Two New Mexico police officers are under investigation after one opened fire on a minivan. A mother and her five children, ages 6 to 18, were inside.
The shooting happened last month after a traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase outside of Santa Fe. And now, there’s newly-released video of the confrontation in which 39-year-old mother of five, Orianna Ferrell, of Tennessee, can be seen being pulled over for speeding by a New Mexico state police officer just north of Santa Fe. The officer’s dash camera captures them arguing.
For some reason, Ferrell drove off instead. The officer pursues and pulls her over again. The police officer can be heard saying: “Get out of the vehicle! Get out of the vehicle right now!”
Ferrell doesn’t budge, but her 14-year-old son jumps out. He retreats when the officer pulls out his Taser.
The officer says: “You’re facing evading charges. You ran away from me, OK.”
Finally, she gets out of the vehicle, and then appears to ignore the officer, and struggles to get back inside. Out comes her son again. This time he scuffles with the officer. He runs backs to the car. The family is locked inside. The officer smashes the window with his baton. As Ferrell drives off again, another officer arrives and fires at least three shots at the van with the five children inside. After a 10-minute, high-speed chase, Ferrell finally stops. She and her son are arrested.
In court, the district attorney charged Ferrell with five counts including child endangerment, resisting arrest and reckless driving. Her son was charged with battery.
Ferrell’s attorney said she was scared. The judge called the video disturbing and puzzling. The two officers involved are under investigation.
In a statement, New Mexico’s State Police chief said: “If the investigation determines that the officer improperly discharged his firearm in this case, we will take swift action because improperly using a firearm isn’t tolerated by the State Police.”
One has to wonder why the Ferrel didn’t think about the safety of children first.
Ferrell’s attorney Alan Maestas said her client was just scared and so she drove away, the newspaper reported.
“She was flat-out scared that something was going to happen to her children,” he said. “We ought to talk about the stupidity and recklessness of shooting at a car that has five children in it.”