A Thursday meeting of the Detroit Police Board of Commissioners devolved into chaos when Commissioner Willie Burton was ordered off the premises and dragged out in handcuffs for behaving “out of order.”
Dramatic clips from the meeting showed the moment Burton was arrested by several Detroit police officers after Chairwoman Lisa Carter called for his removal.
According to FOX 2 Detroit, tempers flared when Burton pressed Carter on the issue of facial recognition cameras in the city and their use by police, a heated exchange in which Burton demanded to know what Carter would do differently from ex-chairman, Willie Bell. Angered by the interruption, the chairwoman repeatedly deemed Burton out of order for going over his 2-minute speaking limit, before finally ordering police to escort him out.
“Please remove commissioner Burton so that we can have an orderly meeting,” Carter says in the video. “Assistant chief, would you please remove him from the table?”
Things got heated tonight at the. detroit Police Commissioners meeting. Commissioner Willie Burton arrested after the Chair asked him to be removed. pic.twitter.com/ynuw0OPeEQ— ALAN CAMPBELL (@AlanCampbellTV) July 12, 2019
“If you throw me out of office, you are disenfranchising 100,000 voters in the 5th District, do not touch me,” Burton yelled as he was arrested, later ordering officers to “get your hands off me!”
“Don’t touch me!” he continued. “You don’t have permission to touch me.”
Burton was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, but was quickly released from jail after a fellow commissioner paid his $100 bond. He’s expected in court later this month, according to the station.
Members in the crowd chanted “let him go!” as the commissioner was taken by police.
“I put my hands up and they grabbed me from behind and pulled me out of my seat like I was being criminalized like a criminal that I am not,” Burton told FOX 2 Detroit from the back of a squad car.
Several masked demonstrators attended the meeting to protest the use of facial recognition software, which critics have decried as an infringement on privacy rights and invitation for police to target everyday people, particularly minorities.
On Tuesday, the Massachusetts-based nonprofit Fight for the Future launched a campaign calling for a complete federal ban on facial recognition technology, highlighting its potential for bias and other issues.
Many on the Detroit police board reportedly are in support of using the facial recognition cameras, however the vote to have them installed has since been postponed.
Watch more in the video below.