Two New Jersey state troopers are separately under investigation for pulling over female drivers to pressure them for phone numbers and dates. Both men purportedly eschewed suspicion by turning off their recording devices and by blatantly lying to dispatchers.
According to the Associated Press, Eric Richardson was arrested in June and charged with the falsification of records. Roughly six months before that, Marquice Prather was arrested and charged with a similar crime. Police do not report any connection between these cases.
Richardson is accused of threatening to arrest a woman if she refused to give him her number. Dispatchers were unaware of his behavior because he turned off his dashboard camera and claimed to have pulled over a man instead.
A second woman has also recounted disturbing interactions with Richardson. She gave him her phone number in November, after he pulled her over. He stopped her again in January to demand why she had changed it.
Accusations against Prather indicate similarly invasive, exploitative behavior. Via AP:
“Investigators believe Prather routinely stopped young women to ask for dates. They say he made a habit of turning off his microphone, ascribing the missing recordings to technical issues. He also frequently asked the women for their cellphones and took the devices back to his car to look through them, they say.”
Capt. Brian Polite, a spokesman for the state police, assures the AP that these chilling occurrences of sexual harassment are “rare” and “not indicative of the professionalism that the vast majority of troopers display on a daily basis.”