“Two New Mexico state police officers are under investigation and a mother and her 14-year-old son are facing charges after a routine traffic stop turned to chaos when the teen physically confronted one officer and another officer fired shots at a minivan carrying children.” Now there’s something you don’t read about every day. The money shot [from officer.com]: “[Officer] Elias Montoya, shot at the vehicle as it drove off. Montoya wrote that he fired his weapon ‘at the left rear tire in an attempt to immobilize the vehicle.'” Strangely, I believe that. Which doesn’t make it any better. Nor does this . . .

Eighth Judicial District Attorney Donald Gallegos the situation could have been avoided if Farrell had followed the officer’s instructions. “She wouldn’t do the simple act of just signing a ticket,” Gallegos said. In a statement, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said his department will conduct a ‘full and thorough review’ of the shooting and traffic stop . . .

Gallegos said based on what he’s seen from the video, the district attorney’s office will not pursue criminal charges against the officers. But he said that could change if state police present more evidence.”

What are the odds?

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177 Responses to NM State Cop Shoots At Minivan Full O’ Kids

  1. I wonder where he was trained to do that? Never heard of this being an approved technique in civilian law enforcement, and I can’t think of any circumstances where I would want to try it rather than any alternative.

  2. Darwinism. Wanna play stupid games, win stupid prizes. The 14yr old son should be happy he’s not laying on a cold steel table after assaulting a cop like that. Yeah, easy way to get a one trip ticket to never never land.

    • The cop should be happy he’s not cold after assaulting a woman over a speeding ticket. That kid could have brought a blunt object with him and put Officer Tough-guy down.

        • So again, speeding (and 70mph isn’t fast) is somehow grounds for assault? They had her license and plates, just send her a bigger ticket in the mail. There was no need for the cop to make things violent other than his fragile ego being hurt.

        • Utterly untrue. When a standard stop turns into a chase- twice nonetheless, that is when the officers NEED to intervene, not just let a person run away and send them a ticket in the mail. Running from such a stop is a classic sign of other criminal behavior: stolen vehicle, kidnapped child, drugs etc. And in this case drug paraphernilia was found

        • Now, remind me – exactly which of the Enumerated Powers gives them the authority to do that?
          /sarc

        • The mom is an I-D-I-O-T. All she had to do was turn off the vehicle and sign the damn ticket. Unless, of course, there was reason for her to be running from the law. Either, with a van full of kids — S-T-U-P-I-D mom. Dumba** — lucky one of her kids didn’t get shot full of lead.

      • Fleeing or evading a police officer is a crime. And just because a law is inconvenient to someone doesnt mean it shouldnt be enforced(this isnt about ego as you claim, its about enforcing the law). Again, I urge you to at least watch the video before making a comment.

        The cop didnt “assault” her until after he had to pull her over the 2nd time(after she had run from him)

        • I’ve seen the video. Granted, those in the van acted with utter stupidity and arrogance toward the law and the cops who stopped them. But…the cops did nothing to help defuse the situation and their actions provoked further stupid acts that culminated in the stupidest of all, the cop shooting at a fleeing vehicle with children inside. Like there were no alternatives.

          Sometimes–hell, MANY times–it’s just better to back off and let the circumstances cool down rather than push the point.

        • I saw the video yesterday. What she did was a “crime”, but not something worthy of violence on behalf of the cops. Even her son’s actions were merely defending her against the cop who unjustly initiated the violence. I’m not saying she shouldn’t be fined or punished, I’m pointing out that there was absolutely no reason for some small-dicked cop to attack her and then start shooting at a van full of unarmed children.

    • Even if this cop didn’t give a toss about killing or injuring a civilian and maybe a couple of kids, his actions could have gotten himself killed, or gravely injured. Calling the woman’s particulars in, for an arrest warrant, would have sufficed. Yes, this would have maybe taken a day or two…but patience–and a level head–are virtues.

  3. I gotta side with the cops on this one… At least the shooter *appears* to be focused on aiming his handgun, most likely at the tires. That may be against dept rules, but he’s clearly not ‘shooting into a van full of kids’.

    • But he is shooting in the direction of a van full of kids. And this brings to mind the oft heard comment following a police shooting, “Why didn’t the cop just shoot the gun out of his hand?”

    • This is not Blue Bloods, Hunter, or some other fiction. You only discharge a firearm with the intent to inflict grievous damage. An errant bullet or ricochet could injure, or even kill one of the occupants of a vehicle. Issuing a warrant for the driver’s arrest is what should have been done, NOT playing TV cop by trying to damage a vehicle’s tires. This officer should be fired, PERIOD.

    • Yeah, but it’s scary when the DA says this! Just cause you didn’t ‘just sign the ticket’ doesn’t given the officer justification to open fire on a mini-van full of kids. Holy escalation of force.

      • I’m not taking the cop’s side in this. But if my kids were in the van I wouldn’t have escalated it like this. None of this would have happened if she’d just taken the ticket.

        • At what point did I say it was ok to shoot the van or a kid? Mom had the ability to stop all this fracas by simply signing the ticket. Mom’s actions put her kids in danger. Now, for the trigger happy trooper, he was wrong. But I doubt even he would have shot at the vehicle if she’d just signed the ticket.

