Caren Turner has stepped down from her position as a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the chair of its ethics committee after the agency’s inspector general launched an investigation into her behavior during a recent traffic stop.
Dashcam video of the interaction with two Tenafly, New Jersey, cops over Easter weekend on Route 9W has since gone viral.
Media outlets describe Turner as a Democratic lobbyist and public relations professional.
“Turner was appointed to the Port Authority by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. A Democrat, she had previously served on finance committees for Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine,” Fox News reported.
In what started out as a routine traffic stop in northern New Jersey, officers pulled over a vehicle in which Turner’s daughter was a passenger for a tinted front window and a partially obscured license plate. The driver apparently was unable to produce registration or insurance, prompting the cops to impound the vehicle.
When Caren Turner showed up ostensibly to pick up her daughter and her friends, she apparently played a derivation of the “do you know who I am” card by flashing a Port Authority badge, remarking that she’s a friend of the mayor and demanding to know what happened.
The lead officer responded that the operator of the car is over 18, as were the other occupants, and thus cops are under no obligation to discuss the infractions with anyone else. He added that the police report will be available on Monday.
— The Star-Ledger (@starledger) April 25, 2018
In an eight-minute sequence embedded below, she argues with the officers, including dropping an F-bomb, and also demanding that they address her as “commissioner” rather than “miss.” In the footage, she also accuses the duo of an inability to put together a complete sentence.
An attorney, Turner, 60, subsequently submitted her resignation to the Port Authority, according to an agency spokesman, Politico reported.
“The Port Authority has zero tolerance for ethics violations. This is the basis of the tough, systematic integrity reforms the Port Authority has implemented over the past year. Immediately upon learning of allegations that Commissioner Turner violated the board’s newly-enacted Code of Ethics, an inspector general investigation was begun. The investigation revealed conduct that was profoundly disturbing. After Commissioner Turner became aware of the investigation, she resigned.”
Left: Tenafly PD’s statement. Right: Caren Turner’s statement. pic.twitter.com/2pPF0CsYqG
— Matt Friedman (@MattFriedmanNJ) April 25, 2018
In a sharply-worded editorial, the Star-Ledger condemned Turner’s “boorish performance” as portrayed in the police dashcam video.
“So the cops were right to impound the car and were under no obligation to explain that to Turner, who pressed the issue to F-bomb extremes. Remarkably, the officers absorbed the rant and never flinched…The important takeaway from Turner’s meltdown was her attempt to shame the two cops because they had ‘ruined’ the Easter holiday for ‘a lot of people,’ overlooking the part that these cops were spending their own Easter weekend on the side of a road getting berated by the village idiot.”
In the aftermath of the Caren Turner incident, the New Jersey legislature is considering a measure to prohibit the issuance of badges to any government official who is uninvolved in law enforcement, which some lawmakers claim is a “potential get out of jail free trinket,” NJ.com explained.
Watch the Caren Turner interaction with Tenafly cops as well as the entire traffic stop in the dashcam videos embedded below.
Warning: Video may contain offensive language.