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A New Jersey police department has released a video showing a former Port Authority commissioner and ex-Hillary Clinton aide trying to use her position to threaten officers who pulled over her daughter’s friend during a traffic stop on Easter weekend.
The remarkable video released by the Tenafly Police Department shows Caren Z. Turner, 60, a Democratic Party lobbyist, flash her badge and boast of her connections to the chief of police and the local mayor while berating two officers who pulled over a car whose Nevada registration had expired.
The car was driven by a male friend of her daughter, who was a passenger in the back seat.
A New Jersey police department has released a video showing a former commissioner of a powerful government agency trying to use her position to threaten officers who pulled over her daughter’s friend during a traffic stop on Easter weekend
The video released by the Tenafly Police Department shows Caren Z. Turner, 60, a Democratic Party lobbyist, flash her badge and boast of her connections to the chief of police and the local mayor while berating two officers
The officers pulled over a car whose Nevada registration had expired. The car was driven by a male friend of her daughter, who was a passenger in the back seat
The daughter had called her mother after the vehicle was pulled over as they were driving along Route 9W in Bergen County on March 31.
The video was posted by NJ Advance Media a week after Turner abruptly resigned her position as a commissioner for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The resignation was prompted by an internal investigation into ‘profoundly disturbing conduct,’ the agency said.
The Port Authority is an interstate agency jointly run by the states of New York and New Jersey.
It oversees the half-dozen Hudson River crossings that connect New York City to the Garden State, all of the major area airports, and other sites.
Turner had served as the ethics chair of the Port Authority before her resignation.
‘The conduct was indefensible,’ a spokesperson for the agency said.
‘The board takes its recently adopted Code of Ethics for commissioners extremely seriously and was preparing to form a special committee to review the findings of the Inspector General investigation and take action at this Thursday's board meeting.
‘Commissioner Turner's resignation was appropriate given her outrageous conduct.’
The eight-minute clip recorded by Tenafly Police dash cam begins with Turner approaching two officers after they pulled over her daughter’s friend.
The officers stopped the vehicle because its front windows were tinted.
New Jersey is just one of four states that prohibits tinted windows on its front windshields and side windows - unless the driver has a medical condition that makes it necessary.
The officers also noticed that a piece of the rear license plate was slightly obstructed by a dealer-installed chrome bracket.
Anyone driving with an obscured license plate can be ticketed in New Jersey.
Officers said that the driver of the car, who has not been identified, had a valid license, but he did not have the proper registration or insurance.
Officers said that the driver of the car, who has not been identified, had a valid license, but he did not have the proper registration or insurance
During her confrontation with the officers, Turner threatens to use her connections to the Tenafly chief of police and the mayor
Police ordered a tow truck to impound the vehicle and gave the driver a summons for ‘unclear plates,’ not having the insurance card, and driving an unregistered motor vehicle.
In the video, Turner introduces herself to the officers and shows them her ID.
‘I don’t need that,’ one of the officers told her. ‘You’re just here as a ride, right?’
Turner replies: ‘No, I’m not. I’m here as a concerned citizen and friend of the mayor.
‘I’ve been living in Tenafly for 20 years. I take full responsibility for them.
‘What is the reason they were pulled over?’
The officer declines to offer her an explanation, saying: ‘The driver has all the information. He’ll tell you.’
‘No, no, no... I need to know,’ Turner says.
‘No, you don’t need to know. You are not involved here. You’re picking them up?’ one of the officers says to Turner.
‘I am involved. Trust me, I’m very involved,’ she replies.
The driver of the car is over 18 years old. ‘That’s all you need to know.’
When she pulls out her ID, the other officer says: ‘We don’t need to see credentials here.’
The ID indicates that Turner is one of the commissioners of the Port Authority.
‘I am the commissioner of the Port Authority and I am heading up over 4,000 police officers,’ she says
‘I am the commissioner of the Port Authority and I am heading up over 4,000 police officers,’ she says.
When the officer explains to Turner that the vehicle is unregistered, she asks: ‘Why were they pulled over, first of all?’
‘Miss…’ the officer says before he is cut off.
‘Don’t call me “Miss”,’ Turner says angrily. ‘I’m “Commissioner”. Thank you.’
‘Commissioner, all due respect, the driver will tell you,’ the officer says.
‘No, no, no, I need to know,’ she says.
‘The car is getting towed now,’ the officer says.
‘Why is the car getting towed?’ Turner asks the officer.
‘Go ask him,’ the officer replies.
When Turner insists on getting an answer, the officer, exasperated, tells her: ‘Miss, this does not involve you one per cent.’
Turner replies: ‘Yeah, it does.’
‘I’m picking them up and I’m offering to take responsibility for them and you can’t even tell me the charges,’ she says to the officer.
When Turner again asks why the car is being towed, the other officer says: ‘Everything has already been explained.’
Turner then mentions the fact that one of those pulled over is a ‘PhD student... attending Yale graduate school’.
‘This is impacting me,’ she says. ‘I gotta take four people on Easter Sunday back to New Haven, [Connecticut, where Yale University is located].’
One of the officers then tells her he has a ‘problem’ with ‘the way you just approached me and your demeanor.’
‘I don’t appreciate your demeanor,’ the officer tells Turner. ‘You’re being very demanding with me.’
The officer tells her ‘You have no right to know what’s going on’ and that she was welcome to read the police report.
‘That’s my daughter,’ Turner says. The officer replies that she’s a ‘backseat passenger.’
‘Your daughter has not been summonsed. This is not her vehicle. This is not your vehicle.’
Turner then threatened to use her sway with the commissioner of the Tenafly police.
At that point, one of the officers warns her to ‘take a step back’ because ‘you keep moving closer to me.’
Turner then tells the officers that she is ‘under no legal obligation to tell them what she is going to do.’
‘This is a lawful motor vehicle stop,’ the officer tells Turner. ‘You are here to pick them up. The driver has been advised of everything that’s going on.’
‘You know what? I hope you have a really nice holiday weekend because you just ruined it for a lot of people,’ she says to the officer.
Turner tells the officers she is refusing to ask the driver about the alleged violation and is instead seeking answers from them because ‘you’re the source of the accusation.’
‘I’m very disappointed in the way the two of you are acting,’
Turner was appointed commissioner last year by former Governor Chris Christie. She has served on finance committees of Hillary Clinton and former Governor Jon Corzine
‘You cannot even tell me, a mother living in Tenafly for 20 years, with two kids who went through the school system, what the problem is. And that’s shocking.’
When the officer suggests that they all move off the road due to safety reasons, she calls the officers ‘pathetic’ for ‘not being able to put a sentence together.’
‘You are a disappointment,’ she says to the other officer, who was mostly quiet as his partner tried to explain the situation to Turner.
When the officer tells her: ‘You may take [your daughter and her friends] now,’ Turner replies: ‘You may not tell me when to take my child.’
‘You may shut the f*** up and not tell me when I may take my kid and her friends who are PhD students from MIT and Yale,’ she says.
‘You may tell me nothing,’ Turner says. ‘Shame on you.
‘I will be talking to the chief of police. And I will be speaking to the mayor.’
When the officer volunteers his badge number, she says: ‘I got your name. Don’t you worry.’
The officer replies: ‘As long as you got all the information right.’
‘Have a pleasant weekend,’ the officer says.
‘You have a wonderful weekend,’ Turner replies.
Turner was appointed commissioner last year by former Governor Chris Christie.
She has served on finance committees of Hillary Clinton and former Governor Jon Corzine.
Turner has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
Her name and image have been deleted from the Port Authority web site.