Ohio police department defends officer who didn’t cite NFL player for drugs

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ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — (WKYC) Ohio’s Rocky River Police Department is defending the actions of their officer who did not cite Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt with drug possession or open container during a traffic stop last week.

The officer pulled Hunt over for speeding, but also reported finding marijuana and an opened bottle of vodka in his car.

“I lost everything already, sir,” Kareem Hunt says in dashcam video of the traffic stop. “Just give me a traffic ticket, please.”

When the officer smelled marijuana in Hunt’s car, he searched it.

The officer reported findings small amounts of marijuana and a previously opened bottle of vodka in a backpack in the back seat.

So why wasn’t Hunt cited for open container?

“When you think of open container situation, you think typically of someone drinking alcohol in the car, and in this case he was transporting a bottle of vodka that was previously opened but at the time of the stop was closed,” explains Rocky River Police Lt. George Lichman.  

And what about the marijuana?

Lichman said his officers have not been citing people for possession of small amounts of marijuana since a recent change in the law, and denied Hunt was given preferential treatment.

This wasn’t the first time Hunt’s has been in trouble. He was suspended for parts of the past two NFL seasons for shoving and kicking a woman at The 9 Hotel in downtown Cleveland. 

He was the Kansas City Chief’s 2017-third-round-draft but was released in November 2018 after a video tape of him kicking the woman surfaced.

The NFL suspended Hunt for eight games, but in February 2019, Cleveland signed him to a one-year contract. At the end of the 2019 season, Hunt became a restricted free agent, giving the Browns an option to keep him, but that decision has not as yet been made.

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