    • …stupid things. I agree. But the officer who was “shooting at the tires” seems a bit overkill and bad judgement. That was pretty stupid as well…if this were a boxing match, I’d score it 10-9 in favor of the mom for the dumbest actions.

  4. Seriously… some of you guys are OK with a woman and her kids being shot at over a speeding ticket?
    A scrap of paper… you don’t sign that under the instructions of the police and they can shoot you?

    Yeah, yeah – they weren’t shooting at her and her kids – they were shooting at the van. But I seem to remember someone once telling me I should never point a gun at something I didn’t intend to take life from and that I needed to be aware that bullets can bounce. So how come those rules apply to us but not to them?

    Also, is it standard practice to shoot at a fleeing suspect? I’ve never been an LEO and have only known a couple, so that’s an honest question.

    • Once can shoot a fleeing suspect who is, or reasonable will shortly be presenting a threat to the lives of the police officer or others. But disabling a vehicle has been found to be a lesser use of force, even if it could lead to death. Better be a good aim…

    • I’m with you on this. Even to the point of questioning smashing the window with the baton. You’ve got two squad cars, you’ve got their license plate number. What is the harm in letting them drive off? They were not an immediate threat to anybody and the coppers would have caught them eventually.

      • I think the harm is presented by someone who does 20+ over the speed limit in a frigging minivan and sees fit to peel out of being pulled over for their reckless, illegal stupidity twice.

        • Oh, I fully agree that speeding off in a minivan full of kids after you’ve been stopped is a bad idea. It endangers not only the public, but especially the kids in the van.

          Having said that… you’ve got a dangerous situation to begin with. Do you make the situation less dangerous by slinging a couple rounds down range in the general direction of a van full of kids, and along a highway? What if one of the rounds bounces and kills some bystander who’s not even involved? Or what if those rounds penetrate the rear hatch and the seat and kill a child? IMO, that cop is extremely lucky he missed.

        • So which is the greater danger? Some one speeding off at 20+, or some one speeding off at 20+ with a tire damaged by a police bullet that will eventually fail possibly causing a crash?
          BTW, studies show the safest drivers are those in the 5+ and 10+ categories. depending on relevant circumstances, exceeding the speed limit is not a great danger, departments us it primarily as a revenue enhancement tool.
          These guys got their training the same place as the Deming PD. Scary!

      • You also have someone who has just attacked the officers who then dives back into the vehicle. There is no way to know if they are going for a weapon and it might be prudent to try and stop them before they can reach said theoretical weapon.

      • Without reasonable cause to suspect they were confronting armed and dangerous felons I do not think shooting at this fleeing vehicle was a wise choice.

        I do understand the mindset of the police in this incident – stopped for a routine speeding ticket, belligerent, drives away once and appears intent on driving away again, passenger aggressively leaves the vehicle and confronts an officer? The cops have to be thinking there is something more here than a simple traffic stop dispute. Wasn’t there an incident in Florida or somewhere not too long ago where the father was pulled over for ticket and his son came out the passenger side with an AK?

        I would certainly not fault the cops at this point from detaining and investigating further, if possible, or following to their destination or effecting a third stop en route if necessary.

        Has anyone heard any follow-up from the driver and passenger as to what the Hell they were thinking or are we only getting the OMG side of the story? If there were ever public actions that justified probable cause for a warrant and further investigation, this one is it. Now, because of the officer’s over-reaction wit the use of deadly force the driver’s reasons for her actions may be entirely academic.

  5. So she drove away from him during a traffic stop for speeding. Big whoop.
    He has her information, tag, etc. Send her a bigger bill instead of full on chase with taser, batons, and guns. Issue a bench warrant that makes her come back to AZ when she tries to renew her license. Plenty of ways to handle this with technology.
    But then they don’t get to play Dukes of Hazzard.
    I used to think speed cameras were a bad idea. At least they don’t create more havoc, they just collect the revenue for the state.

    • She just sped away from a cop and endangered her kids. Do you think she’s eagerly awaiting the ticket in the mail to do right by it? What if the info isn’t current on her tags?

      • Speeding isn’t dangerous. I could drive over 100 mph all day and never hurt myself or anyone else. It is poor driving skills, at any speed, that get people hurt.

        • 100 mph all day on a closed a supervised course. But if you’re arrogant enough to believe that you can drive 100 mph on regular streets safely you are a grave risk to yourself and the community. Weather, road conditions, animals and pedestrians etc. etc. are all outside of your control.

        • I’m not talking about driving around a crowded city during a snowstorm. That’s besides the point anyway. Speed, in and of itself, is not dangerous. There are times and places that are conducive to speed. America is full of roads that are very conducive to very high speed.

          It is this “speed is dangerous” thinking that keeps 65 mph limits on modern, limited access, highways. Even highways that span miles of flat open desert have these restrictions. Even modern economy cars with good tires are very capable at 100 mph in a straight line. If your brain, eyes, and motor skills can keep up, why not? Even nanny Germany lets people open up the throttle.

          Just because some people are dangerous with guns, doesn’t mean everybody is. The same is true with cars. Skill and proper restraint are relative to every person and make all the difference.

