'Yesterday this happened to me. Today this could happen to you,' Detroit Police Commissioner responds after his arrest at meeting

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 17:17:10-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police Commissioner Willie Burton was taken away in handcuffs Thursday night, as tempers flared during the Board of Commissioner's public meeting.

“Yesterday this happened to me. Today this could happen to you," Burton told 7 Action News Friday.

The meeting was intense from the start; many people there in masks to protest the Detroit Police Department's use of facial recognition technology.

Commission Chair Lisa Carter said it was Burton's refusal to stop speaking after his time had expired that let her to call for his removal.

“The fact that I requested for him to be removed from the table had everything to do with him being out of order and him not recognizing me as the chair," she said.

Carter was sworn in as Chair Thursday. Burton reportedly asked what she was going to do differently.

Burton was ultimately arrested for disorderly conduct. Many of the protesters there Thursday were outraged by his removal.

“When citizens voices are not being heard. When you’re an elected official, to exercise your fiduciary responsibilities and you are cut off and shut off at the mic, it’s just wrong," Burton said.

Carter feels Commissioner Burton wanted to make a scene.

“It was absolutely propaganda for the cameras. I did not know the cameras were going to be there. And I also noticed he had on a new suit," she said.

Burton said he was injured during his arrest.

While facial recognition software was not on the Board's agenda Thursday, it's sparked a lot of heated debate in Detroit.

Carter said a formal policy has yet to be decided, and that the Board of Commissioners is waiting on a final proposal from Detroit Police Chief James Craig.