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Video: Plainclothes Officers Berate N.J. Trooper

August 29, 2013  | 

VIDEO: N.J. Officer's Heated Exchange With Trooper

A New Jersey trooper got into a verbal altercation with several Bergen County Police officers after pulling over their unmarked vehicle and approaching with his weapon drawn.

The ensuing argument was captured on the trooper's New Jersey State Police dash-cam video system. The trooper has not been identified, reports

After pulling over the vehicle on the New Jersey Turnpike in Leonia on May 31, the trooper approached with his weapon drawn. There had been several robberies involving suspects who impersonated police, the trooper wrote.

After providing his ID to the trooper, one of the officers told him to "get the f**k out of here." One of the officers can be heard calling it "a rookie move." Two of the Bergen County PD officers have been identified as Officer Robert Duboue and Sgt. Gabriel Escobar, who at one point tells the trooper to "go cry to your boss."

The dash-cam footage was initially obtained by the Cliffview Pilot.

Comments (51)

Displaying 1 - 51 of 51

Leonard Mather @ 8/29/2013 5:02 PM

Too much testosterone while in another jurisdiction, plus LEO training misapplied indicate a need to take a course in "How to win friends and influence people." Unmarked vehicles and higher rank plus being taken down a few pegs made them feel undeserved. How DARE a Trooper do his job and draw on us?!

Jim Gerien @ 8/29/2013 5:12 PM

The only two guys on that road that would come to aid of the other if he were getting his ass kicked by some civilian are the two arguing with each other. Grow up, both of you and behave like the brothers you are. They are both wrong. Respect the trooper and once the cop is properly IDed respect him.

Doug M. @ 8/29/2013 5:15 PM

That trooper is a first rate clown. The uniform makes him look like one (that hat is a solution in search a problem and there is no excuse for wearing one anyway except for foul weather and protective gear), and it sure seems as though his training is long on arrogance and really short on officer safety skills. Drawing a gun? BFD. Seen it, been on the wrong end of it.

If he really suspected that the other vehicle contained impersonators who had been doing robberies, he needed several other marked units with uniformed officers and he should have had a rifle and NEVER approached the scene. The impersonator issue shouldhave been known across agencies - if it wasn't, that's a leadership fail.

The yelling? Big deal. Everyone is mad because it started out crummy, but that's just human. Simple rule for all in a situation like this: the uniformed officer controls the scene until the issue is clarified. You work in plainclothes, you need to be aware of how it may look.

Really? @ 8/29/2013 5:21 PM

The Trooper had every right to question those out of uniform officers based on three recent Police Impersonation incidences. The plain clothes guys were out of line, and should have shown their credentials, which would have prevented this asinine shouting match. I have first hand experience with Police Egos. They need to leave their EGO and Testosterone pills at home. Grow up. I sure hope there is an investigation. I side with the Trooper. He was just doing his job by making sure this wasn't a Police impersonation robbery. He should have been respected, and wasn't. Those other guys have foul mouths, and need to be written up for that.

Capt. Crunch @ 8/29/2013 5:46 PM

The Trooper over reacted, the vehicle alone the way the lights were flashing shows it was a police vehicle. All the Trooper had to do was fine out what P.D. they were with and asked if they needed help.

Joe Schmoe @ 8/29/2013 5:47 PM

As a plain clothes officer myself who would typically be dressed the same I would never act this way. Secondly, I would not expect any one of my partners or supervisors to talk s#% like that to any uniform officer over a dispute that I may be having (I'm a grown man).It was obvious that plain clothes officers realized that they were wrong and that is why one of them was trying to do damage control once the trooper walked back to his car. Any one of us would probably be ready to issue an ass whooping if we saw a civilian doing that to a uniform cop on the side of the road, so why should we do that to each other. Grow up guys!!!

Drag @ 8/29/2013 5:53 PM

Wow! That's some professionalism by all. Maybe they should go do some push-ups. I say give them all a few days on the beach.

Skitch @ 8/29/2013 6:12 PM

Respect the uniform, then handle the situation properly...

