WARNING: Before reading, you must agree that you will not complain to me about my issues with law enforcement officers, but that you will complain to the abusers of the public trust instead. A society that turns a blind eye to the excessive and abuses of the people charged with protecting itself is a society merrily whistling down the road to hell.
On April 12, 2007 Governor Jon Corzine (who after leaving office lost like a billion dollars of people's money but won't face charges because he "simply doesn't know what happened to it") was speeding northbound on the Garden State Parkway to get to a meeting between the Rutgers women's basketball team and Don Imus. (For those of you who need a reminder, a few days before, radio-moron Don Imus had insulted them, and knowing a good PR opportunity when he saw one, Corzine was figuratively and literally racing at break-neck speed to insert himself into the story.)
Corzine didn't break a neck, but he did break a leg, his collarbone and twelve ribs after his SUV crashed. The driver of his vehicle, State Police Officer Robert Rasinski injured his back and claims long-term disability due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The other driver of Corzine's two-car convoy was not injured.
Immediately after the accident a State Police spokesman claimed speed was not a factor and blamed the accident on the driver of a red pick-up truck who, the State Police claimed, had pulled out in front of Corzine's law-abiding SUV. Unfortunately for the State Police and Governor Corzine, some honest police officers tracked down the driver of the red pick-up and determined that he was basically run off the road by the speeding governor, and was then forced to veer back into Corzine's path after nearly hitting another vehicle. Corzine's driver claimed he didn't know how fast he was going, but luckily the data recorder in the Governor's Chevy Suburban helped him remember that he was doing 91 MPH (in a 65 MPH zone).
"Who cares?" you say, "New Jersey is the most corrupt state in the world, and the rest of the world hates you and your Snookiepeople. So what the governor and State Police flaunt their disregard for the health and safety of normal, stupid, moron-citizens like you? Plus, that's old news and Corzine did in fact turn out to be the crook you said he was in 2007. Stop gloating."
Except I'd rather not get killed or have to identify the body of a loved one so State Troopers can get their rocks off escorting Jon Corzine to a meeting between a college basketball team and a disk jockey. There is a mentality among some of our State Troopers that the Garden State Parkway (among others) is their personal playground and that they are indeed above the law -- including the laws of physics. (Prediction: Watch how the Troopers don't slow down in the wake of this story, watch how the number of speeding tickets issued goes up.)
According to the Star-Ledger, on the afternoon of March 30, 2012, "two patrol cars with flashing emergency lights led and trailed the southbound caravan down the Garden State Parkway. Witnesses said the caravan included 25 to 30 Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and other vehicles, all with their license plates covered with tape." (Emphasis added by me.)
Ex-New York Giant Brandon Jacobs was allegedly part of the caravan, but according to his agent was unaware of any details of the police escort. I realize that most people in this state will think this is a non-problem now that they know Brandon Jacobs was part of it. He was a New York Football Giant for crying out loud! Gotta love the G-Men -- they are Super Bowl winners!
Witnesses filed complaints with the NJ Turnpike Authority, which runs the Parkway, claiming among other things that the speeding caravan nearly forced an elderly driver into a ditch as she panicked trying to avoid the special people on their way to Atlantic City. Witnesses also report the caravan passed several other motorists who were at the time being issued summons by other State Troopers, so knowledge of the caravan within the force has to be assumed.
If you can handle 14 minutes of listening to them, watch the video of a couple of kids who decided to join the caravan as it intimidated regular, law-abiding citizens on its little high-speed rally to Atlantic City. Don't complain to me about the language.
Especially if you live in New Jersey, you've nearly been run off the road by State Troopers -- lights off -- coming up on you out of nowhere (and I am an unrehabilitated speeder, so to tailgate me from out of nowhere is a testament to your high-rate of speed). The Parkway and Turnpike are also well known free-speed zones for municipal cops, municipal employees and state agency employees. I once paced with a Trenton police officer at 1:00 AM on Interstate 195 from Trenton to my home town at an average speed of 90 MPH. Hell, if he has the right to get home from work in a hurry, so do I.
What's this all got to do with politics? Easy. This is symptomatic of the hubris and arrogance of our public employees as they flaunt their disrespect and disregard for the very citizens they are charged with serving. Am I indicting all State Troopers? Don't be so simple. I've been pulled over by plenty of Troopers who were beyond decent to me, I've also been pulled over by Troopers who treated me like I was a dog in Saudi Arabia. There are good and bad in every profession, but ignoring the bad because you admire the good is foolish.
The simple fact is this: the behavior of our State Police on our freeways and toll-roads is well-known by anyone who drives in this state. It's hard to respect a uniformed officer when they ridicule you by flaunting their authority over you at 90 MPH on a regular basis. When cops act like outlaws, how can you expect dopey teenagers in Mitsubishi's to even contemplate acting responsibly?
Our illustrious, Goodfella, Jersey-guy Governor called it a "dumb thing to do," and added he would allow the Attorney General to probe the matter without his interference.
Governor, your schtick is wearing thin. You make matters worse by light-heartedly making fun of the stupidity of the State Troopers without communicating your outrage at the wanton disregard for the safety of people driving on the Parkway that day. I also wouldn't mind if you took the side of the regular Joe you so tediously profess to be by denouncing the blatant disrespect the Troopers show the citizens of New Jersey when they drive like the rules don't apply to them. But we know you won't denounce their stupidity because you rely on their high-speed escorts to get you to your kids' ballgames on time.
But that's just me, I don't get high-speed escorts, I just get tickets for doing what some of our State Troopers feel is their birthright to do.