UPDATE: Clifton Police Department spokesperson Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken said the matter is being investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs officers.
“The Clifton Police Department is aware of the incident,” Bracken told NJ Advance Media on Friday. “Internal Affairs matters are confidential, therefore, we will not be commenting on the incident at this time.”
Bracken did not disclose the officer’s first name or the department’s policy on brake checking. Public records identify the officer as Juan Velez, who has been working with the Clifton Police Department since 2005 and makes an annual salary of $119,558.
Date of Incident: March 19, 2016
Officer Involved: Officer Velez
Department Involved: Clifton (NJ) Police Department
Contact Phone No.: (973) 470-5900
Office of the Chief of Police: (973) 470-5921
FaceBook Page: Clifton Police
Twitter Account: @
Review Them on Google: Clifton Police Department
Omar B. included this description with the video:
I was driving home and an officer was driving ahead of me. For the road that we were on, we were going pretty slowly, but the speed limit is 25 so I can’t complain there. That being said, a good amount of traffic had built up behind us.
All of a sudden, this officer SLAMS on his brakes and tried to have me run into him. When we were talking about it, he told me the brake checked me because, paraphrasing, “He thought I was going to run into him…” I don’t know how to respond to this comment. He braked because he thought I was going to run into him… I cannot wrap my head around it.
He could have hurt me, himself, and anyone else that was behind me that could not have stopped in time. If he wanted to pull me over, he should have pulled over to the side, let me pass him, and then used the lights and sirens on his emergency vehicle to pull me over like a proper officer.
The whole idea here is mind boggling. Officer Velez slammed on his brakes because he was afraid he was going to run into him? So, as a person who’s job it is to ensure public safety, he put everyone’s safety at risk by testing to see if the driver behind him was driving too close. Now, this might be expected from some angry soccer mom or a guy with roid issues, but it makes absolutely no sense for a cop to do something so ridiculous.
What if you or I had even tapped our brakes on a cop, much less literally slamming on our brakes in the middle of the street for absolutely no other reason than to see if he would run into us? We would likely end up UNDER the jail.
What if this guy had actually hit Officer Velez? I know there is a myth out there that says if you run into the back of another vehicle, it’s automatically your fault. That’s only because there’s nothing to prove that the act was intentional. Officer Velez even admits that he did it on purpose. Might Omar B. have been better off if he ran into him? With video proof, he certainly could have shown that the act was completely intentional.
Now, instead of realizing he did something completely foolish on camera and letting this whole thing go as a “warning”, Officer Velez had the audacity to ticket Omar B. And not only for the arbitrary belief that he was driving too close, he also ended up throwing in a few extra for good measure. This is nothing more than a cop being a jackass for the sake of being a jackass. Stacking the deck on someone just because you can rarely teaches them a lesson. It only helps earn the contempt for cops that grows daily.
Maybe visit the Clifton, NJ Police Facebook page (or at any of the other contact methods listed above)and let them know what you think of Officer Velez’ actions.