2nd Trooper Suspended, Now What?
In what one frightened witness dubbed "Death Race 2012", a large pack of high end sports cars tore down the Garden State Parkway in broad daylight among an unsuspecting motoring public and using an apparently illegal, unauthorized state police escort reached speeds of well over 100 mph.
One trooper in a state police cruiser with official red lights deployed led the pack, and another brought up the rear. In between some 25 to 30 Porches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and the like hit estimated menacing speeds of 110, 115 mph. Witness who called in to our show yesterday said their own cars were rocked in the wind wake left by this speeding caravan to the point it was hard to control their cars, and some describe near wipeouts because of the activity.
PREVIOUS: State Police Escort High Speed Caravan
As we took calls on this yesterday afternoon word broke that the trooper alleged to be in the lead escort car, Sgt. 1st class Nadir Nassry was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. His lawyer complained that this investigation had been going on quietly for weeks (the incident happened on March 30th) without a suspension, but as soon as it came out to the public the media scrutiny seemed to lead to the suspension action. If he's saying nothing was going to be done unless the state police were put under some public pressure then we in media will take that as a compliment. Late last night word broke that the second trooper, identified as Joseph Ventrella, was also suspended.
But now what?
This must not be left at a slap on the wrist. What these sworn law enforcement officers did was the worst kind of abuse of power. Sucking up to connected rich friends (a NY Giant was one of the participants in the caravan and is said to have been friends with Nassry for years) and not only allowing them to break the law but actually aiding them to do so. This was the worst kind of reckless driving. The kind where if YOU did it they'd impound your vehicle on the spot. Unless you wear a Super Bowl ring apparently.
They allowed the caravan to run at these dangerous speeds all with license plates taped over, blacked out. This was a planned, orchestrated violation of law. The troopers abused their power and put many lives in jeopardy that afternoon. This cannot be left at a slap on the wrist. These troopers need to be fired, relieved of their badges, their weapons, their pensions, everything.
Anything short of that and the state police have morally abdicated their right to ever pull over another citizen. Period.