        • When they built the new freeways around Minneapolis in the late ’60s, the speed limit was 70, with a minimum of 40. Then there was some kind of “oil crisis” and Tricky Dicky issued an imperial edict limiting speed limits to 55 everywhere “to save fuel.” But we’ve had two generations of dumbing down the schools and transforming them into propaganda mills, and all the other shit that’s gone down in the last half-century or so, and the whole freakin’ country is psychotic.

          My point being that modern freeways and modern cars could easily accommodate 70-75, even 80 MPH, if people were actually taught how to drive safely. So I don’t think speed is really all that much of an issue other than the disobedience part.

          About the lady who fled – I’m not making excuses for anybody one way or the other, but I can understand what I think might have been going on in her mind. First, she was on vacation from Alabama or Mississippi or something. She had probably saved all year to take a family vacation, and probably didn’t have cash on hand to pay the fine on the spot _and_ make the trip back home, and there would have been no way for her to plead not guilty, get ROR, go home and go to work, then two or three weeks later have to drive all the way back to NM for the trial. So she was kinda between a rock and a hard place, and there was a chance, albeit vanishingly slim, that she could have got away, maybe even a better chance in her home state, so she gambled and lost. Anyway, after running, then getting stopped again, the gendarmes were pissed and she was desperate and everybody went nuts and we saw the rest.

          But I still say there was no need for the NMHP to smash the window on the kids’ side or shoot at the car. The way things have been going around the country lately, it’s a miracle nobody was hurt or killed.

        • At the vicinity of the first stop, even 60 is way too fast. There are some considerable drop-offs to the side of the railing. It’s a flat-out scary road. Even residents who are familiar with it know better than to speed there. It’s taking your life in your hands.

  6. I can’t help but wonder what if he hit the fuel tank? or hit the brake lines? or killed one of the kids inside? Any one of which would put a “regular” citizen in jail as a monster.

    • Um… if he hit the fuel tank basically nothing would happen. No more movies for you.

      The chance of hitting and severing a break line is so tiny it’s not worth thinking about.

      The most likely problem would be a simple ‘miss’ that goes high. That would be awful AND not crazy unlikely. Anyone can miss.

      • Which is why you do not fire your weapon when innocents are in the line of fire. Disarm cops for a safer America.

        • It should not be necessary, nor would it be prudent to disarm the cops. Hasn’t worked well in England.

          What is necessary is to allow the citizens to arm themselves and to hold both to similar standards in the event of a shooting. In the case of police they must be held to a higher standard due to their supposed higher level of training. I believe Nick could weigh in with what the law requires of a trained EMT or paramedic or nurse or doctor as to assistance at the site of a medical emergency as compared to a random good-Samaritan passer-by. In almost every case legally a person with special training or certification is expected to perform or provide that expertise when the situation demands ad is held to the standard higher than that of non-trained individuals. Rather than skating on this shooting that cop should be thoroughly investigated and held to account if reasonable people could conclude that his use of force was not within the scope of his professional training or necessary for the incident at hand.

          The answer is to hold police as fully accountable for the time and place and amount of force used as they want to hold the rest of us. Disarming ANY portion of the populace, even out of control police, is a violation of the Second Amendment.

        • “The answer is to hold police as fully accountable for the time and place and amount of force used as they want to hold the rest of us.”

          Fear not, the troopers are quite free from worry in Gallegos’ bailiwick. They are among Gallegos’ “good people”, i.e., Spanish descendants of long standing, probably 6-10 generations. The “good people” run the joint – badly – but they run it nevertheless, much to the place’s detriment.

          No matter how badly they may behave, they are the “good people”. Am I calling Gallegos a racist? Absolutely.

    • I’m pretty sure the mere act of firing towards a fleeing vehicle would buy us little people an express ticket to prison.

    • Yeah, to the point that I can bring myself to even care about this, I agree with Ralph.

      But it’s hard for me to get to that point. Stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things.

    • Indeed. I’ve seen this type before. The “confused” mom who can’t sign a simple ticket so she ratchets the crime up a few notches. The son who defends her mother. This is reality in many urban ghettos. However, the shooting of a fleeing vehicle is also criminal. There is no legitimate defensive purpose. The whole incident is sad. There were bad choices all around on this one.

      • The fact that she was far from home – at least 1600 miles from home – may have played into her reaction and bad decision. It could have been something else. I am not defending her actions.

        • Not saying you were. If I was an alien watching such a thing on the Internet, I’d probably conclude that there wasn’t intelligent life on this planet.

        • Their “educational road trip” to New Mexico certainly provided them all with a good learning experience.

          Hey, firing at vans full of kids is just one of the many services provided by your friendly NMSP! “To Protect and to Serve”.

    • I’m really glad Ralph wasn’t in my 10th grade gym class. Would have just been hell. PTSD. Vengeful nerds aspiring to government service, then abusing their office just to exact retribution for the wisecracks

  7. They had the license plate, there was no deadly threat, she was not being detained for an arrestable offense (until she fled, oddly enough). Certainly there was no ‘imminent deadly threat’.

    If he was not a police officer he would be facing charges. That means it was a ‘bad shoot’.

