Cop shoots at minivan full of kids

A simple speeding stop in New Mexico swiftly escalated into violence police action

By Natasha Lennard

Published November 18, 2013 7:48PM (EST)

   (Screenshot via KRQE)
(Screenshot via KRQE)

When Oriana Ferrell, 39, was pulled over for speeding, she disobeyed police orders and twice drove away. She was breaking the law, yes, but should such action prompt a cop to open fire on a minivan carrying five children, another officer having already smashed in a passenger window with a baton?

It's possibly worth mentioning that the cops were white and the family is black.

NBC News detailed the events, which are currently under review by Albuquerque police:

An officer approached the car and asked her to wait, but she drove away. When she was pulled over a second time, the drama escalated.

“Get out of the vehicle! Get out of the vehicle right now!” an officer shouted at Ferrell. She did — and then her 14-year-old son got out of the van and rushed the officer. After a scuffle, the child ran back into the van.
By this point, backup had arrived. Moments later, an officer used his baton to smash a passenger-side window. And a second officer, appearing to aim low, fired three shots as the van sped away.
The chase came to an end outside a hotel. Ferrell was arrested and charged with intentional abuse of a child and fleeing an officer. The son was arrested and charged with battery.

A video of the incident was obtained by local station KRQE:

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Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

New Mexico Police Police Brutality Shooting Speeding Traffic Stop Video Violence