Sean @ 8/29/2013 6:16 PM

Plainclothes guys are douchebags. Gun was out of holster for 5 seconds and not even pointed at them, what a bunch of cryin' ass babies. I would have AT LEAST had my hand on my weapon with the knowledge of previous impersonators around. Hell around my little Podunk town we have had 3 instances in the last year, AND THEY HAD LIGHTS! So screw the argument that the lights made a difference, that's crap. The Trooper should have just been quiet and let the video talk for itself and then reported it. Instead he unfortunately got drawn into the childish argument. He was more in the right than the plainclothes anyway. Those plainclothes guys were all roided up and had more muscles than brains. If I was involved in the situation I would no longer have a job, I would have at least punched the shit out of at least one of them, fuck them dudes.

Danny Rucker @ 8/29/2013 6:19 PM

The trooper should of identified the the vehicle before exiting his unit by running the tag. It probably would of identified the vehicle as a unmarked unit. Would of saved a lot of embarrassment on both parts

Illinois Lieutenant @ 8/29/2013 6:21 PM

The Trooper gets an A+ for initiative and initial confrontation. It also appears that even after the UC officer is ID'ed he stands by to aid, but I don't hear the UC Officer explaining what he is doing, looking for drugs, guns or just popped a speeder. Instead it seems the UC Officer has summoned back-up to help him with the Trooper. And then along comes a poor excuse for a Sergeant who not only fails to get his man under control he sends the situation into overdrive with his own stupidity and attempts to order the Trooper to leave the stop. The firearm was displayed and if that upset the UC officer he needs to look and act more like a dressed down Officer. I saw the story where a couple years back they wanted to dissolve this UC Officers agency. I saw two of them they can do without. Their yelling and actually touching the trooper and talking to him they way they did could only lend an insight to how they treat the Civilian pop they encounter.

Vinchenzo @ 8/29/2013 6:32 PM

The Trooper has a job to do. The rule is when approached by uniform cops and your plainclothes (whether your on or off-duty), the uniform take takes precedence. Basic 101 LEO protocols. BUT, Bergan County made a good point- once you see they're LEO's (even though over the years, most cops can tell just by looking at a guy its another cop pretty quickly, asking for ID's is perfectly ok), the uniform gracefully bows out, maybe even says "Thanks" ask hes quickly leaving, jumps in his RMP and harm, no foul. Thats the norm, thats the reality. What happened here is not. Ego's and discourtesy prevailed.

Manasseh @ 8/29/2013 6:32 PM

Wow. The trooper was young and I can see his cautious approach. The veterans? Absolutely no need to treat the Trooper that way. Respect the uniform and respect each other even when we are wrong. Last time I checked we are on the same side. Somebody needs a drumming down and classes on Professionalism. Regarding wearing the hat? Many Troopers are required to wear them on all stops, probably not his choice?

CT LEO RET @ 8/29/2013 6:43 PM

This is sad, we're all on the same side here. I don't blame the trooper for pulling his weapon, and not pointing it, but just having it ready. The UC should have ID himself in a calm manner. All would have been right after that. Way too much testosterone going on there!!!!!!!!!! It makes us all look bad. Too many times we're our own worst enemies!!!!!!

Fred @ 8/29/2013 7:05 PM

I'd terminate them all, including the trooper. Despicable behavior by all involved, except the violator.

rowens208 @ 8/29/2013 7:10 PM

Trooper was in the right, plain clothes was wrong. Trooper even helped the plain clothes out on their stop and didnt get a thank you. Plain clothes should understand the game. They shouldve conducted themselves differently. Its crap like this that makes cops look the other way. Next time that trooper sees a similar situation, he may just keep driving -- God forbid, but then the plain clothes might actually NEED assistance in a life or death situation.

Chuck @ 8/29/2013 7:10 PM

All involved were not exactly examples of professionalism. They all need to get reprimanded and re-trained on how to act in public and how to interact with other Officers.

Frank Serpico @ 8/29/2013 7:30 PM

Its easy to Monday morning quarterback sitting on the computer watching this stupidity, but since I worked and retired during the age of different policing, here is how I see an event that was obviously out of control. If as the trooper said that there had been 3 robberies where the perps were inpersonating police officers, the first thing he should have done was run the plate to see who the registered owner was. If the plate came back to Bergen County that would have probably ended the whole mess. if it was a fictious plate and he didn't feel good about it roll some backup immediately. The plainclothes guys were your typical A pesonality types, muscular, tattoos and the typical loudmouths who think they're James Bond. All one of the plainclothes guys had to do was ask the trooper to step to the rear of the mini-van and in front of the trooper car and fully identify himself and explain to the trooper why they were on the turnpike and their actions. Instead he told him to go F himself.

