New Mexico Police Fire Into Minivan Filled With Children

ABC_minivan_shooting_with_blur_jt_131116_16x9_992 There is a disturbing case out of New Mexico where police fired into a van full of children after the mother tried to drive away from officers. As shown on the video below, an officer stopped Oriana Ferrell on a routine traffic stop only to see her drive away. What followed was a chase, smashing windows of the van, and the shocking decision of an officer to fire into a vehicle with kids in the backseat.

First and foremost, it should be noted that Ferrell had violated a host of laws. She fled the scene, engaged in a high-speed chase, resisted arrest, and police say that they found two marijuana pipes in the car. However, it is the discharge of the weapon that shocked many of us.

Ferrell was originally pulled over for going 71 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. She argues with the officer who goes back to his car only to see Ferrell drive away. At this point, he is aware that there are five children in the car aged 6 to 18.

He then pulls her over again and yells at her to get out of the van. When she refuses, he tries to force her out. When her teenage son gets out to confront him, the officer pulls his taser and the teen goes back into the car.

He tells her that she will be charged and to get out as she argues with him. She inexplicably insists that she did nothing wrong and “didn’t run away.” She gets out of the car and the officer tells her to face the van to be cuffed. After she locks herself back into the van, the officer takes his baton and starts to break windows even though he knows that children are seated inside. The flying glass constitutes an obvious threat to the children and this is the first serious breach that I can see. I do not understand why they do not immobilize the van or why he decides to break the window next to the children rather than the driver.

As he is smashing the windows, she drives away. That is when another officer fires three shots directly into a van filled with children. It is a shocking use of force with no concern for the children inside the van. At this point, Ferrell is only accused of a minor traffic stop, leaving the scene, and resisting arrest. There has been no weapon or attack on the officer. Yet, this officer put three slugs through the back of a van filled with children.

Ferrell then leads the police on a 10-minute chase before turning herself in. The New Mexico State Police have not removed any of the officers from active duty.

Ferrell was charged with five counts of abuse of a child, aggravated fleeing an officer, resisting an officer, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. The abuse of a child is interesting given the fact that it was the officers that fired into a van full of children. Moreover, it is not clear what the basis is for the charge against her teenage son for battery of an officer.

As the video below shows, there was ample reason for an arrest, but the excessive force used by the police is very disturbing and warrants a full investigation. The officer firing the weapon could have killed three children with this unjustified use of force. The police had multiple cars and could easily stop a minivan without resulting to the use of potentially lethal force.

What do you think?

Kudos: Michael Blott

190 thoughts on “New Mexico Police Fire Into Minivan Filled With Children”

  1. “State Police spokesman Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez said that officer Elias Montoya, who was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday, was terminated from his position as of Friday.

    Gutierrez said he had confirmed the firing with State Police Chief Pete Kassetas. Gutierrez declined further comment “until all appeals have been exhausted,” though he did confirm that two other officers who were present for the chaotic traffic stop were still employed by the State Police.


  2. Arthur Randolph Erb
    1, November 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm
    raff, I did not see that she was afraid, but that she was more pissed off. The title of this issue is NOT supported by the facts. There is NO mention of bullet holes being in the van at all. So the title Police fire into a Minivan is either a lie, or a deliberate attempt to prejudge the case by making a statement that is NOT supported by the facts.

    I expect better from most of the people here

    true. shooting at a van and actually hitting the van are two different things.

    1. Assuming no bullet holes in the van (although I don’t know how the poster determined this), I guess the LEO’s should be given a pass for being bad shots.

  3. LawyerChuck,

    It’s a breakfast dish from the Yucatán, but you find it (or variations) around southern Mexico and in the Caribbean. The most basic form is just eggs, black beans, cheese and tortillas, but it sometimes has ham, vegetables, fried plantains or a salsa with it. I like it with the eggs baked in some red and a little fresh pico, but I found out about it from a friend who travels the region frequently (he’s a Central American Studies prof) when I was talking to his wife about ways to cook with Oaxaca cheese. If you like huevos rancheros, you should give it a try. It’s real tasty. Although Oaxaca cheese is pretty easy to find in the States these days, you can substitute either farmer’s cheese, Monterrey Jack or a similar mild white cheese. My only other suggestion is that I find it’s better with eggs made any way with runny yolks. Scrambled or hard cooked eggs don’t have the same effect of the yolk mixing with the sauces/salsa, but it still isn’t bad if runny yolks present a problem for you.

  4. If you would like to see the subject of this incident just go to YouTube and search Oriana Lee. She has done a rap video, book review, and other videos.

  5. LawyerChuck,

    I think the provided description was fairly self-explanatory although what I made was closer to huevos motuleños than huevos rancheros.

  6. LawyerChuck, Darren Smith is/was our resident cop who hasn’t been around for awhile.

  7. As LEA’s hire more and more returning vets trained in the actions of war, expect more and more incidents such as that under discussion here. Taos is near the North end of New Mexico, and Demming is at the South end. The recent incidents in both places reflect LE trends in between. Never forget, however, that there are some really fine LEO’s everywhere doing good and proper work. We just don’t hear about them as much because good works don’t sell as well as the other kind.

  8. And to those who asked “Where’s Darren?” Darren White was sheriff of Bernalillo County New Mexico until last year when he whisked his wife away from an automobile collision allegedly involving alcohol use. He resigned and hasn’t been seen or heard from since, at least locally.

  9. Mexican style eggs? I can’t let that one go.

    ¿Lo que en el mundo son ‘Huevos Mexicanos’? ¿Huevos Rancheros, Huevos Mexicana, Huevos con chorizo? Huevos Mexicanos son los mismos que cualquier otros huevos – es la forma en que están preparados.

    BTW New Mexico became the 47th state on January 6, 1912.

  10. raff, She was about to be incarcerated! That’s why she was upset, scared, nervous, angry, etc. She needs to watch the Chris Rock instructional video on what to do when a cop stops you. It is both hilarious and poignant.

  11. Elaine,

    Isn’t it great when you move…. You find out exactly how much stuff you used to think was important is really dust collectors….

  12. Swarthmoremom,

    We moved in June. I’m still unpacking things from boxes, bins, and bags we stored in our barn. Still have lots of things to go through. Hope you like living in your new home. My husband and I love living next door to our daughter, son-in-law, and our only grandchild.

  13. SWM, Change keeps us young. Congrats on the move and hope you get back to regular status soon. Sarah Silverman said to Maureen Dowd that Hillary needs a voice coach, she sounds like your mom yelling @ you. It’s good advice, but most pols don’t take advice well.

  14. SwM,

    Ah, the joys of unpacking!

    I’m very fortunate to live close to a large Hispanic neighborhood to which the local grocers cater.

  15. Blouise, They are going as well as could be expected considering we have made a cross country move. Husband is still in Texas off and on until Dec 18th. Now I want a smothered green chile burrito for lunch. 🙂 Oh well, did not move to New Mexico but at least I know how to cook the food.

  16. SwM,

    Green chilies are what gbk hooked me up with.

    Hope things are progressing smoothly

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