    • Fleeing in a vehicle can be grounds for a use of force to stop the vehicle in and of itself, see Scott v. Harris. It’s not quite the same as shooting someone’s person. Not saying it’s a good idea… but if you’re gonna run from the po-po, better do it on foot just to be sure.

      • In Scott v Harris the deadly force was initiated after a high speed chase where many people were put at risk and there was certainly “imminent threat”:

        “Thus, in judging whether Scott’s actions were reasonable, we must consider the risk of bodily harm that Scott’s actions posed to respondent in light of the threat to the public that Scott was trying to eliminate. Although there is no obvious way to quantify the risks on either side, it is clear from the videotape that respondent posed an actual and imminent threat to the lives of any pedestrians who might have been present, to other civilian motorists, and to the officers involved in the chase.”

        • What about a few stray .40 caliber rounds? Did they also pose a risk to bystanders, pedestrians, and other motorists?
          I can see a minivan coming at me at 70 and take action to get off on to the shoulder, pull off in a driveway, swerve out of the way, do something. But I can’t see a 165 grain JHP coming at me faster than the speed of sound. I’d call the speeding car far less dangerous than rounds that have been fired in my general direction.

        • Even Terry v Ohio has been deemed stupid. You can’t simply shoot a fleeing felon, simply because they are fleeing. Granted there are always exceptions.

          I’m just flabbergasted that the boy was arrested, mom was arrested. Why wasn’t the cop doing the shooting arrested? Rhetorical question here. This being the same state that performs colonoscopies on folks a faulty and non certified drug dog ‘hits’ on.
          Honestly, I’m dumbfounded.

  8. How dare that woman protest, resist, and run from an attempted extortion. How dare that young man jump to his mother’s aid as she’s being assualted by an armed man. Don’t they know that the best way to avoid being hurt by criminals is to just comply and hand over the goods. You’d think people would have learned by now to just submit and obey.

    • I disagree; the woman was doing 70 in a 50 MPH zone; I’ve been given a ticket for driving 10 over the speed limit; I signed the ticket and since I was guilty I paid the fine; I didn’t try to drive away or fight the cop when he would try to stop me; especially if I had my kids in the car.

      Now as to the cop shooting at the van as it was driving away; yeah; the guy should lose his badge; BUT, (you knew a but was coming), if the woman had simply signed the ticket; like 99% of us would have done, this would be a non-event.

      • According to the video, it was 71 in a 55… but, the speed is actually irrelevant. Speed limits are not about safety, they are about money. It is extortion using a threat of violence under color of law, plain and simple

        • She has just come up Pilar Hill, which rises nearly 1000 feet in less than 10 miles. Steep curves, with dropoffs in places of several hundred feet. 71 is WAY too fast there, in fact, it’s a death-defying speed. Someone maybe have called the State Police because she was endangering lives. But I doubt that kind of speed is even possible on that hill. The grade has just leveled out, and she probably has just accelerated.

        • I’ve documented about 1100 traffic collisions. The proximate cause of approximately 70% of those crashes was unsafe speed for roadway conditions. Based upon my experience, I don’t believe that speed is quite as safe as you think.

        • Given the road she was is extremely unsafe at such a speed, I have to agree. I know that road well.

        • Making a blanket statement Henry just makes you sound silly; sure, there are speed traps designed to catch people for revenue purposes; But I work in EMS; I have seen plenty of accidents by people driving over the speed limit losing control and getting themselves and others killed.

          So for this woman to be driving in excess of the posted speed limit, she deserved a ticket and then when she drove away as the cop was going to write her a ticket, she created everything that transpired.

          And in the fog of chaos that is created, all the cops knew was that this woman was attempting to evade the cops; that she could be a violent felon trying to run from the consequences of some violent act; why else would she be trying to escape from a simple traffic ticket? At least, that would be some thoughts that might occur to me if I was a cop in those circumstances.

    • I was told to start picking your nose as you pass the cop since no one wants to touch your booger covered credentials.

      • AVID READER: This is south of Taos, but the river (Rio Grande) is some ways to the west (left) at the site of the original pull-over. The road and the river come together south of Pilar – at the bottom of Pilar Hill. At Taos, the Rio Grande (and the amazing Gorge Bridge) are about 8-10 miles to the west.

        West of Pilar – maybe five miles – is where the Rio Grande Gorge and the Rio Pueblo Gorge converge, and the terrain flattens out.

        • OK, I got it, thanks. I’ve driven it many times and have never been tempted to challenge the speed limit more than five over or so.

  9. A Barrett .50 would have come in handy here. Aim for the license plate, through the cabin and firewall, and into the block. Shrapnel wounds=collateral damage.

  10. Again I must ask, at what point does law enforcement allow a person to leave in order to apprehend them at a later time? It is heard a lot lately. They have the persons info. Let them leave. Get them later.

    • I really don’t know how much this factored in (probably not a lot), but she was from out of state, with out of state plates and presumably ID. That puts a real damper on the whole “get her later” thing. It’s not impossible, just harder and a whole lot less likely.

