Councilman found passed out in car with crack pipe, police say

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 1:31 PM CDT
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CRANSTON, R. I. (WJAR) – Pressure is growing for a Rhode Island city councilman to resign after police released body camera video showing him passed out in his car with a crack pipe in his hand.

The video from the Cranston Police Department shows Councilman Matthew Reilly passed out cold in his car on Monday afternoon.

After a few shakes from officers, he jolts awake.

An officer in the video can be heard telling Reilly he was choking in his sleep, and that someone had reported it.

Reilly told them he had sleep apnea, and the officers then pointed out the crack pipe in his hands.

Following the incident, Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins joined the city council president and the Cranston Democratic committee in publicly calling for Reilly’s resignation from city council Ward Six.

“I feel that’s in the best interest of the city, his constituents, I also feel that personally, it’s in his best interest for him, for his family’s privacy and for the constituents of Ward Six,” Hopkins said.

In the body cam video, Reilly can be heard asking if he’s going to be arrested.

After Reilly told officers there were no drugs in his car, the officers said they found crack laced with fentanyl along with other drug paraphernalia while searching his car.

Reilly allegedly told police he had had a relapse after being clean for 13 years, and that he’d been through a bad divorce.

He’s now going through the judicial system.

Hopkins said Reilly has brought up his struggles with addiction in past city council meetings.

“Unfortunately based on what I’m finding, he’s had a relapse and it looks like he’s going to go back,” Hopkins said. “I think he may have started to go to some rehab programs immediately, and that was my suggestion.”

Hopkins said Reilly did agree to step down from his position as chairman of the city Republican party.