Bergen County police officers have been disciplined after a tense altercation with a state trooper on Interstate-95 in northern New Jersey, a county spokeswoman said.
A video of the May 31 argument was shot from the trooper's dashboard camera and shows the trooper approaching a stopped vehicle in Leonia, where county police had pulled over a motorist. A profanity-laden shouting match ensued for several minutes. State troopers are responsible for patrolling the Turnpike.
State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes defended the trooper in a statement, noting that the county officers were in plain clothes and wearing vests, in an unmarked minivan. In the two weeks before the dispute, there had been two incidents in which carjackers had posed as plainclothes policemen, Fuentes said.
"Aware of these incidents, and with no advance notice of the operation, our trooper was fully justified in approaching this stop with the utmost caution," Fuentes said.
Jeannie Baratta, a spokeswoman for Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan, said the officers were disciplined "according to department procedures" immediately after the dispute.
Bergen County Police Chief Brian didn't offer specifics on the discipline.
"We have reviewed the actions of the Bergen County Police Officers (and solely the actions of the Bergen County Police Officers on that traffic stop) and have addressed those actions, not just as they apply to that specific motor vehicle stop, but in all future interactions between uniformed officers and plain clothes officers," Higgins said in an email Thursday.