    • They can’t these guys get tunnel vision . Plus it is a affront to their authority you can’t have that . The real issue is when will police have to pay for their mistakes instead of the department or the tax payer . 16 miles and hour over the limit ,big deal they had the info they could have picked her up at their convenience . but then that would be no fun and everyone wonders why people can’t stand the police

  11. … This week on Kangaroo court… cops are above laws, may receive stern talking to or tax payer funded vacation

    I wonder how long until we hear about them joining in on the fun of the “knockout game”

  12. So the lady acted stupidly. But so did the cop. What the hell did he think was going to happen when he tried to yank her out of her car in front of her screaming kids. Use of force is not a problem solver. Just because he was pissed at her for driving off doesn’t mean he needed to escalate it further.

    Everyone in this video was a moron and not a single one of them was trying to de-escalate the situation.

    I think this is a serious problem facing our country right now. I’m not anti-cop but I am anti-militarization. In the Infantry we used to be trained to be aggressive in all our actions. We called it violence of action, but that’s because if we were in a fight there was no need to deescalate, just overwhelm with superior firepower and violence. There wasn’t any ambiguous situations where an Infantryman might need to slow down and deescalate (Granted this training was before the whole policing actions in Iraq/A-stan)

    Our civilian police force is a different animal. Use of force is not and should not be a go to action. It should be a last resort. The problems we are seeing now are because it’s becoming the first thing that officers go to because they aren’t in control of their emotions. That was clearly the case here. The officer was pissed, rightly so, because she took off. I always tell my kids, being pissed off is ok, it’s your actions when you feel that way that determine right or wrong. The way he handled being pissed was to walk up, yank the door open, and start trying to drag a mother out of her mini-van. Thats not cool or acceptable.

    From there it just got worse because no one was in control of the situation. Isn’t that what police are supposed to be trained for? Aren’t we trusting them with the responsibility of staying in control in stressful situations?

    Don’t get me wrong, the lady is an idiot and deserves to have the book thrown at her. The cop is not faultless here though. He lost his cool and made a bad situation worse cause he couldn’t deal with it. He shouldn’t be told that his actions are ok.

  13. At no point did I make an attempt to make a racist post. People still talk about the innocence of a 17 year old “boy” who just wanted some Skittles and the injustice that he is DEAD. My post was more a reminder that despite age, a “boy” can still put someone in a life threating situation.

    Do you think that had this cop tripped in the chase the boy would have just walked away, got in the car, and his mother drove off?

    Let us not forget my gun rights are on the line and being looked at STILL over the death of an innocent boy. I wouldn’t rush to call me a racist, more of a frustrated gun owner where his president ignores a juries decision and calls a DGU a tragedy.

    *Edit
    It seems my original post was deleted as I was replying to Matt calling me a racist but hopefully my reply won’t be.

    • Yeah, I went ahead and got rid of it, along with the stuff that came after it. Mainly because my response caused a tangent that was a distraction from the post. To be clear, I wasn’t calling you a racist. When I said “some people might call it thinly veiled racism,” I wasn’t trying to set up a straw man. I don’t really think it’s racist in and of itself, I think racism is usually about intention, and it wasn’t your intention. I was just setting up a contrast with my “I just think it’s stupid” statement.

      • Thanks for clarifying Matt,
        I agree I could have articulated my stance better and was just frustrated and posted the short bit I did.

        Honestly I am surprised over the outrage and lack of support for the police on this one. Listen I am one of the guys who worries over “tactical” cops kicking in my door and shooting my daughter sleeping on the couch (or dog) and then realizing they are at the wrong address however this appears to be totally different.

        The question I have is how do cops do their job if not with force. I am a man who feels we should all be held accountable for our actions, teach it to my kids and we follow the all rules, even the ones we find stupid.

        To go full circle here … having “something” with you doesn’t make you above the law or make you innocent. In this case the items is 3 non hostile kids. I have 3 kids and I live in TN, what if these people were kidnapping my kids and leaving the state? They certainly are acting crazier then anything I have ever seen. Sure I am speculating but the last thing I want to do is encourage a reason for bad guys to get out of accountability.

        You are responsible for your bullets, civilian or cop and in this case nobody was hurt and he was trying to stop some very suspicious bad guys.

  14. I’m gonna play devils advocate. I personally think they should have blocked her in or stop sticked her but…..

    Why would a person flee from a simple traffic stop unless you had just commited a major felony? A lot of felons are apprehended on “routine” traffic stops. Just because she has kids in the car doesn’t mean she won’t attempt to kill the officer or someone if given the chance. Plenty of criminals attack cops and people in front of their kids. I don’t agree with shooting at the car since it was not being used as a weapon, but the backup officers probably had little information besides the person fled from a basic traffic stop, assaulted the officer and resisted arrest for a minor infraction, which makes them think the person in question is a major felon. I doubt he knew kids were in the car.

    Was it a good idea? No, but given the publically known circumstances. it was probably justified to attempt to use force to stop the vehicle. Most people do not realize a lot of depts consider stop sticks/spikes up there with deadly force since the result can kill everyone in the car.

