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Caught on Camera: New Mexico cop suspended after shooting at van full of kids

6:48 PM, Dec 6, 2013   |    comments
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New Mexico (CNN) -- A New Mexico State Police officer who shot at a minivan full of kids is off the job for now. Officials say he's been suspended pending a disciplinary investigation.

Dashcam video captured the chaos that started when officers pulled over Oriana Farrell for speeding. They say she wasn't cooperative, argued with officers and tried to flee. And when she began driving away again, state police say officer Elias Montoya opened fire.

Because of that, Montoya is temporarily off the job, pending a disciplinary investigation.

When asked why it took New Mexico State Police over a month since the Oct. 28 incident to decide to suspend Officer Montoya, a spokesperson replied with "no comment".

But others have plenty to say, including a lawyer representing Oriana Farrell, who was finally arrested after a chase through Taos.

"If we're going to talk about child abuse, we ought to talk about the stupidity, the recklessness of shooting at a van that has five kids in it," Attorney Alan Maestas said in court in November.

State Police Chief Pete Kassetas told Action 7 News he has concerns about the behavior he observed in this video, but did say the officer was trying to shoot at the tires.

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