Andrew @ 8/29/2013 7:34 PM

Officers in Plain Clothes are ALWAYS taught to initially submit to the authority of an uniformed officer in order to avoid a tragedy until everyone is properly Identified. The BCPD officers are plain wrong in their response and their actions could have caused a tragedy. The trooper assumed a backup role after approach even after he has been insulted. Good work trooper shame on you County P.D.

Foxy @ 8/29/2013 7:49 PM

Wow! Very interesting to watch an American vehicle stop from an Aussie copper such as myself.
I appreciate that American law enforcement is a lot different and more dangerous than ours however, from my point of view and someone who instructs police operational safety training, this example was wrong in so many ways.
Very poor form by the Trooper who placed himself in an operationally unsafe situation. The list of examples are a toilet roll long.
Two largely egoistial sides fighting it out in the presence of the public isn't a good look either. Reprimand and further training required.

Gary @ 8/29/2013 7:49 PM

LMFAO. I thought the Trooper was going to start crying. As to the comment about letting area officers know UC's are working an Op, that's another big LOL. They wouldn't be UC very long. I can hear it now, "All Units, Bergen CO PD is working an UC Op driving a blue caravan and White Import, All Units......"

Felix A. Montelara @ 8/29/2013 8:25 PM

There is a subject suspected of a robbery in the civilian vehicle. Once the plain clothes office was ID. They should have taken care of the business on hand. the suspect walking around! Nice for all.

Mike @ 8/29/2013 8:33 PM

Do they hire their undercover s from rejects from the Jersey shore TV show? Big dopes. The trooper has the right to challenge plain clothes people, the uniform is in charge he is clearly identified. It is p to plain loathes officers to properly I'd themselves . He clearly told them why his gun was out ( never pointed and was quickly holstered as shown on video) those plain clothes Morons need to be walking a beat once again

DaMan @ 8/29/2013 10:05 PM

I think this is a horrible display of professionalism, rather argue on a busy highway they should have cleared the air and then went back to work......forget about it...

Lenny @ 8/29/2013 10:53 PM

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful!
This could really be a teachable moment for .............................. OH what am I saying. BAHAHAHAHA

jake @ 8/29/2013 11:44 PM

light don't mean nothing. To many impersonator cops in uniform. State trooper is higher rank. Can have the officers job.

Steve @ 8/30/2013 1:55 AM

These guys were ABSOLUTE douchebags. Jake, you watch too much TV.....

Kevin @ 8/30/2013 6:06 AM

Unprofessional on all parties at one point in this situation. Not sure what policies are in place in this jurisdiction but there was clearly a lack of communication at several points. If the UCs were doing a routine stop, this should have been called in to dispatch. The trooper could verify before even getting out of his vehicle. Secondly in a situation where the UCs were working a case and could not relay back to dispatch for obvious reasons they all should have verified against each other's departments' higher ups over a secure line, higher ups etc. The fact is I'm sure both departments have policy over jurisdiction and these type of situations. In the end both the UCs and the trooper could have been in a potentially deadly situation had one of the suspects (I assume a suspect vehicle was pulled by the UCs and is not visible on cam) decided to take advantage of this out of control situation. Emotions can get you killed guys.

Arby @ 8/30/2013 6:27 AM

1st, lights don't mean anything - bad guys have them. 2nd, the tag is a paper tag - no help there. 3rd, trooper was cautious on approach, but must've quickly thought they might be for real & relaxed too soon - but asked for ID to verify. 4th, he told them he had only 6 mo. on the job. That didn't matter to the UCs. They were supercops their first day on the road so they couldn't relate. Training to prevent blue on blue issues says comply immediately with the uniform until things get sorted out. You aren't expected to like having a gun pulled on you, but you are expected to understand it. Lastly - you don't get into it with another officer in public - period! Even if understandable, the rook didn't respond appropriately. He also had no opportunity to see how real professionals handle the situation from the behavior of the "vets." Use this to provide more training to the rook and discipline the so called veterans who truly should've known better from the start.