    • Kyle, I made a similar point a little further up, but their actions creating probable cause aside, if you watch even a few episodes of COPS you will quickly see that people all too often attempt to evade police for any number of petty and foolish reasons short of the need to shoot them. Just a week or so ago there was a video of a guy who drove away from lights and siren and proceeded at a not dangerous pace until he pulled up in his driveway. The cop asked why he hadn’t stopped and he said he knew he was going to jail (I forget why), and it was his daughter’s car and she needed it to get to work. If he stopped out on the street the cops would have impounded the car! Maybe yes, maybe no on the impound, but that was his ONLY reason for not stopping. Would they have been justified in shooting at him over this?

      • I know people run for all sorts of petty shit, including a little bit of weed they would have gotten a citation and court date for, but you still have to assume the worst. If you decide to run, you have instantly earned yourself a trip to jail and most likely a couple of nice felonies for evading/resisting to go along with it.

        Hell, she might have even got a warning if he hadn’t decided to run. I not gonna add much more since cop haters are gonna hate. But after dealing with dirtbags who will try to kill you to avoid going to jail for something as simple as a bench warrant for failure to appear/pay, you tend to err on the side of caution.

        • Firing indiscriminately at a minivan full of kids should be considered a “good decision”; they represented no dire threat to those troopers.

          However, fleeing at high speed on that road was also a bad decision – a potentially fatal one.

  15. Saw this a few days ago, figured it would end up here eventually. The lady started the whole craziness by trying to get back in the car, and her son made it worse, but actually shooting at a fleeing vehicle with KNOWN innocents in the car. Yea big wtf

  16. The citizen stopped in a public area where there would be witnesses. Considering the deranged behavior exhibited by these out of control government employees that was an entirely reasonable action on her part.

    Disarm cops for a safer America.

  17. I lived in Taos; Gallegos is about as biased a DA as you’ll find anywhere, anytime. He lives in Questa, and, a few years ago, one of his Questa homies, drunk as a skunk and on Memorial Day, plowed over two motorcyclists on their war to the Vietnam War Memorial in Angel Fire – there is an annual Memorial Day biker gathering in Red River, and many are ‘Nam vets.

    Seeing as how this drunken killer was from his home town, Gallegos refused to charge him, saying he was “good people”. One biker was killed outright and the other crippled for life.

    This black Tennessee woman doesn’t really stand a chance. The old Spanish families in Taos have been running the show for many generations. The school board. Town Council. County Board of Supervisors. Since the Spanish descendants are the majority, they continue to vote for these corrupt eff-ups, even though they are running the town into the ground through corruption, incompetence and cronyism.

    Just lately, it seems they are wising up. But Gallegos is still the boss hog. He won’t charge these state troopers, who he doubtless knows personally, and has probably been friends with. They are “good people” too.

    • Twenty-one years ago we took my six-year-old to Taos and dumped him with a 6’7” former physicist ski instructor. Seven days later we got a skiier back.

      Guns: What is cooler than the Taos Pueblo rifles firing by the bonfires as the virgin is carried out by bearers to the crack of whips?

      And now I now the inner truth of Taos. Thanks, Burke. Still will probably go back in January.

      • It’s a great place, even despite the corrupt, bungling government. I know some of you are thinking, “that’s everywhere”, but you have not experience corrupt, inept and nepotistic government until you’ve lived in Taos.

        I miss it every day. The views are tremendous all over the southern end of the San Luis Valley. And the government shows signs of changing. The citizens are finally getting tired of all the bullshit. I hold hope of living there again. Five and a half years is more than enough for one to get the habit of the place.

        A landlord flipped out on me, and told everyone I’d pointed a gun at him. He’s nuts. My daughter called and said, I’m coming to get you.” And so, I left. I wouldn’t live anywhere near that guy again.

  18. I see no reason for the woman to have driven away. I do not understand how an adult in the United States could think this was a good idea. People get speeding tickets when they speed. Grow up for the pity’s sake and take your medicine.

    That said, it is clear the first cop is pissed off (and I do not blame him). Cops need self-control. Be angry, but do not sin…a soft answer turns away anger.

    On one hand, I do not feel sorry for the chick, on the other, his aggressiveness exacerbated the situation.

    I would likely fire or suspend the cop for shooting at the car. Incandescently stupid.

  19. I’m with the cops up until the use of force against the vehicle. (The baton in the window). Yes indeed they could have surrounded her without the need to use force. With no place to go she would have had to eventually come out and face the music. The kid is a punk in training.

      • He’s certainly a punk, but I can’t find it in myself to fault him for defending his momma. He was rash, but I understand why he did that.

        • At that point in time the cops were just doing their legitimate duty. She bolted on them during a traffic stop and that is a legitimate arrest. Some say they could have mailed her the ticket. But she could have just accepted it. The officer was polite when tried the first time to cite her. She wasn’t going to jail until she ran. I have yet to get ticket I didn’t deserve so when the cops stop me I hand them the appropriate documents and accept the ticket without giving the cop grief just because he caught me.

  20. People can get pissed off. So can cops. Imagine how this could have played out if the second cop simply brought his car in and blocked the minivan; he had to know the woman had already driven off once. Then the second cop says to the first cop – go sit the f* down and cool off for 5. He says something similar to the woman driver and gives her time to get her kids calmed down and everyone under control. Once no one’s screaming, maybe then we are all going to have a nice conversation back by the back bumper.

