State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan speaks to reporters during a June 5 press briefing in Trenton. | Pool photo by Chris Pedota/Gannett
New Jersey officials might press charges related to Sunday’s caravan of President Donald Trump supporters who blocked traffic along the Garden State Parkway, State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan said Monday.
“I want to be clear, that situation on the Parkway yesterday was irresponsible and dangerous,” Callahan said during Gov. Phil Murphy’s regular coronavirus briefing, adding that he’s working with Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti about obtaining video of the incident.
Callahan later clarified his comments to say that those at the front of the convoy who had stopped traffic could be issued summonses for obstructing traffic. Troopers who broke up the convoy didn’t issue citations immediately because it likely would have exacerbated the traffic jam, he said.
“There’s plenty of ways for people to make their voices heard, but when they endanger the lives of those out there traveling our highways and byways, there’s really no excuse for it,” Callahan said. “And it gave us great cause for concern.”
What happened: On Sunday, dozens of cars decked out in Trump regalia, American flags, and “Thin Blue Line” flags stopped traffic along one of New Jersey’s primary arteries, creating a major backup of the Parkway’s express lanes.
A similar convoy stopped traffic on the Mario Cuomo Bridge connecting Nyack, N.Y., to Westchester County.
Why it matters: Trump stands no chance of winning either New Jersey or New York, but rising tensions over Tuesday’s presidential election have fueled concerns that major disruptions could be in store in the coming days.
Murphy, during his briefing, called the demonstration “silly and dangerous.”
“If you want to get your guy elected president, either one of these guys, go to Pennsylvania or go to one of these places where the race is on the knife’s edge,” he said.
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