[Watch] Child Endangerment: New Mexico Mom Takes 5 on a High Speed Chase
Recently released video of a Taos, NM police stop is raising some serious concerns regarding their State Police operations.
The chain of events began when Tennessee resident Oriana Farrell was stopped by a New Mexico State Police officer on Highway 518 near Taos. The officer was attempting to ticket Ms. Farrell for speeding and had asked her to shut off her engine as he was returning to his cruiser. Not only did Ms. Farrell not shut off her engine, she drove away.
The State Police officer then took off in pursuit, at which time Farrell once again pulled over. This time the officer opened the driver door and demanded that Farrell exit the vehicle. She resisted at first even though the officer is pulling on her to get her out. He advises her that she is already facing evading charges. She eventually complied. When the officer informed Farrell that she was being arrested she backs around the vehicle and climbs back into the driver seat.
As a struggle was continuing in the effort to arrest Ms. Farrell, her children, including a 14-year-old son who had previously exited and returned, all got out of the van and joined in the exchange. The fourteen-year-old rushed the officer, which enabled Ms. Farrell to get back into the van. The teen then ran around to the passenger side and was able to shut the door behind him before the officer could get his taser to fire.
At that time, video shows backup officers arriving and police start to beat the windows of the van with clubs. As this is taking place, Farrell begins to drive off, which results in shots being fired by an officer at the fleeing vehicle.
A high-speed chase resulted and Farrell eventually pulled over at a motel where she and her son were arrested.
Farrell was charged with five counts of abuse of a child, as well as aggravated fleeing an officer, resisting an officer, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. The son was charged with battery of an officer and resisting arrest.
The State Children, Youth and Families Department took over custody of the other four children who range in age from six to eighteen years of age. The children were later placed in the care of local residents known to the family.
I’m going to ask the question that you are probably wondering too , “Why is this one cop shooting at a van full of kids?” If he’s trying to kill the driver for resisting arrest, the penalties are pretty stiff in New Mexico. She should have robbed a bank.
For me, the issue goes way beyond the woman, Oriana Ferrell, fleeing. As the police action relates to that, it appears to have been valid and justified up to the point where the backup arrived and the batons started swinging. That seems a bit over the top. Doesn’t anyone shoot out tires anymore?
What is particularly troublesome is the shooting officer’s behavior. All involved are fortunate that he missed his target. If he had been able to hit the driver, it is quite likely that another passenger or two would have also been in the line of fire.
He might have taken a cue from the other officers on the scene who were closer and not firing. Maybe there was a reason why they weren’t already shooting that should have crossed his mind.
To make this an even more bizarre scenario, the fleeing Ferrell was charged with five counts of abuse of a child. I understand the whole “blame the victim” rationale that she caused him to fire by fleeing. Understanding the premise and agreeing with it is not necessarily the same thing. The officer is the one who endangered those children by firing his weapon at them.
Farrell endangered others and her children through her reckless driving. If that is the basis for the charges, it is perfectly legitimate. Those were her deliberate acts.
This is just more of the incredible mountain of evidence of the encroaching police state in America, where failing to stop or obey is a ground for the use of deadly force.
The other officer, wailing away at the van with his baton, seems to be personally infuriated that this woman would dare to defy his orders. Its looks like he might be taking things a bit personally, which isn’t a positive trait in your police force.
Trigger and stick happy cops like this give the good ones a bad name. How many properly enforced situations go unreported and are overshadowed by the few abusive ones such as this?
The shooter should be looking for work which doesn’t involve carrying a firearm and under investigation for criminal misconduct. He stepped so far over the line, he’ll have to turn around to see it.
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