Brake-checking cop facing internal affairs inquiry
Video of brake-checking incident has racked up nearly 90,000 views in one week.
The Officer Velez – no first name was given – was being followed by a YouTube user named Omar B when the incident occurred. While it's clear in the video that Omar was following Velez at an uncomfortable distance, we wouldn't necessarily call it unsafe, especially considering they were traveling at what looks like residential speeds. It's hard to tell whether the officer slows down or Omar closes the gap, but the distance between the two cars shrinks until Velez slams on the brakes.
Omar is able to stop without causing a collision, but after being confronted by the cop, he's given what is perhaps one of the most bizarre explanations we've ever heard from a police officer. After accusing the officer of brake checking, Velez says "I braked [because] I – I thought you were gonna run into me." No, we aren't really sure how that makes sense, either.
"It's ironic how a police officer, who's [sic] job it description is to 'protect and serve,' is actively trying to get into accidents with motorists. By 'brake checking' someone, you want the person behind you to smash into you," Omar B. wrote near the end of the video. "This cop could have hurt me, himself, and anyone else that was behind me that couldn't stop in time."
According to NJ.com, Clifton Police Department spokesman Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken confirmed the incident was being investigated by the department's internal affairs division.
"Internal Affairs matters are confidential, therefore, we will not be commenting on the incident at this time," Bracken said.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this situation is that both parties could have easily prevented it from ever happening. Omar could have backed off – sorry man, but you were too close for comfort – and Officer Velez could have just flipped his lights on and slowed down safely. You can check out video of the incident up top.
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