Former Port Authority commissioner apologizes for tirade at New Jersey traffic stop

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Thursday, April 26, 2018
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An ex-Port Authority official apologized for her conduct at a traffic stop.

TENAFLY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A former Port Authority commissioner has issued a response after she was seen on video berating police officers during a traffic stop in New Jersey.

Caren Turner was trying to intervene after police pulled over a car in which her daughter was a passenger in Tenafly.

Turner resigned last week after her profanity-laced confrontation captured on a police car dashcam went public.

She released a statement Wednesday saying she apologizes for letting her emotions get the best of her and regrets her tone and language directed at the police officers.

Here is Turner's full statement:

Last month, my daughter and three of her friends were in a car that was pulled over by a Tenafly police officer for non-moving violations, including having tinted windows. The officers subsequently decided to impound the vehicle, leaving the four young adults on the side of a busy highway. Concerned, I hurried to the scene to assist them. As a parent, I was upset and uncomfortable with the unfolding events. I let my emotions get the better of me and regret my tone toward the police officers and use of off-color language. For this, I apologize. However, at no point did I violate the Port Authority's Code of Ethics or ask for special treatment for anyone involved, nor did I suggest, in any way, that I would use my position at the Port Authority to affect the outcome of the violations issued to the driver. My resignation from the Port Authority is a recognition that this unfortunate incident could and should have been avoided. As a long-time Tenafly resident, I have always taken an active role in the community, including working with law enforcement officials, and I encourage the Tenafly Police Department to review best practices with respect to tone and de-escalation, so that incidents like this do not recur.

Both the Port Authority and Tenafly Police Chief Robert Chamberlain say the video shows Turner was right to resign.

Chamberlain also released a statement Wednesday, thanking the "outpouring of support from around the country," and saying he is extremely proud of the "composure, poise and restraint" shown by the two officers involved in the traffic stop.

"I truly believe their professionalism is a representation of the greater law enforcement community and is reflective of new training initiatives to assist law enforcement personnel in similar situations," said Chamberlain.

The officers pulled over a car in which Turner's daughter was a passenger for an expired registration March 31.

"The video speaks for itself, the conduct was indefensible," the Port Authority said in a statement released Tuesday night, saying it was preparing to take action against Turner at this Thursday's board meeting. But instead, she resigned. It was appropriate, the statement continued, "given her outrageous conduct."

Turner was appointed to the Port Authority last year by former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. She served as the bistate agency's ethics chair.


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