Two troopers suspended in “death race” scandal
Two state troopers have been suspended and one commander has been transferred from his substation in the wake of a revelation about an unauthorized police escort on the New Jersey turnpike. We discussed the available details about this event in our previous post, and new information has emerged since.
Most significantly, the New Jersey Star-Leger has posted a video that was filmed in 2010 of a similar police escort. In the video there are two visible squad cars escorting a long line of luxury sports cars down the highway at high speeds. Two men filmed the event as long as their regular car was able to keep up.
The video suggests that this was an ongoing practice of either the police department or of several officers acting on their own. One of the officers who was suspended told reporters that New York Giants player Brandon Jacobs had requested the police escort. Jacobs is confirmed to have been in Atlantic City on the day of the caravan and has been a rumored participant in the event.
Governor Christie called the caravan a “dumb thing to do” and that the people who made this mistake will be held accountable and that the state is lucky that no one was injured. The investigation is ongoing.
If someone had been injured in this event, there would have been some significant liability issues for the officers and the state. Conducting an event of this nature without better safety precautions would likely be considered reckless and wanton behavior.
Source: New Jersey Star Leger, “Second N.J. trooper suspended amid high-speed caravan investigation,” Chistopher Baxter, April 23, 2012.