Newly-released police footage shows a Republican borough councilman in New Jersey told a passenger in his car he "forgot about the weed" as he was being arrested.
The Asbury Park Press reported video of Neptune City councilman Robert T. Merriken's early April arrest shows the man's pants are unbuckled and unzipped while officers lead them to their cruiser. The officers tell Merriken they found a hypodermic needle in his vehicle, and at one point he informs them that he's a "major figure" in the town whose population is less than 5,000 people.
Police didn't find any drugs when they arrested him. They did, however, find a "syringe, a small rubber band, cotton swabs with blood and a needle cap," and records indicate he was arrested on two counts of drug paraphernalia possession.
At one point in the 15 minute-long dashboard and body camera footage, the camera picks up a conversation between Merriken and his female passenger, Cherice M. Hernandez, who he refers to as his "darling."
"I told them all I do is help you out, and they said they were going to ask you if you were a prostitute," the councilman who was once arrested on prostitution charges told his apparent paramour.
“I am not a prostitute,” Hernandez replied.
“I know you’re not,” he said.
Later, Hernandez asks Merriken if he brought the cannabis, to which he replied he "forgot about the weed."
Merriken made local headlines for not only failing to attend council meetings immediately following his arrest, but also saying he would resign and then changing his mind. Four of the five Republicans on the Neptune City borough council have called on him to resign.
You can watch part of Merriken's arrest below: