Mayor admitted to cops he campaigned door-to-door in pandemic
Linden Mayor Derek Armstead and his chief of staff were caught on police body cameras admitting that he campaigned for a council candidate door-to-door in April, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an NJ.com report.
The Democratic mayor was spotted on April 23 at the Kennedy Drive at the home of candidate João Paulo Gonçalves, and told NJ.com at the time that he was stopped by some neighbors after a meeting, the news site reports. Neighbors told NJ.com that Armstead was "harassing people" to talk.
Gov. Phil Murphy during his daily coronavirus briefing on April 7 discouraged door-to-door campaigning in favor of making phone calls or sending emails. A "stay at home" emergency order was in effect at the time that directed people to avoid unnecessary travel or gathering.
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NJ.com reported Armstead had called police after resident John Kaczor had been taking pictures of Armstead and chief of staff Alex Lospinoso. In body camera footage from that incident, officers are seen telling the mayor that Kaczor was not violating any law. The mayor told the officer “we’re not kissing any babies or shaking hands." He also told an officer, "There’s no reason for a real, formal report. Just a little incident report," and said he didn't plan to file a complaint.
Armstead has not yet responded to a message from New Jersey 101.5 seeking comment about the video.
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