Councilwoman Mary Sheffield caught speeding, says cop was 'disrespectful'

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Police behaving badly. Motorists pulled out of their vehicles. Or worse.

Now Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield (District 5) says she was disrespected by the police officer who stopped her for going 63 mph in a 35 mph zone in Hamtramck.

But the video I undercovered raises questions about just which one of these two public servants was out of line.

In the video, Sheffield tells the officer she was on city business when he stopped her on Conant going nearly double the posted speed limit. 

He takes her driver's license, returns to his car - presumably to check her record - then returns with a citation for speeding.

That's when the councilwoman again tells him she was on city doing business while speeding through his city and tells him she feels he was disrespectful.


She never tells him why she feels he was out of line. And she provides no more details when I caught up with her.

In fact, the councilwoman declined to provide any details about her activities on the morning she was stopped. Using the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, I obtained a copy of her appointment calendar for the day in question. It says she was supposed to be at a city council committee meeting in Detroit city hall. But the councilwoman says that information was erroneous.

Sheffield also would not explain what city business would take her outside Detroit's city limits.

When we met last Friday, she summed up the incident with this comment: "I received a ticket and, just like any responsible citizen in Detroit, I went to pay the ticket and there's nothing more to it than that."

I later asked her how she believed a public official should act when interacting with a police officer.

She told me: "In any manner, the same way that any resident should conduct themself in a respectful way. And so, again, when I was pulled over, for the ticket, I paid it, and I took full responsibility, like every responsibly citizen in Detroit would do. And that's what happened."

A lawyer who has sued police across the country for misconduct disagrees with Sheffield. 

But I believe you should decide for yourself. So we've put the full traffic stop video, as well as my full interview with the councilwoman, available in the video player above.

Check it out and let me know what YOU think.   

Contact M.L. Elrick at or 248-552-5261. Follow him on Facebook on Twitter @elrick or on Instagram at "ml_elrick."