Red @ 8/30/2013 6:43 AM

Another reason why I would never go to New Jersey on a bet!

dano798 @ 8/30/2013 7:13 AM

The plain clothes officers should be ashamed of themselves.

Henry Johnson @ 8/30/2013 7:31 AM

These types of encounters will sometimes occur. The indicated "there have been several robberies in the area." Wow, so much for officer safety. Approaching a vehicle on suspicious robbery stop without backup.
As earlier mentioned, this could have been handled differently.

Michael Gillette @ 8/30/2013 8:37 AM

The arguement was completely unreasonable from both sides. While they were arguing on the interstate!!!!, who was watching the peolple in the car that was stopped? They lost focus of what the were doing and wanted to win an argument. They all put a lot of people in danger on that road that day. Not just themselves.

ret. njsp @ 8/30/2013 1:25 PM

when I was on the job if someone put his hand on me when in uniform it was considered as an assault and was placed under arrest. the trooper was on duty, in uniform, in his assigned patrol area. he had absolute authority in this instance and the uc clowns should be severely reprimanded.

ted @ 8/30/2013 4:38 PM

I am just glad that there is now confirmation that Martin Scorsese did not exaggerate the shit cops give each other in The Departed. I am sure they all took a break at a local Crispy Creme afterward.

Davek @ 8/30/2013 7:32 PM

This sort of incident is a perfect illustration of why law enforcement is not taken seriously as a profession by many.

Wally3732 @ 8/30/2013 9:35 PM

They all were wrong. The trooper should have left once ID's verified. Sticking around and exchanging f-bombs solved nothing. He should have left and contacted the appropriate higher-ups. The plain clothes were wrong. They need to ID themselves before doing any type of undercover work such as this unless it's deep cover. We've had several problems with that in our small area. Troopers not letting us know that they are followed a stolen car, undercover troopers following $375,000.00 in drug money and I stopped one of the troopers for going 30 mph over the speed limit trying to catch back up to the suspect vehicle (Called higherups next day.)Undercover DEA doing a small sting (however they were in an expired plated vehicle and wonder why I stopped them). We need to share info to avoid embarassing crap like this. And unless other backup for the trooper was called before hand, calling more in that would have just compounded everything. Lets use our heads guys!

JD @ 8/31/2013 5:28 AM

The plainclothes officers should have made notification of their stop regardless of what jurisdiction they were in.
It's scary to think that those officers are Policing our streets as they have absolutely zero professionalism. The gun drawn issue was just an excuse to start an argument. All the Trooper did was take it out. He didn't point it at the guy...Big baby.
But the Trooper lost his cool and that's where he was wrong. If he didn't, he would have had a valid complaint.
The plainclothes officer who started the argument needs a suspension.
What the hell is he doing making traffic stops. Sounds like he has a John Wayne syndrome.

The Chief @ 8/31/2013 9:40 AM

Great job Trooper, the plain clothes should be fired for their actions. With the reports of Fake Cops this trooper did everything "Right" the under cover guys were 100% wrong and should be fired.

STEVE @ 9/1/2013 7:13 AM

The Turnpike is that Troopers Turf, Starsky and Hutch told him to 'get out of here' - and call him a 'Mall Cop' - the locals should be in the Paramus Mall arresting shoplifters, and quit poaching in the troopers jurisdiction.

Capt Jack 806 @ 9/1/2013 12:29 PM

Wow! All involved need to relax.....we are all on the same side and need to remember that! All acted like place for it.

toetag @ 9/1/2013 2:17 PM

So what are we all supposed to do now? Start drawing on each other because we might be cop impersonators? How about a little common sense. UC vehicle with lights, body armor plus other issued equipment, displayed badges, off set cruiser with a walking lane. All of the above indicated that these guys were real police officers. The trooper overreacted. Not because he wanted to make sure, but because of how he handled it which led to an overreeaction of the plainclothes guys. Embarrassing for all involved. Common sense is something we all need to have, but unfortunately not all of us do.

