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Rep. David Cicilline’s Sister Let Off Hook on ‘Live PD’

Some viewers say she caught a break because of political connections

Officer Matt Moretti administers a field sobriety test to Susan Cicilline-Buonanno, sister of Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, during Friday’s broadcast of “Live PD.” (A&E)
Officer Matt Moretti administers a field sobriety test to Susan Cicilline-Buonanno, sister of Rhode Island Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, during Friday’s broadcast of “Live PD.” (A&E)

A local Rhode Island police officer let Rep. David Cicilline’s sister, Susan Cicilline-Buonanno, go home without any troubles after pulling her over and administering a sobriety test — on television.

The encounter was broadcast on A&E’s “Live PD,” a program that follows roughly six police officers from around the country as they feed delayed video to the show.

The program did not identify Cicilline-Buonanno, but some viewers quickly recognized her and her D.C. connections.

Cicilline-Buonanno could not walk a straight line at officer Matt Moretti’s direction.

But Moretti did not arrest her because he thought there was “something medically” that inhibited her from completing her sobriety test.

“Right now, I think, in my opinion, there’s something medically that she can’t walk a straight line. … I don’t think that it’s because she’s impaired, because I don’t see signs of that,” Moretti says in the video.

Instead, he called her a ride home.

“Being a drug-recognition expert and having done this for 12 years … I’m going to use my better judgment and not arrest her and get her a ride home,” Moretti says on camera.

Social media users criticized Moretti for letting Cicilline-Buonanno off the hook, claiming that he was more lenient with her because of her political connections.

Cicilline-Buonanno is the president of the Narragansett Town Council. Her brother is a Democrat, representing Rhode Island’s 1st District. 

She issued a statement Sunday vehemently denying she was drunk at the wheel.

“Friday evening, while driving home, I was asked to pull over on Route 4 by a Warwick police officer and subjected to a field sobriety test. I was very surprised and very nervous. Something like this has never happened to me before. The police officers determined that I was not impaired, which of course I knew. Still, I found the whole experience really upsetting,” Cicilline-Buonanno said. 

“I realize that people understandably hold elected officials and educators to higher standards, so I just want to emphasize that the Warwick Police allowed me to leave that evening because I was not impaired in any way. People who really know me know that I am a conscientious and responsible person. I would never operate a motor vehicle without full control of my faculties, ever,” she added. 

Watch: The Capitol Steps: Before and During Recess

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Correction 2:18 p.m. | An earlier version of this story misstated the number of congressional districts in Rhode Island. 

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