If you’re the subject of a traffic stop, you don’t want to tell the officer what to do or how to address you, and you certainly don’t want to tell that officer to “shut the f**k up,” especially with dashboard and body cameras running. Port Authority Commissioner Caren Turner did just that to a Tenafly, New Jersey Police officer, and now she’s a former commissioner. All of that was over an alleged expired registration on a vehicle that he daughter wasn’t even driving. She was a passenger.
Turner purportedly arrived at the scene of the traffic stop to give her daughter a ride, but she apparently intended to use whatever influence she thought that she had over the stop. When the detaining officer asked her if she was at the scene to give her daughter a ride, she denied that. She stated that she was there as a “concerned citizen and friend of the mayor and been in Tenafly for 20 years.” Since the traffic stop had no connection with her other than her adult daughter passenger, the officer told her that she didn’t need to know the circumstances surrounding it. That’s when the officer referred to Turner as “miss.” She snarled back with “No, don’t call me miss. I’m commissioner. Thank you.” When the officer finished his work on the stop, he told Turner that she could take her daughter and her friend away. She snapped, “You may shut the f**k up and not tell me when I can take my kid and friends who are Ph.D. students from MIT and Yale. You may tell me nothing.”
Caren Turner resigned from her position as a Port Authority Commissioner the next day. It’s likely that it wasn’t a voluntary resignation either. Getting out of your car, being belligerent and swearing at a police officer during a simple traffic stop isn’t going to do anything at all to get you or anybody else out of a ticket, especially when it’s all recorded on a dash cam or body cam. The former Port Authority Commissioner Miss Turner is living proof of the possible ripple effect.