SEASON OF GIVING: DONATE TO THE LES SCHWAB TOY DRIVE AND THE Q13 FOX SOCK DRIVE

Watch the VIDEO: New Mexico investigates cops who shot at van with mom, kids

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

By John M. Glionna

Los Angeles Times

A routine suburban traffic stop it was not.

nmshotsNew Mexico State Police officials are investigating the actions of two officers during a recent speeding stop involving a mother and her vanload of children. The stop, which was captured on the cruiser’s dashboard camera, was described by police as “an intense 43-minute-long dangerous situation that placed the public at risk.”

Oriana Farrell, 39, of Memphis Tenn., and her 14-year-old son are facing charges in the Oct. 28  incident in the tourist town of Taos.  On the camera video, obtained by a New Mexico TV station, the initial officer can be heard telling Farrell she had been driving 71 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Things quickly turned chaotic, with the teen physically confronting the first officer. The video shows a second state police officer firing shots at the van, which had five children inside, as it drove off.

In a statement, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas pledged a thorough review of the incident, saying he has “concerns relating to the conduct of the officer who discharged his firearm.”

The trouble began after Farrell apparently disobeyed the officer’s orders, driving off after being told to take her keys out of the vehicle. Farrell was pulled over again and pleaded for lenience while refusing the officer’s orders, the video showed.

And then things got really messy.

Farrell eventually got out of the van but tried to get back in as the officer who initially stopped her tried to restrain her, the video showed. At  least two of the five children got out of the vehicle to confront the officer in her defense. But while Farrell ushered the smaller child back into the van, the 14-year-old struggled with the officer.

The teen shut the van door after the officer appeared to pull out a stun gun. After another state police vehicle arrived as a backup, the first officer smashed out the minivan’s front passenger window with his nightstick. The second officer then fired a shot as Farrell drove off.

Farrell and the 14-year-old were arrested after a brief chase. She has since been released and faces charges of child abuse, fleeing and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia for a pair of marijuana pipes found in the van.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

1 Comment

  • Guest

    Cops can be jerks sometimes but you will never win. It's so simple to just obey their orders for that 20 minutes when they are in charge. That's all you have to do. Keep you hands where they can see them and move slowly. People don't realize that these cops are already charged up because they don't know what or who you are.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.