also being targeted by media because of the comments he made earlier this week and the “fundamental change,” he and other council members have been talking about making.

“We used to call it Black political lynching,” he said. “It’s in retaliation for telling (local media) to ‘go to hell,” after a negative editorial calling him an obstructionist.

Cushingberry was released with a citation by a DPD supervisor because the bottle wasn’t open and he was not in possession of marijuana, he said.

Police Chief James Craig said in an interview that his officers did nothing wrong. However, the supervisor who let Cushingberry go with a citation is being investigated internally.

The City of Detroit Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced Jan. 10 that is has opened an investigation into Cushingberry’s conduct in regard to his interaction with Detroit Police Officers on that night.

“Upon conclusion of the investigation results will be shared with the Mayor’s Office, City Council, Emergency Manager, and the public,” according to the media release.

No retractions have been made, but earlier reports can no longer be found online.

— Staff report

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