The mother who led New Mexico police on a dramatic chase that culminated in their shooting at the minivan she was driving with her children inside has spoken out about the incident.
Calling one of police officers a 'terrifying individual,' Oriana Ferrell, 39, wrote in a letter penned from her prison cell last month and published in the Taos News yesterday that she drove away from police repeatedly to protect her children.
'A uniformed officer can shoot three bullets at my van and be considered to be “doing his job”, but my doing what I can to get my own children away from such a terrifying individual has been termed “child abuse” and “endangerment,” according to New Mexico law,' she wrote.
New Mexico State Police have opened an investigation into the conduct of the troopers - and driver Oriana Ferrell and her 14-year-old son are facing charges.
Calling herself a 'peace officer,' Ferrell writes: 'As a single, African-American mother of five in this country, things are tough enough I should not have to endure harassment at the hands of someone who has been hired to protect the citizens of this land over an alleged “speeding offense.” No one should.'
The traffic stop took place south of Taos, New Mexico, on October 28 - but it sparked local outrage after the video from a state police dashboard camera went public.
Footage shows the officer casually walk up to the vehicle and begin speaking with the driver.
When the officer walks away, presumably to run the license and registration and decide whether to write a ticket, the van takes off.