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Friday, August 30, 2013

NJ State Police dashboard camera shows incident with Bergen County Police

NEW JERSEY  - A confrontation between plainclothes Bergen County police officers and a uniformed New Jersey state trooper on the New Jersey Turnpike back in May was all caught on a dashboard camera.

The state trooper, who was concerned about a rash of police impersonation robberies, pulled his weapon as he investigated why the plainclothes cops in an unmarked minivan had pulled over a car on the turnpike.

What followed was a profanity-laced tirade that escalated quickly and could have ended tragically.

The video, which was obtained by, shows the state trooper arriving at the scene. With his gun unholstered, he approaches the minivan, which has its lights flashing. The Bergen County officer had pulled another vehicle over.

When the Bergen officer sees the weapon, he gets angry and the argument starts.

The trooper told the cop that because of several recent robberies involving suspects who impersonated police he was being extra cautious. But that doesn't even come close to settling this dispute.

The verbal jousting continued and a law enforcement turf war played out all while two suspects sat in that vehicle and traffic zipped by.

Things escalate when a Bergen County police sergeant arrived.

In a statement, Col. Rick Fuentes, the superintendent of the State Police, said that in light of the recent law enforcement impersonations the "trooper fully justified in approaching this stop with the utmost caution."

Bergen County Police Chief Brian Higgins said in a statement that "neither the trooper or the officers were at fault... they were all doing their jobs."

It is easy to see that keeping the peace was not a priority.

State Police has jurisdiction on highways. It is unclear why the county police officers were apparently stopping a motorist on the turnpike.

The plainclothes Bergen County officers involved were both reportedly disciplined.

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