EASTPOINTE, Mich. (WXYZ) — A heated debate between Eastpointe’s mayor and residents at a city council meeting this week has some saying their first amendment rights aren’t being respected.
The meeting took place on Wednesday and as important background, the city’s mayor is currently seeking a personal protection order against one of the city council members for an alleged assault this past June.
In a video posted on the city's Youtube channel, Mayor Monique Owens can be seen having heated disputes with three Eastpointe residents. Each resident told 7 Action News they attended the meeting to speak on behalf of the character of the council member Mayor Owens is seeking a PPO against, Harvey Curley.
Here’s how Wednesday’s city council meeting went.
“I’m here in support of councilmen Curley,” said Doraine Chandler, Eastpointe resident, at Wednesday’s meeting.
The mayor interrupted Chandler.
“Okay, you know what, I’m going to stop you right there, or we’re going to stop the council meeting because I’m not going to let you speak on something that has to do with the police,” said Monique Owens, mayor of Eastpointe, while interjecting.
“You don’t even know what I was going to say,” Chandler retorted.
“I’m gonna have a point of order and I’m gonna talk over you, this is gonna be one of those meetings ya’ll never seen before. You’re not gonna respect people that have things going on,” Owens said.
“What is the city council for if she can’t go in front of the city council?” said Wendy Hill, Eastpointe resident.
“She can't talk about public things?” a council member asked Mayor Owens.
“She can talk about public things but I’m giving her a warning just like we have always given people warnings before they spoke on things,” the mayor responded.
“That’s inappropriate,” said the council member.
The council meeting comes months after Mayor Owens filed the PPO against Curley who can be seen in the video sitting next to her. In the PPO, Owen’s claims the request stems from an incident during the Cruisin’ Gratiot event on June 18 where Curley, she said, assaulted her during the opening ceremonies.
The PPO is still pending.
7 Action News reached out to Mayor Owens, council members and residents to meet and share their perspective of what happened. Everyone responded, except Mayor Owens, who stopped replying to requests for an interview.
“Her actions were deplorable and had nothing to do with her filing a PPO or an assault charge,” said Harvey Curley, Eastpointe City Council member.
“The public can still come out and they can scrutinize us all they want, that’s part of the position,” said Sarah Lucido, Eastpointe City Council member.
7 Action News showed the video of the meeting to several Eastpointe residents.
“Oh man, she’s in a tight situation I’d say,” a resident said.
The infamous meeting lasted for about 14 minutes before city council members walked out.
If you’d like to watch the full meeting, click this link www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP8LOa0VIwY.