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Rhode Island Councilman Faces Calls to Resign Following Drug Arrest

Police in Cranston, Rhode Island, released bodycam footage showing the arrest of Republican City Council member Matthew Reilly on a drug charge on Monday, May 15. Reilly is facing calls to resign from city leaders, reports said.

According to the Cranston Herald, police found Reilly asleep in his car after a passerby flagged to Officer Luis Collado that a man was possibly choking.

The video shows Collado waking Reilly, who is asleep in the driver’s seat of his car with a pipe in his hand. Collado questions Reilly, who says he had smoked crack “earlier” at his home but said he did not have drugs in the car. Reilly said he had been clean for 13 years but relapsed recently following a bad divorce.

Officers handcuff Reilly and search him before putting him in a police cruiser. Police said officers searched the vehicle and found crack cocaine and fentanyl. Reilly was taken into custody, arrested, and charged with one count of possession of schedule II narcotics, the Cranston Herald reported. He was released pending a hearing in 3rd District Court on June 15, the outlet said.

Cranston’s Mayor Ken Hopkins told local media Reilly had resigned as chairman of the Cranston Republican Party. Reilly had not resigned his Ward 6 seat as of May 18, despite calls from city leaders, reports said. Credit: Cranston Police Department via Storyful

Video Transcript

MATTHEW REILLY: --getting up for court. So I dozed off.

LUIS COLLADO: You dozed off?

MATTHEW REILLY: Yes.

LUIS COLLADO: You didn't have anything else in you?

MATTHEW REILLY: I had the [INAUDIBLE] That was it.

LUIS COLLADO: Any crack in the car?

MATTHEW REILLY: No.

LUIS COLLADO: You smoked crack?

MATTHEW REILLY: What's that?

LUIS COLLADO: You smoked the crack, is that what happened?

MATTHEW REILLY: No, no, that was much, much earlier. I was getting my hands out of my pockets, putting everything away, just trying to get everything squared away before.

LUIS COLLADO: You smoked it earlier before court?

MATTHEW REILLY: No, no earlier-- earlier, before-- it was in my pocket.

LUIS COLLADO: Earlier earlier when?

MATTHEW REILLY: I smoked earlier at my house.

LUIS COLLADO: All right, so what's your name?

MATTHEW REILLY: Matt Reilly.

LUIS COLLADO: And you're an attorney?

MATTHEW REILLY: Yes, I'm the councilman in Cranston.

LUIS COLLADO: And you're a councilman in Cranston.

MATTHEW REILLY: Yes, I am.

LUIS COLLADO: You're a councilman in Cranston smoking crack with crack on you. What do you think the constituents would say? I know what I'm going to say. But you know, I'm going to refrain from it. But--

MATTHEW REILLY: I've been clean for 13 years. I went through a really bad divorce recently. And I did relapse.

- I'm going to monitor you because you--

- I'm going to tie you down here, all right?

- You've taken in some fentanyl, Matt. And that's-- we've got to make sure you-- you may not feel it right now. But god forbid something happens to you.

MATTHEW REILLY: Yeah, no, I've never done that.

- We'd feel terrible about that, you know? I mean, you're not going to be there all day. You'll be in and out.

- I'm going to keep your wallet with me. I have your phone already. You want me to throw this stuff in the car real quick?

MATTHEW REILLY: Sure.

- All right. Just step on in here. I'll buckle you up.

- Oh wait, who's--