The video is pretty shocking. A mother from Tennessee and her five kids were reportedly on an educational field trip through New Mexico when her van was pulled over by New Mexico State Police.
The video, which has appeared on LiveLink shows the officer explaining to the woman, now identified as Oriana Ferrell, that she was going 71 mph in a 55 mph zone. The officer tells Ferrell to turn off her van while he runs her information. Ferrell doesn’t do as she is told. Instead, she drives away.
The officer follows and pulls her over again. This time, he begins telling Ferrell to get out of the vehicle. According to Albuquerque TV station KRQE, “The officer begins telling Ferrell ‘Look I’m going to ask you one more time to get out of the vehicle and then I am going to pull you out, OK?’”
At one point Ferrell’s 14-year-old son gets out of the minivan and starts walking towards the officer, but backs off when the officer goes for his Taser. The 14 year-old gets back in the van while the officer continues his struggle to get Ferrell out of the minivan. At one point you can hear Ferrell telling the officer, “You see my children. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m just trying to take them to the Rio Grande.”
Once she finally exits the van, Ferrell is told to turn around and put her hands on the van. She doesn’t want to be arrested and attempts to go back into the vehicle. As she and the officer begin to wrestle, the 14 year-old comes back and this time rushes the officer. The boy and the cop have a short tussle. The officer draws his Taser again while the boy runs back into the minivan and closes the door.
Now comes the moment, when we have to ask the question… for all the issues here and clearly there are many, do the officers escalate the situation far beyond where it should be for a traffic stop. As backup officers pull up, the original officer pulls out his baton and smashes one of the rear windows of the van as the family screams.
Ferrell attempts to get away, and the minivan speeds off while another officer actually draws his gun and fires three shots at the fleeing vehicle, which again, has five children inside. Ferrell leads State Police on a high-speed chase into Taos before giving herself up in front of a hotel.
Both Ferrell and her son were arrested. Ferrell was also charged with child abuse and yet, is not a fair question to ask… wasn’t the officer firing shots at that van the one creating the most danger?
At BenSwann.com we have taken some heat for being hard on police. We are hard on them, but that is in part because we believe that the police, the armed and trained individuals on the scene should be the ones to help bring down the level of tension, aggravation and danger, not to increase it.
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