You’ve probably seen a two to five minute clip of a New Mexico state police officer shooting at what the media has portrayed as a “vanload of kids” and what many on the right “libertarian” wing have portrayed as a disgusting example of “police state” control, or something. While I have spoken out against law enforcement over-stepping boundaries in the past, as in the recent Luna County incident, this story involving state police struck me differently, and I have not commented much.
A recent video I was sent this week clarified the situation and painted the entire incident in a different light– it runs over eighteen minutes long. A cop pulls over a woman who was driving 71 in a 55 with an expired license. He only ticketed her for the speed and requested she sign the ticket. She flatly refused and after she argued with him for minutes, he returned to his car to call for backup. She sped off and he pursued. She stops again, this time he requests she step out of the car. Arguing follows and she finally steps out of the car, but quickly returns to the van when she realizes she is going to be arrested. Two teenagers jump out of the van. And they run back into the vehicle as two more state police officers arrive at the scene. Officer one breaks in a window on the van to pull open the door of the van and the van pulls away, while a second officer fires at the van as it pulls away.
Note that the second and third state policemen were only coming to the aid of their fellow-officer and did not know who were inside the van, only that there was a commotion and a “routine” traffic stop that had gone awry. He didn’t know there were children in the van, only that his fellow officer needed help.
The entire video can be seen below:
The first cop actually handled the situation very well. He was polite and tried to work with the woman. What more could he do? What do you do with someone who refuses to follow the law all that is left is force? The woman could have easily gotten numerous people killed as well as her vanload of kids.
Now Officer Elias Montoya has been suspended as a state police officer. A fellow law enforcement member Rick Anglada posted the following on Facebook.