Cop who shot at minivan of kids will face no charges

The New Mexico officer says he aimed only at the vehicle's tires, after another cop smashed window with a baton

By Natasha Lennard

Published November 20, 2013 2:54PM (EST)

 Still shot from dashboard cam footage
Still shot from dashboard cam footage

A New Mexico cop who shot at a minivan carrying five kids when the driver refused to comply during a traffic stop will not face charges. Another police officer smashed in the van's window with a baton as officer Elias Montoya opened fire. He insists he aimed specifically at the vehicle's tire. The incident garnered viral attention when dashboard camera footage of the violent traffic stop went public.

While the state police are investigating the incident, the Taos County D.A. has told the media that no officers involved will face charges. "[Additional] information could come in, but at this preliminary stage, what I've viewed and what I've reviewed I don't see any criminal charges against any of the officers ... I don't intend to seek charges at this point," said D.A. Donald Gallegos.

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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