New Jersey AG’s Report: State Troopers Don’t Follow Own Rules

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The office of acting New Jersey Attorney General John Jay Hoffman released a new report last month revealing that too many highway patrol officers in the Garden State break the department’s own rules, using excessive force during routine traffic stops, using motorists’ race as a determinant when bringing out police dogs and improperly searching vehicles.

The report, which covered the first six months of 2012, notes that the State police break rules at a “troubling” rate and doesn’t do enough self-monitoring to catch their repeated occurrence or to correct the officers responsible. Out of 155 cases the police self-reviewed during early 2012, they failed to identify such mistakes nearly one-third of the time.

An independent police expert who helped the Federal government monitor the New Jersey State Police during the execution of a recently ended consent decree said the new report is “disturbing.”

“By the time you reach 30 percent, that’s getting pretty serious,” Samuel Walker told The Star-Ledger.

The most recent in the Federally mandated series of periodic reports was released in July by the New Jersey Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards (OLEP). OLEP is an internal division that was set up to monitor the State following the department’s 2009 exit from the Federal consent order, which had set Federal watchdogs to ensure the department had curbed its practice of racially profiling black on the New Jersey Turnpike by singling them out for “routine” traffic stops.

In addition to finding the State Police had used excessive force in a number of stops — an allegation the police themselves deny — the report also found that Troopers seemed to be deploying police dogs on a disproportionate number of black motorists.

“White drivers made up 48 percent of all stops, yet only 30 percent of motor vehicle stops with canine deployments,” according to the report. “Black drivers made up 39 percent of all stops and 61 percent of canine deployments.”

The findings also indicate troopers did not advise all suspects of their Miranda rights and often failed to activate their patrol cars’ dashboard cameras and microphones during traffic stops. The Feds now require dashboard recording of New Jersey State Police as a means of self-monitoring, a required condition of the lifting of the consent decree.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • IBCAMN

    ive been telling people most of my life,”all cops are corrupt”……..

    • http://twitter.com/rulken kenneth russell

      I have to disagree with you, not “all Cops” are corrupt. The disturbing growing percentage of those that are corrupt however, shows a lack of integrity within the police forces around the country though.

      • rwp24382

        In the state where I live, they had to drop a lot of standards to allow blacks to join the state police. Most of them wanting to join had some kind of criminal records and the standards had to be changed to make the quotas established by the state or federal DOJ.

        To accommodate the blacks, standards had to be changed for all. This will give you a lower standard police officer overall.

        • CJM2

          You are absolutely correct, rwp….and standards had to be dropped in education in order to accommodate ‘certain students’ who are too lazy to apply themselves to the learning process When they are corrected or failed for their laziness, they pull the race card.

          • peter

            Reminds me a bit of the prez!

      • k7dfa

        @Kenneth Russell: I must disagree with you, those officers, (~99.9999% of them), who refuse to follow ONLY the Constitution are guilty of being corrupt!!!!

    • Catman

      No good pos should get the electric chair

  • CJM2

    And just what is Gov Christie doing about all this? Is he leaning on his elbows during brunch? It’s his job to oversee all those departments, especially law enforcement.

    • Sue Breslin

      He’s too busy kiss-a—–g Obama

  • wavesofgrain

    We must abolish public unions. Police have formed a union mafia brotherhood and are above the law. They do not work for the public, but only for their unions. It is nearly impossible to fire any public union employee.

    • k7dfa

      I don’t disagree with you about abolishing “public servant unions”, however, our “public servants” have NEVER required a union’s “protection” to either abuse a Citizen’s RIGHTS, or to be “above the law”!!!!

  • justus brother

    Way back when I was reading an introductory to law enforcement book. An E-7 saw me reading it. He was studying psychology and told me that there was a very fine line between a criminal mind and a law enforcement mind. Kind of makes you wonder doesn’t it?

  • Bill

    But, then again, It’s New Jersey

  • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

    Know your rights when pulled over. Everyone should carry a copy of the little “Know Your Rights when stopped and/or questioned” brochure from the ACLU. We keep ours with our registration & insurance card for immediate access if pulled over. One can download this for printing at https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/bustcard_eng_20100630.pdf . Most times, just the sight of this brochure will cause a LEO to change his/her attitude, as they see that you are educated as to what they can & cannot legally do.

    • Combat Veteran Seabee

      Only fallacy with that is, each state has it’s own laws. A book that covered each and every traffic law or whatnot, couldn’t be put into a car, it would be to big!

  • Ralph Rusty Newkirk

    Google Gun Show Bandit for my story here in Washington State. The “powers that be” AREN’T! I’m dealing with a dishonest Prosecutor that steals as well as lies. KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY PEOPLE!

  • independent thinker

    “… which had set Federal watchdogs to ensure the department had curbed its practice of racially profiling black on the New Jersey Turnpike by singling them out for “routine” traffic stops.”
    Don’t they know that the “Yankees’ never racial profile especially against blacks? Don’t they know that only happens in the deep south?

  • Combat Veteran Seabee

    It seems like cops everywhere are flouting the law and abusing or shooting the civilians, US!!!!!