By James Felton and James Paxson
FLINT, Michigan (WNEM) — Former Flint City Council President Eric Mays was escorted out of Monday night’s meeting in handcuffs.
“The only way I’ll leave out of this seat is if I’m handcuffed and arrested. And that’s exactly what happened. I was handcuffed and arrested,” Mays said.
Mays spent a little time in police custody Monday night. He was asked to be excused from a committee meeting. He was excused. A short time later, Mays came back.
Fellow council members thought he was done for the night. Mays did not. So the council voted to remove him from the meeting saying members cannot go to and from meetings as they please. Eventually, Mays was escorted out in handcuffs.
“I believe strongly, it was politically motivated. I think you’ll see a bunch of these shenanigans go on between now and August,” Mays said.
Mays is running for mayor, but council members scoffed at the notion his mayoral run had anything to do with him being sent out.
“I don’t even care that you’re running. But what you are doing is running our nerves into the ground,” one councilperson said.
“If you approve his behavior, if you agree with this, then you are not involved with moving the city forward,” another councilperson said.
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it an arrest if a person requests that a police officer put the handcuffs on them,” City Council Vice President Allie Herkenroder said.
Herkenroder said Mays is hampering the council’s ability to do its work for the residents of Flint.
“I think it’s quite telling who’s there to do the work of the people and who’s there to do the work for themselves. And I think that the remainder of our city and our community is going to see that,” Herkenroder said.
She said after Mays’ departure, council had a productive meeting addressing issues like crime and gun violence prevention, and a cancer cluster study.
“We were able to get all of that conversation done because we were able to treat each other with respect and dignity even though we all did not agree,” Herkenroder said.
For his part, Mays plans to be back at the next meeting.
“The council and the police department will be embarrassed for the decisions that they made last night. I’m very confident in that,” Mays said.
Mays is running against former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and current Mayor Shelden Neeley for mayor. The top two vote-getters in the Aug. 2 primary will advance to the general election on Nov. 8.
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