EASTPOINTE, Mich. – A council meeting in Eastpointe escalates and ends just minutes later over a battle between the mayor and community members.
The meeting went off the rails when residents began voicing their support for councilman Harvey Curley.
The incident stems from an alleged assault back in June at Eastpointe’s Cruisin’ Gratiot between Mayor Monique Owens and Curley.
The mayor has requested a personal protection order (PPO) and it’s going through the court system. A judge is set to make a decision on the PPO request in the next couple of weeks.
Tuesday (Sept. 6) night’s city council meeting started with public comment.
“Some things need to be said, and they need to be said in person,” said the community member. “I’m here in support of Councilman Curley.”
Then the Eastpointe mayor interrupts.
“I’m going to stop you right there,” said Owens.
Curley said the back and forth came as a shock.
“It’s one thing for council people to argue or disagree with something, but it’s a thing again when you start downgrading our citizens,” said Curley.
But Owens said she was trying to bring order to the meeting. She said the first speaker was with others before the meeting, outside with signs supporting Curley.
“Knowing how that person has conducted themselves several times in meetings and outside of meetings, I wanted to just make sure before she continued to talk, which I let her, that this is how the rest of the meeting should go,” Owens said.
The city attorney, Richard S. Albright, was asked to clarify what’s allowed for public comment.
“If it’s going to get into being an issue of racial accusations or something along those lines, then certainly the mayor has the right, as controller of the meeting, to shut that down but otherwise anybody has a free reign,” said Albright.
That community member was able to continue. Then other people came up to speak, and that’s when things escalated.
“Enough is enough,” said the community member.
Owens cut the speaker off, “This is a personal matter, it’s not about criticizing.”
The two went back and forth.
Thursday, Owens said to Local 4, “I don’t think that was the place to re-victimize me, to use that as a place of mockery and I won’t let them do that to anyone.”
Council members said that’s not the point and that’s why they all walked out.
“The whole point is, the first amendment was denied to them by the mayor, and that set people off pretty badly,” Curley said.
“The only way we could end the meeting is by not having a quorum and leaving,” said Sarah Lucido.
The next city council meeting is in two weeks, and the hope from everyone Local 4 spoke to is it’s nothing like Tuesday’s meeting.
A judge is expected to make a decision on the PPO request in a couple of weeks.
To watch the full meeting, click here.