There is a controversy in New Jersey over the practice of “brake checking” where a police officer stops suddenly in front of a car that he thinks is following too closely. The problem is that the videotape below does not show Clinton resident Omar B. following too closely when Officer Juan Velez slams on the brakes. Nevertheless, the driver is hit with a slew of tickets, including tailgating.
What is notable about the videotape is that it highlights the inherent danger to brake checking where a driver could easily slam into the cruiser or veer into another car. In this case, the officer stopped next to a parked car.
Velez is now under investigation. Velez admits on the tape that he braked because the driver was driving behind him too closely. Even though the car appears to be traveling at a speed between 22 and 29 mph, Velez tells the driver he “braked because I thought you were going to run into me.”
Velez issued three summonses for lack of a front license plate, tailgating and tinted windows. The video struck a cord with motorists who feel that officers arbitrarily hit drivers with these types of citations, particularly if they are ticked or view the drivers as uncooperative. News accounts state for example that 47,000 motorists were given tickets for the tint on their windows last year.