    Regardless of whatever happened before, there is simply no excuse for shooting at the van but the first and second cops on the scene both made the biggest professional mistakes and that is they did not control the scene. The mom and son are not faultless, but things should never have gotten that far.

  21. Sounds like a legit stop, except for shooting at the tire. Regardless of what he claims he was shooting at, he was still employing deadly force. People seem to think that shooting the tires of a moving vehicle is safe. Perhaps in the movies. If he missed or the bullet was strangely deflected into an innocent, there are no do-overs. If she was a fleeing felon, yes, take the risk; socker mom, not a good idea.

  22. If you look at how big of a target the exposed portion of the rear tire was when he began to shoot – he’d better be a heck of a pistol marksman to hit a moving target that small.

    Much, much more likely that the bullet bounces elsewhere.

  23. other than her and her son’s actions the only thing that makes me shake my head is the troop trying to shoot out the tires….. what were you thinking man!

  24. As seen in the last dash-cam clip at the hotel,the fourteen year old by his T-shirt (disguise) was actually the Green Lantern, a fellow Crime Fighter, no professional courtesy these days I guess.

    • ‘A shotgun. Get a shotgun.’ Get some Brenneke SF Max or similar. Take out the tires, wheels, the block. Anything less than a sighted-in shotgun is reckless. A nervous tick can put a pistol shot into the cabin. A shotgun. No. Heavier. More accurate. More versatile. Safer.

  25. I didn’t see anything that bad, until Barney started flinging lead. Totally reckless and uncalled for. That officer should be bounced.

    Ok, bashing the window out to go after the kid was iffy.

    But seriously, the mom is a complete moron.

    • I agree with bashing the window out, that’s safety glass, trust me, it doesn’t cut you up, it just breaks into little ball peices. This mother should have set a better example for her kids, her stupid 14 year old was ready to fight, obviously an issue there as well. I don’t think the initial officer did anything wrong or out of reason. He gave her several chances to do the right thing, the 14 year old escalated.

      Now the cop shooting the gun, that was just wreckless, but he did clearly move over and squared up to shoot the tire as he said. However the news spins it to sound like he was trying to shoot at a minivan full of kids, gotta make headlines and all.

  26. In New Mexico they voted to continue murdering the unborn children and now they want to murder already born children,

  27. Cops go completely ballistic whenever they’re supposed authority is challenged. All restraint immediately goes out the window.

  28. I don’t have an issue with the 1st 2 stops. I don’t have a problem with the officer knocking out the windows with a night stick under the circumstance. The guy showing up on the scene after the fact and shooting into the van was a disaster. That said, she and the 14 yo son needed arrested and that guy needs seriously evaluated and probably terminated and LEO certification pulled.

  29. Ya know what? Entirely her fault,you don’t disrespect law enforcement .Whether the stop was right or wrong , a prudent person would sign the ticket and go to court .Nobody likes it but that’s our legal system.She and She alone put those kids in jeopardy.Her son did what any son would do in defense of his mom.So again she now forced her son into a dangerous situation.
    She needs to grow up and be a responsible citizen or …….Not!

    • They still look like a bunch of LEO retards escaped from a bad 1950s B-movie. That is especially true with the tard pounding out the window with the night stick. The 1950s want their uniforms back as well. At least she didn’t get a colonoscopy. The 14 you may have by now.

    • Since when is disrespect a good reason to shoot at people?
      If it is, is every case of a teenage thug shooting at another teenage thug over “respect” (and possibly killing some grade school kids in the process) justifiable?

  30. I don’t have a problem with this video up until the cop shoots at the van. No sane or innocent person runs from a cop just because a minor traffic violation. How did the cops not know if she or the son hadn’t just killed some one a mile down the road? Maybe she was running from something at home, like a custody dispute? What ever it is, the first officer did the best he could with the situation at hand and should not be punished.

    • It says “Peace Officer” which could be anything really. Code enforcement? Seems to me like she tried to used her “professional courtesy” to get out of a ticket. Then ran off and pulled over again. Didn’t want to be arrested, resisted arrest and things got out of hand from there.

      So yes, it was all her fault, she still writes like she did nothing wrong. She has a victim mentality, all throughout her writing.

      • Wikipedia defines “peace officer” as “any public-sector employee or agent whose duties primarily involve the enforcement of laws. The phrase can include police officers, corrections officers, customs officers, state troopers, special agents, immigration officers, court bailiffs, probation officers, parole officers, arson investigators, auxiliary officers, and sheriffs, marshals, and their deputies.”

        • Don’t be ridiculous; no courthouse clerk is ever called a “peace officer”, anywhere.

          What is your angle, exactly? You seem very keen on “proving” the woman is not a cop, something that’s obviously impossible for you to do with the present information.

          Come clean with me.

        • Speaking of deputies, the other day on Make Room For Daddy on the Nostalgia channel, Danny got pulled over by Andy Taylor on his way through Mayberry and he’s a real dork to Andy so Andy puts him in jail. Of course Danny calls his agent and they send a TV crew and while they’re interviewing Andy, Otis comes in and lets himself into his cell. They’re all floored, and Andy explained that he had deputized Otis so that he could arrest himself when he got drunk. I thought it was just cuter than a rat. 🙂

      • Tell me how you got “use her professional courtesy”, whatever that means, or “code enforcement” out of that film clip. You really should stick to the known facts, and not confabulate unsubstantiated scenarios.

