Port Authority commissioner: I was not seeking special treatment when I fought with cops

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Caren Z. Turner makes her first statement on the Tenafly incident.

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After days of silence, former Port Authority commissioner Caren Z. Turner responded Wednesday to the public outcry over her intervention in a Tenafly traffic stop involving her daughter.

This is her statement:

“Last month, my daughter and three of her friends were in a car that was pulled over by a Tenafly police officer for non-moving violations, including having tinted windows. The officers subsequently decided to impound the vehicle, leaving the four young adults on the side of a busy highway.

“Concerned, I hurried to the scene to assist them. As a parent, I was upset and uncomfortable with the unfolding events. I let my emotions get the better of me and regret my tone toward the police officers and use of off-color language. For this, I apologize.

“However, at no point did I violate the Port Authority’s Code of Ethics or ask for special treatment for anyone involved, nor did I suggest, in any way, that I would use my position at the Port Authority to affect the outcome of the violations issued to the driver. My resignation from the Port Authority is a recognition that this unfortunate incident could and should have been avoided. 

“As a long-time Tenafly resident, I have always taken an active role in the community, including working with law enforcement officials, and I encourage the Tenafly Police Department to review best practices with respect to tone and de-escalation, so that incidents like this do not recur.”

Ted Sherman may be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.