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 report.

The Democratic mayor was spotted on April 23 at the Kennedy Drive at the home of candidate João Paulo Gonçalves, and told at the time that he was stopped by some neighbors after a meeting, the news site reports. Neighbors told 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.

Taking Care of Business: Wednesday at 7 p.m., Eric Scott leads a discussion on how to support businesses — and how they can keep you safe as they reopen in the pandemic. Listen on New Jersey 101.5 FM, the NJ 101.5 app or, and join the discussion in real time at 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.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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