The video above, from June of 2010, has almost two-years later come back to haunt New Jersey State Police. It’s proof that a very high speed caravan of luxury sports cars escorted by troopers down the Garden State Parkway last month was not an isolated incident. It also provides a crystal clear visual aid to the public for what was already considered an outrageous event.
According to The Star Ledger, the March 30, 2012 police escort and the earlier incident have now sparked two investigation and the suspension of Sgt. 1st Class Nadir Nassry, who was the assistant station commander of the Totowa substation, Trooper Joseph Ventrella and the transfer of the commander of the Totowa substation.
The paper also reports that one of the cars in the caravan was driven by former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs. Sgt. Nassry’s attorney has confirmed that Jacobs asked for the escort and that Jacobs and Nassry have known each other for a few years.
While we usually just focus on fire and EMS news, I have posted this one because of the universal messages that apply to all who serve the public (and even those who don’t).
The most recent NJ State Police sanctioned Garden State Parkway 500 was brought to light by citizens witnessing police officers doing something quite dangerous in public. Some of them, who said they feared for their lives from this reckless act, complained to police officials.
It’s just amazing to me that the troopers involved, or anyone who ordered or allowed them to escort these caravans in excess of 100 mph, were either so out of touch with reality, or so arrogant in the abuse of their power, they actually thought no one would dare to complain.
Forget for a moment what would have happened if a collision involving this high speed motorcade seriously injured or killed an innocent motorist. Couldn’t anyone see what they were doing, even without an accident occurring, had the potential to be a career-ender? But, as we all know, this complete lack of vision is not exclusive to cops.
One witness, Wayne Gantt, dubbed the escort “Death Race 2012.”
“I had the great pleasure today of nearly being killed by, not one, but two, Lamborghinis traveling in excess of 110 mph in a (New Jersey State Police) escorted ‘caravan’ of approximately 30 exotic vehicles all traveling well over 100 mph,” Gantt wrote in an e-mail complaint to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which oversees the Parkway.
Isn’t it also just pure stupidity to think, that in our digital age, no one would capture damaging evidence on video of their complete disregard for the safety of those they serve? This occurred in broad daylight on one of New Jersey’s most heavily traveled roads. What were they thinking?
Well, actually, that I’ve seen so far, no video has surfaced of the March escapade. If that’s the case it’s pretty incredible. But less than 24-hours after its original article, The Star Ledger had the June 2010 video posted to its website. It wasn’t hard to find. It had been hiding in plain site on YouTube all of this time.
It’s a good thing the head of the New Jersey State Police or New Jersey’s governor didn’t try to “spin” the press with the knee-jerk reaction that we hear so often, “This was an isolated incident”. The Internet and social media can easily have you eating your words if you try to use the “spins” of yesterday.
This absolutely mind-boggling video of two young men spotting the 2010 caravan, joining in and racing along speaks louder than any words from the witnesses of the more recent event. It has you both laughing at the men taking the video (one who thinks this is the highlight of his life) and outraged at the unnecessary danger the troopers exposed everyone to. From what I see, it elevates the story to a new level and will make it that much tougher for those who have to put the pieces back together following this self-inflicted wound.
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