New Mexico state officers under investigation after firing at minivan with children inside


I am kind of surprised this has not been a thread as yet.

While I would agree that the woman carries responsibility in this as she should have simply complied with the orders during the traffic stop.

Smashing windows and shooting at kids…
Seems a bit excessive.

And they wonder why the police get a bad reputation.:rolleyes:


I was at a loss as to why the woman fled initially; that was just not OK as far as I’m concerned. But the police response seemed excessive. Then again, cameras don’t always tell the whole story…


A mother and her five kids traveling in another state. Something must have spooked her, thinking she was in danger (and her kids) with this traffic stop. I can only think of a speed trap. Our family was victim to one in Cloudcroft, NM. A speed trap with no visible speed limit sign. My dad actually made a U-turn to check. It was covered by a branch. He drove out of town driving 5 miles BELOW the limit and couldnt wait to get out of NM.

So I see a lot of reasons this woman may have felt unsafe, she’s black, she is alone with her kids, and something was definitely WRONG with THESE COPS. I pray a good lawyer comes to help her out. I am glad there are cameras now. Before it was just cop’s word against victim’s word.


I have been surprsed by the amount of excessive force used in the past few years! There used to be some proportionality in police response–like they would actually let a shoplifter get away rather than start a high-speed chase in a high-traffic area.

It’s not as if they don’t have radios, cell phones, etc. We used to have a saying, You can’t outrun a radio… Why the police are using their guns so frequently in these types of situations is beyond me.


The mother was less than responsible, speeding 16 miles over the speed limit, 2 marijuana pipes in vehicle, fleeing police. However, I don’t see any justification at all for the officer firing several gunshots at a van full of children.


Maybe the drug paraphanalia in her car?

Overuse of force by the police, but could have been avoided had the driver not tried to flee.


After the incident in DC where police shot at a fleeing car (and the mother was shot and killed), I read quite a bit about how most police have guidelines against shooting at moving cars.

I agree that it seems police action has become more excessive in recent years. It will be interesting to see how this incident develops.


The footage taken Oct. 28 showed driver Oriana Farrell, 39, disobey the officer’s orders, including driving off after being told to take her keys out of the vehicle.

The Memphis, Tenn., woman was pulled over again and the situation escalates as she pleads for lenience while refusing the officer’s orders.

She eventually exits the vehicle, but tries to get back in the van as the officer tries to restrain her.

The TV station’s edited video shows at least two of her five children get out of the vehicle to confront the officer in her defense.

The mother and teenage son were arrested at a hotel after a brief chase. She has since been released and faces charges of child abuse, fleeing and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia for a pair of marijuana pipes found in the van.

Wait, let me get this straight. We have a mother that is clearly in non compliance with the police stop. She attempts to flee. At least 2 kids get out and confront officers and at least one gets into a physical altercation with police and then the mother and kids actually do flee and people are blaming the police here?

This mother has utterly failed in her duty as a parent to protect her kids when she chose to not comply with police requests and in not teaching her kids to stay in the car during a traffic stop unless asked to get out by police and on top of it in clearly not teaching them to not start altercations with police officers. Oh yes, and the drug paraphernalia too.

She is wholly to blame for what happened here.

Let them investigate.


I agree with you. The woman’s behavior was extremely bizarre. Whether from drugs or not she certainly was in no state to be diving or taking care of children. Especially after the she fled with the children, the duty of the police was to stop her and make sure the children were safe. Breaking out a window and firing a few shots at a tire is not that serious compared to the danger that the woman potentially posed. She was driving 16 mph over the speed limit before this all happened. If she was that reckless to begin with, then the officers would rightly fear what she would do with the children after she escalated the situation and fled. Yu also have to realize, at the time of the incident, the officers can’t assume that the children were hers. Even if they knew they were hers, she was still a danger driving them.


Cops wouldn’t have broken the window out if the teenager that attacked the police officer hadn’t run back into the car and locked the door clearly refusing to comply with them.

The 16 miles over the speed limit isn’t a huge deal to me. But her actions at getting pulled over sure do.


So it is not a problem that the officer fired upon the children?
The mother acted wrong, but the officer had no cause to endanger innocent lives.


Whoa! Hold on there, folks!

Yes, the woman was clearly out of line. However, shooting at a moving vehicle like that pits all the passengers and others near them on the road and potentially EMS people at risk.

Were they not able to pick the woman up later, when she stopped? Oh, yes! they were! So they did not have to shoot at a moving car with 5 children in it, whether they were her children or not.

I don’t think anyone is saying that what she did was right, but for myself, the police shooting at a moving vehicle when they were not in imminent danger of being run over was simply flat-out wrong. They should have radioed it in and did what they ended up doing without the shooting, since they all seem to have not accomplished whatever they were trying to accomplish by shooting without the shooting.

Imagine if the headline were: Police shoot at car, which then hits another vehicle head-on, killing mother of 5, 5 children, and occupants of other vehicle.



The mother and teenage son were arrested at a hotel after a brief chase. She has since been released and faces charges of child abuse, fleeing and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia for a pair of marijuana pipes found in the van.

**What do we have to show that this is truth?

Are the officers that searched the van the same ones that were also breaking out the windows and shooting?


I agree about the mother’s bizarre behavior, but they didn’t just break out a window and shoot at the tires. An obviously out of control cop smashed a window in on a car full of kids! How do you protect children by endangering them? Was there no way to block her path or follow her without showering glass at high velocity onto a carful of kids? And as for the shots… :frowning:

As for the kids - I think any teen, especially a boy, would rise to defense of their mom. She reacted badly and set the scene for them - theirs was a normal reaction for the situation in which NONE of the adults seemed to be acting responsibly.


So in what area of training is the officer taught how to shoot tires under a moving minivan full of children?

Is that before or after the lesson on smashing windows?

There were multiple cars responding. Simply block the path and wait her out.

I am deeply troubled by the increasing frequency of police officers utilizing force when it is not necessary.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit