A shocking dashcam video shows the moment a New Mexico state trooper opened fire on a minivan with five children inside after a routine traffic stop for speeding.
The New Mexico State Police have opened an investigation into the conduct of the troopers involved. The driver, Rihanna Ferrell, and her 14-year-old son are facing charges.
The confrontation began as a routine traffic stop near Taos, N.M., on Oct. 28.
Ferrell was pulled over by police for going 71 miles-per-hour in a 55 miles-per-hour zone, according to KRQE-TV.
Footage shows the officer walk up to the vehicle and begin speaking with her through the window.
When the officer walks away, presumably to run the license and registration, Ferrell hits the gas pedal and drives off.
The officer gives chase in his vehicle and Ferrell again pulls to the side of the road.
When the officer goes to the car a second time, he orders her out of the vehicle.
“Look, I’m going to ask you one more time to get out of the vehicle and then I’m going to pull you out, OK?” the officer said. “You’re already facing evading charges. You ran away from me.”
“Sir, I pulled back over, I didn’t run away,” the woman said. “You see my children. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m just trying to take them to the Rio Grande.”
Ferrell eventually exits the vehicle and gets into a physical confrontation with the officer while he tries to arrest her.
The incident quickly escalates when the woman’s 14-year-old son exits the vehicle and begins tussling with the trooper. He runs back into the van when more police officers arrive on the scene.
The arresting officer is then shown smashing a rear window with his baton, while the terrified children scream.
Ferrell again begins to drive away as another cop fires several shots into the back of the minivan – emptying multiple rounds in the direction of the children.
Ferrell leads the officers on a 10-minute chase before stopping in front of a hotel and turning herself in. Both the woman and her teenage son were arrested.
Ferrell was charged with five counts of abuse of a child, aggravated fleeing an officer, resisting an officer, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to The Taos News. Her son was charged with battery of an officer.
The officers involved have not yet been removed from active duty.
The Taos News reported that New Mexico State Police said they found two marijuana pipes in the minivan.