ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Rocky River Police are defending the actions of their officer who did not cite 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.
3News investigator Rachel Polansky questioned the police department to find out why.
This is the dash-cam video of an emotional Kareem Hunt, pleading with a Rocky River police officer.
“I lost everything already, sir,” said Kareem Hunt. “Just give me a traffic ticket, please.”
When the officer smelled marijuana in Hunt’s car, he searched it.
“I'm gonna search the car, and as long as I don't find anything in the car, listen, I'm gonna give you a traffic ticket for speeding and get you out of here,” the officer told Hunt.
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,” said Lt. George Lichman, Rocky River Police.
And what about the marijuana?
“With that law change, it's now lawful to have products with up to .3% THC,” said Lt. Lichman.
So the marijuana in Hunt's car would need to be sent to a lab for testing to confirm whether or not it had more than .3% THC.
Lt. Lichman said his officers have not been citing people for possession of small amounts of marijuana since the law change.
“Do you see this as preferential treatment?” 3News Rachel Polansky asked Lt. Lichman.
“No. this is how we would do things for any other motorist that we stopped,” said Lt. Lichman.
Kareem Hunt went on to tell the officer than he's never failed a drug test in the NFL.
“Right, but if I were to call down there now and, or they send you for a test, you're probably gonna fail, right?” the officer asked Hunt.
“I mean, yes, sir. It was off-season. Sorry, I was having a good time,” Hunt told the officer.
This wasn't the first time hunt's gotten into 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.
The Browns said they were aware of the video but declined to comment.