State Trooper “Death Race” Charges Could Be Announced Today [POLL/VIDEO]
New Jersey's Attorney General plans to announce new guidelines for police escorts today, after state troopers escorted a fast-moving luxury sports car caravan down the Parkway in March.
The AG is also expected to announce the two state troopers in that escort will now face criminal charges.
Attorney Charles Sciarra says he's been told by a high ranking law enforcement official in the Attorney General's office that state police Sgt. Nadir Nassry will be slapped with 3rd or 4th degree charges, because some of the sports cars in the caravan had covered license plates.
During a news conference at his office in Clifton, Sciarra said, "It's no secret that this was not a smart move. He's ending a 25 year plus career because he knows this was not a smart move. He knows there were safety issues involved and we don't debate that, but the escorts are necessary…There have been hundreds of these types of escorts given throughout the years - the AG is making a big deal out of this case because - quote - they need to ring the bell - they need to show some response to all the media and say look - these guys acted in some way that was beyond the pale."
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He says it's not fair that Sgt. Nassry give up his pension, and "we're not going to surrender that simply to accommodate the PR needs of the people in Trenton…for 25 years he's been pulling people out of burning cars, he's been protecting people, he's been the first one over the guardrail after the bad guy…and he had the authority to allow this kind of an escort to take place…and it was done out in the open - during the day - with lights flashing in a long caravan…the suggestion that this was somehow done in a manner which tried to hide something is like putting a wig on Godzilla."
Sciarra asks, "Should a guy with a perfect record for 26 years lose his pension?"
"This didn't have to be the fight they've made it…Everybody agrees that having this kind of escort - traveling over a hundred miles an hour - was a mistake…I have never nor has my client ever said that's quote- unquote- okay. That 's what makes it a colossal foul-up, but my client wasn't aware that any license plates were covered up…He deserves to get his pension…And the laws as they're currently crafted don't say that if you get a criminal charge at the end of your career that you can't retire…It's not like you found somebody who had some kind of corrupt practice that went undetected for a number of years…And he gave up the career he loved and all the other opportunities he was going to pursue."
He points out you can get PTI for a 3rd or 4th degree crime, and that's what they're talking about. The laws don't say you give up your pension.
"Police misconduct is always a point of media interest, they have tremendous responsibility and they're held to a higher standard."
When Sciarra was asked why his client didn't notice that license plates had been taped over, he said many questions can be raised.
"Should they have gone the speeds they did? No. Should they have been aware the plates were taped? You could have that conversation - "where were your plates, what did you see, what didn't you see?"…But if no car owners have been charged where's the evidence coming of taped license plates? That's the question, that's the issue…if you're not looking for it and you don't think about it and you just telling people - hey follow me and don't get out of the lane and whatever - but what would be the point?"