        • “Code Enforcement” is like what my friend’s dad does for a living. He’s technically works for the police department or at least out of the same building, but he doesn’t have a gun and he just goes around enforcing building codes. Writing citation and fines. I wasn’t saying that was exactly her, but suggesting something around those lines. She obviously is not an officer that works with criminals on a daily basis, she would know better than to pull the stuff she pulled.

          If you don’t know what “Professional Courtesy” is, perhaps you should look it up. It’s nationwide and many police officers stick by it. The highway patrol and state troopers don’t around here to an extent, but the city cops stick by it every time. The courtesy is, you have to let the police officer go as a courtesy because maybe when you’re on a call and you need backup, they might be the one to show up, or not show up depending on if they have a grudge with you for writing them a ticket. This courtesy is nationwide, you simply ask for it and sometimes they’ll let you slide. This is not made up, my ex is a cop and so is her brother in law who didn’t feel like driving around the block and blatantly went up a one way street, got out of that ticket with just his badge.

          I’m not saying for sure she used professional courtesy, but it does make the whole situation make sense if she did.

          From Wiki:
          “n law enforcement[edit]

          Since approximately 1990, the term has been used to refer to the practice by law enforcement officers allowing other officers to engage in traffic violations and some crimes without being reported or arrested. There are three tools that law enforcement officers use to implement “professional courtesy”:
          First, some states (such as California) issue “confidential plates” to employees in law enforcement, as well as such groups as judges, district attorneys, jail guards, district attorney investigators, National Park Service rangers, city council members, and city attorneys. Many police departments waive citations issued to those driving cars with “confidential plates”, citing professional courtesy as the justification.[4] Even serious offences such as drunk driving are subject to professional courtesy “discretion”, and federal law assists in the process by exempting police officers and firefighters from a federal law that requires truck drivers to be blood-tested after an accident.[5]
          Second, many American law enforcement employees affix thin blue line stickers to their cars, so that other officers will not pull them over for traffic law violations.
          Third, many American law enforcement employees distribute “family cards” to friends and family to produce at, for example, a traffic stop where an ordinary member of the public would get a ticket.[6] Many vendors are explicit about the intention behind these cards and document the definition of “professional courtesy”.[7]”

        • You obviously can’t prove she is, or isn’t, a LEO of some sort? What’s up with this, Neez? Why are you so eager to “prove” that which you cannot prove?

          Out with it, man. No current information proves anything, either way, yet you’re trying to ride the tiger. You know the thing about “riding the tiger”? You have to ride the tiger, no matter what, or you’re a goner.

          WHY?

        • Dude what is your problem?? I’m not out to prove anything, did you see me provide any evidence??? Did i provide any facts, no!!! It’s called speculation, i’m just proposing a possible reason why the situation was so out of control from the beginning. I didn’t say that that’s exactly what happened, but a possible reason for it. It would make total sense if that’s what happened. There are several videos on youtube of cops expecting “professional courtesy” and they all end up with situation exactly like this one. One of the cops was speeding in his take home cruiser over 100mph and expected professional courtesy, he was taken out of the car at gunpoint.

          http://www.autoblog.com/2012/07/19/watch-the-speeding-prank-that-got-two-fl-police-officers-fired/
          http://www.officer.com/video/10445455/fhp-trooper-pulls-over-miami-officer-speeding-in-cruiser

          What makes you so dead set that she’s a LEO????? After rereading her statement for “peace officer” several times, it actually sounds like just being a mom in her house is what makes her a “peace” officer. Her unit, is actually just her kids and herself?? And from her writing, she feels like she’s got the hardest life in the world being a single black women with all those kids. She also makes the fallacy of blaming the shooting all for the ticket. He didn’t shoot at her for the ticket, he shot at her because of her reckless behavior. The shooting cop wasn’t even there for the ticket portion, he didn’t know about all that.

          Also from Wiki:
          A court clerk (English English clerk to the court; American English clerk of the court or clerk of court) is an officer of the court whose responsibilities include maintaining the records of a court.

          Also from NY state code, not that she’s from new york, just quick googling of state legislation:
          “This reclassification is necessary as a means of ensuring the safety of New Yorkers. Currently court officers and court clerks are classified as peace officers, thereby giving them the authority to maintain order and ensure security while performing the duties of their office. By enacting this reclassification, the court officers’ and court clerks’ authority would be extended beyond the courtroom.”

        • Ok then, my first point stands. I bet she tried to get “professional courtesy”, the other cop didn’t want to give it to her, she refused the ticket and the rest was as you see in the video. It makes total sense if that’s what it was.

          And again, they are not specific on the type of LEO, peace officer is not generally used by someone who is a “police officer”. She could be anything, from county clerk, to code enforcement, to the commissioners secretary. And also, if you’ve learned anything from the news and firearms, you know how accurate the news can be, or not.

        • Okay, but the audio doesn’t support your theory, unless you can hear something I don’t.

          We should both let that particular thing go.

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