NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It was morning rush hour in New York City, but things came to a dead stop on the West Side Highway for the convenience of a convoy of New Jersey police officers.
Why were cops from across the river stopping traffic in New York?
It was a particularly bad morning to be in a rush heading southbound on the highway.
Near the George Washington Bridge, a New Jersey police officer parked his motorcycle across two lanes of the West Side Highway and stopped traffic at 8:15 — the height of rush hour — to clear the way for a convoy that included a Tenafly ambulance and about eight other New Jersey police motorcycles. They were all heading to Ground Zero for the 9:30 kickoff of a police charity bike ride.
New York drivers were inconvenienced for the benefit of New Jersey police offers. And that was no big deal to some.
“I don’t see any problem at all,” one man told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
But it was a very questionable call to many others.
“To basically mess up people’s day like that is pretty inconsiderate,” Ira Manhoff said.
“I think it sucks, I really do,” New Yorker Mike Jenkins said, “that they can come to another state and do what they want to do here.”
CBS 2 was able to track down Paramus police officer Brian Linden — the New Jersey cop who stopped traffic in New York — at a police ceremony in Newark.
“We were in a procession that we were instructed to do … what we were doing,” Linden said uneasily. “I don’t know [who we were instructed by], but I don’t really have any authority to talk to the press, either.”
He didn’t adequately explain the situation, nor did his police chief.
“It seems very odd and out of jurisdiction to have a New Jersey police officer holding up all the traffic,” another man added.
Requests for information from the New York City Department of Transportation and police went nowhere, just like the traffic during this rush-hour stop.
One veteran New York cop told CBS 2 that the Paramus officer was almost certainly acting without proper authority when he stopped traffic in New York.
New Yorkers, does this bother you that a New Jersey police officer would stop traffic on the West Side Highway? Or is it excusable because the officers were heading to a charity event? Offer your thoughts and comments in the section below…