What to Know
Port Authority commissioner Caren Z. Turner was captured on police dash cam ranting at and cursing at police officers in Tenafly in March
Her daughter was in a car that had been pulled over; she yells at the cops, "You may shut the f--- up!"
Turner resigned Monday when she learned she was being investigated by the Port Authority board
The man who inadvertently found himself in the midst of a now viral rant against police by a recently resigned Port Authority commissioner late last month tells News 4 he tried his best to stay out of it because "my only job was to tow the car."
"I was sitting there watching, I saw the argument continuing and realized it was going to escalate," Don Morgan of Tenafly Auto Collision told News 4. "When I realized who she was and what committee she headed at the Port Authority I was shocked, no wonder why our political system is so screwed up."
"She" is Caren Z. Turner, who abruptly resigned on Monday as the Port Authority said that it was investigating allegations that she'd violated the board's code of ethics.
Turner was captured on police dash cam ranting at two police officers on Route 9W March 31, yelling at them, "You may shut the f--- up!" after they pulled over a car in which her daughter was a passenger over the Easter weekend.
Her daughter had called Turner to pick her up along with several friends after the car in which they were riding was impounded. Morgan was the tower.
"I have seen situations like this before," he said. "Not very often. People cross the line and don't know when to stop. She didn't seem dangerous. She just seemed out of control with her emotions. If she wasn't happy with what she was being told she should go to court."
Turner, a 60-year-old Democratic lobbyist who served as ethics chair of the Port Authority, is seen in the video introducing herself to the officers who pulled over the car, saying, "I'm here as a concerned citizen and friend of the mayor."
She asks why they were pulled over, and an officer responds, "The driver has all the information, he'll tell you all you need to know," adding that she wasn't involved in the traffic stop.
"No, no, no. I'm involved. Trust me. I'm very involved," she said.
Turner shows them something -- later identified in a police report as a Port Authority gold badge -- and says, "I am the commissioner of the Port Authority, and I am heading up over 4,000 police officers, OK?"
"Let's hear -- why were they pulled over, first of all?" Turner says.
One of the officers responds, "Miss --"
Turner interrupts him, "No, no, no, don't call me 'Miss.' I'm 'Commissioner.' Thank you."
The officer reiterates that she can ask the driver of the vehicle herself why the car was pulled over. Turner does not relent, however, and presses him: "I just want to know why."
The officer tells her, "I just don't appreciate your demeanor. You're being very demanding with me," the officer says.
The tense exchange continues for several minutes. Read more about it here.
Tenafly Police Chief Robert Chamberlain said Wednesday he was "extremely proud of the composure, poise and restraint" the officers showed in the video.
A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement to News 4 Tuesday, "The Board takes its recently adopted Code of Ethics for Commissioners extremely seriously... Commissioner Turner’s resignation was appropriate given her outrageous conduct."
Turner could not be reached for comment Tuesday. No one answered the door at her listed home address.