Several New Mexico police officers are under investigation for a
routine traffic stop that devolved into a chaotic car chase last
month. In their attempt to apprehend an uncooperative driver, the
officers smashed a baton through the woman’s car window and fired
several bullets at the children-filled vehicle.
The incident was recorded by a police
dashcam video, which was released last week to
KRQE News 13. According to a report from
Taos News, the incident started when a New Mexico State
police officer pulled over 39-year-old Oriana Ferrell for speeding
16 mph over the limit on a state highway.
The officer (whose name has not been revealed) approached
Ferrell’s minivan in what appears to be a calm manner and told her
to wait while he returned to his vehicle. Ferrell then sped
off, starting a chase. When she pulled over again, the officer
returned to the driver’s side window visibly agitated.
When the officer goes to the car a second time he opens the door
and demands that Ferrell get out of the car, yelling “Get out of
the vehicle right now!”
When she refuses, the officer appears to attempt to pull her out
of the car as her five children, ages 6 to 18, according
to The Taos News, start screaming in the car.
After a few moments, the woman’s 14-year-old son gets out of the
car and tries to engage the officer. But the officer pulls his
taser and the teenager goes back into the car.
Eventually the woman gets out of the car to talk to the officer,
but when he tells her to turn and face the vehicle she tries to run
back into the driver’s seat of the car. The incident quickly
escalates with the woman’s son this time engaging the officer. Only
after the officer aims his taser at the boy does he run back into
Then things got really intense.
As two back-up officers arrived on the scene, the officer
repeatedly smashed his baton through the passenger side window
shouting, “Open the door!”
At that point, Ferrell started to drive away. An officer who had
just arrived on the scene fired three shots at the back of the
minivan. According to a court document, the officer
allegedly fired at the rear tires “in an attempt to keep the
vehicle from leaving.” (Despite the fact that police experts, such
Dr. Daniel Kennedy and Rick
Parent, claim that shooting out a moving vehicle’s
tires is often a dangerous and ineffective way to apprehend a
The officers pursued Ferrell in a high-speed chase, reaching 100
mph, until she stopped in front of a hotel and turned herself in.
Both Ferrell and her 14-year-old son were arrested at gunpoint
Ferrell was arrested on five counts of abuse of a child,
aggravated fleeing of an officer, resisting an officer, reckless
driving and possession of drug paraphernalia (for two marijuana
pipes that were found in the car.) Her son was arrested for battery
of an officer.
argued, “If someone ought to be charged with child abuse, it
ought to be the New Mexico State Police… We ought to talk about
the stupidity and recklessness of shooting at a car that has five
children in it.”
Watch the video below:
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/18/cop-fires-shots-at-minivan-full-of-kid