Newly released police bodycam video footage details the moments when officers arrested a Rhode Island city councilman after he was discovered in an incapacitated state inside of his vehicle with a crackpipe in his hand, another example of America’s mental health crisis, especially when it comes to drug addiction.
On Monday, Cranston police responded to a call from a passerby who alerted them that there was a man who may have been having a medical issue inside of a parked car and found Cranston City Councilman Matthew Reilly wearing sunglasses and passed out in the driver’s seat with his mouth wide open and his head back, a search of the vehicle would turn up cocaine and fentanyl as well as drug paraphernalia in his possession.
“You have a crack pipe in your hands,” an officer is heard telling the 41-year-old public official after he was rousted from his drug-induced slumber with the footage showing Reilly trying to explain away the situation as an episode of sleep apnea before he is handcuffed and arrested after being given a medical evaluation by EMTs who also responded to the scene.
“You were literally choking in your sleep,” an officer said. “Somebody literally sprinted and flagged me down because they thought you were choking.”
Cranston police release body cam footage from arrest of City Council member Matthew Reilly
See full video: https://t.co/snsMGa3NOM pic.twitter.com/En5te2zHqt
— NBC 10 WJAR (@NBC10) May 17, 2023
Reilly, the chairman of the Cranston Republican Party initially denied having illegal drugs in his vehicle but allegedly later fessed up to buying $100 worth of crack cocaine the previous day. He was polite during the encounter with the police with whom he cooperated without incident.
“It was a relapse,” he reportedly told police. “I’ve been clean for 13 years.”
“I just got back into this,” Reilly added.
Police said that they discovered a “white, rock-like substance” inside of a container in the vehicle’s center console, the substance tested positive for cocaine and fentanyl. Also found were crack smoking accessories including another pipe, a scouring pad, and tools used for scraping and prepping the pipe, according to the police report.
(Video: YouTube/Law&Crime Network)
Reilly, who was charged with the possession of a Schedule 2 narcotic has resigned from the Cranston City Council with Cranston Mayor Kenneth Hopkins making the announcement on Thursday.
“Early this morning my office assisted Matt Reilly and filed his letter of resignation from the Cranston City Council as the Ward Six councilmember. Matt made the right decision to step down so that he can focus his full attention on his well-being and young family,” the mayor said in a statement to Providence NBC affiliate WJAR.
“With this action, a difficult week for our city has closure and it allows our local government leaders to focus on their responsibilities and mission to proceed without the distraction of this unfortunate personal matter for one of our councilmembers,” the mayor said. “Upon reflection, Matt Reilly chose to put the interests of his constituents above his political interests.”
On Tuesday, Reilly also resigned as chairman of the Cranston Republican Party,” according to Fox News.
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