A side note: after the trooper realized that these guys were acting officially, why did he hang around? To help? More negative points for the trooper who wanted nothing more than to act superior and try to push these guys around. Fortunately, we get along with the troopers in my area and work well with them. We are brothers, let's start acting like it.

toetag @ 9/1/2013 2:28 PM

To "The Chief" who posted above: Remind me never to work in you're PD. And to the rest of you who think that the trooper was even a little bit right: One of the points that the trooper made was that they should have notified his agency. Its not reasonable to to expect an officer to notify a nearby agency of something spur-of-the-moment like a traffic stop. Think I'm wrong. Go to DC and look at the names on those walls. A great many of them are on there because the SHTF during a T-stop. But now we should jump on the phone and call the troopers so we dont get drawn on while doing our jobs? Common sense people.
Another side note: Who's idea was it to release a video that had nothing to do with the public? More negative points for the troopers.

Ret. Newark NJ Police @ 9/1/2013 2:43 PM

I am a retired police sergeant and when I looked at that video I was amazed at how the plain clothes officers treated the trooper.
I was really disturbed at how the officers handle themselves especially when their sergeant arrived.
The trooper had every right to ask for identification
All law enforcement are supposed to protect and respect each other.
Once the sergeant arrived on the scene, he made it worse.
All the plain clothes officers should be reprimanded. the undercover officers acted like they were stopped on a dead end street. did they not realize that they were on the NJ turnpike. I observed one walk on the right lane and leave the driver's door of their car open like they were stopped on a side street. they were lucky that no one was hurt.

ret. njsp @ 9/1/2013 3:04 PM

to toetag. I'm surprised of your comments. first of all assumption on the job is what that wall is there for. when you are an the job for your own safety you do not assume anything until its confirmed. another thing that trooper was on duty in his assigned area of responsibility and he was responsible for anything that happens in his area. the uc officers should know that and should have acted accordingly and with respect . the sgt. that arrived made the situation worst. instead of calming the situation he made it worst. there was only one uniformed trooper and several boisterous uc officers trying to intimidate the trooper. after your comments, totag, i's not sure if you are really on the job.

Marshal Fine @ 9/3/2013 6:19 AM

The UNIFORM is always in charge FIRST. UC 101 is taught that. Shut up, be polite, show ID, then carry on properly. Dome light on, hands on wheel, do as told. PERIOD. The next person that should be screaming should be their boss!

Arby @ 9/3/2013 7:06 AM

As I mentioned above, the Trooper was a rookie and made a lot of rookie mistakes, from officer safety right on up to getting involved in an unprofessional argument in public. Take the video and sit him down with some vet officers who are ACTUALLY professionals and use this as a teaching moment. As for the UC officers, I don't know about dismissal for them or demotion for the sergeant - but I do believe I saw them verbally requesting to be transferred back to uniform, since they have obviously forgotten where they came from. I like the Starsky & Hutch reference. Fitting.

NJmotorcop @ 9/4/2013 5:23 AM

"The Chief" is absolutely right. The trooper did a good job, his only failing was not calling for backup as soon as he saw more than one suspect. The plainclothes guys should both be fired. They were completely and absolutely wrong! If they treat a brother officer this way imagine how they must be abusing the general public! These 2 a-holes are a major liability. If I were Bergen County's insurance carrier I'd drop thier coverage if these two aren't fired.

Firecop @ 9/9/2013 8:34 AM

First thing I note here is the lack of communication between agencies (surprise, surprise). This Trooper (and all others) should be aware and familiar with the UC operations of the County officers. The second thing is how they reacted when the Trooper pulled them over; very unprofessional to say the least. And the third is, running the license plate in our state would reveal absolutely nothing, so what is left under the circumstances is what the Trooper did. This communications thing remains a HUGE problem....why can't we all get along. Stay safe.

Trigger @ 9/10/2013 8:04 AM

I stopped a car with four undercover officers for speed. Talk about a bunch of idiots (I worked undercover so this is not a general statement). I was ready to prone all four out on the side of the road. Fortunately their supervisor arrived and basically ordered them to act like professionals not like the idiots they were. Sometimes we do not have the luxury of waiting for backup in rural areas as there may not be any.

Mb @ 10/8/2013 6:20 PM

Undercover guys need to be fired that was embarrassing. Shoulda been first to understand where trooper was coming from. Acted like jerks a nightmare for their boss

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