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Oriana Farrell

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Oriana Farrell with her five children in June 2013

Oriana Lee Farrell (1974- ), of Memphis, Tennessee, was yet another unarmed Black American shot at by police. This time, though, police made 18 minutes of the video public.

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Family vacation picture from October 17th 2013 near Pecos, New Mexico

On Monday afternoon, October 28th 2013, while Farrell was on a cross-country road trip with her five homeschooled children, ages 6 to 18, the New Mexico state police pulled her over “in the middle of nowhere”, as she put  it (Route 518 south of Taos). 

  • Out-of-state plates: check.
  • End of the month: check.
  • Driving while black: check.

Officer Tony DeTavis said she was going 71 mph in a 55-mph zone. During a dispute over the speeding ticket, she drives off!

DeTavis chases her, siren blaring. Less than a minute later, she pulls over. He shouts at her to get out of the car. He tries to pull her out. Her children are screaming. She fears DeTavis and does not trust him.

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Farrell stopped by the police

After five minutes he persuades her to come out. But when he asks her to turn around, apparently to handcuff her, she tries to get back in the car.

DeTavis tries to stop her. Her 14-year-old son comes out and fights him! DeTavis points his Taser at him: “Get on the ground!” Her son runs back in the car.

Two other police officers arrive, ready to shoot.

DeTavis tries to get Farrell’s son out of the car. The door is locked. He smashes the window with his nightstick.

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Family vacation: Officer DeTavis smashing a car window.

Farrell drives away. Officer Elias Montoya shoots at the moving car full of children three times – “at the left rear tire in an attempt to immobilize the vehicle,” he says.

Three police cars chase her. They go through Taos, hitting 93 (150 kph). She gives herself up in front of Hotel Don Fernando de Taos. The police also arrest her son, but later let him go.

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State police had shot at four people that month, Farrell and three others. All four were persons of colour. New Mexico is 41% White.

In Tennessee v Garner (1985), the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot shoot fleeing, unarmed suspects.

During the chase, police reported she had a gun. Only a toy gun was found.

The police were not charged, though Montoya was fired December 7th.

She has been charged with:

  • fleeing the police,
  • child abuse (for the police endangering her children?),
  • possession of drug paraphernalia (police found two marijuana pipes in her car).

The first two could put her in prison. She is out on bail, the jury trial set for April.

Questions:

  1. Why she drove off the first time is unclear. It is also unclear why she pulled over so quickly. She gained no apparent advantage, like getting to a more public place. Maybe she just panicked.
  2. Why she drove off the second time is crystal clear. What mother would not?
  3. Why the police used unnecessary force, endangering her, her children and the public, over a $126 speeding ticket, is because she had a Phantom Negro Weapon.

Sources:

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1,084 Responses

  1. In Tennessee v Garner (1985) , the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot shoot fleeing, unarmed suspects.

    Well look at that gem right there.

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  2. Dang, that was crazy. I am at a loss for words on this.

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  3. There were children in the car, the cops seemed kind of trigger happy. These seem like gestapo tactics. Thank God they didn’t kill the young teenager.

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  4. Those kids are going to be traumatized from that incident, a simple cross country trip with the family in 2013 turns into the twilight zone.

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  5. A $126.00 speeding ticket does not warrant having guns pulled out on a woman and her young children.

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  6. For the life of me I can’t yet figure out why she drove away? Did she give any reason for it?

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  7. “child abuse (for the police endangering her children?),”

    Yep believe it and also the shooting that happened in new York where the police shot at the guy and missed but hit two innocent bystanders charged him for their mistake saying “The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” said an assistant district attorney, Shannon Lucey …..ain’t that some bs.

    http://newsone.com/2803557/glenn-broadnax-nypd/

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  8. I posted the video to this incident in the open thread a couple weeks ago, this is a perfect of example of how the police have no intention to, “serve and protect” black people, instead they follow the creed to, “harass and arrest” black people.

    I have always said, if a white police officer isn’t pulling over a black person to give a ticket, question, search us, arrest us and arrive in our neighborhoods to ,”protect and serve us” ( which is a joke, being when they arrive, they even treat a black person that has been a victim of a crime, like a criminal ), They have nothing to say to a black person, not one, “hello, how are you?” or “are you ok maam or sir?”

    This kind of courtesy is reserved for only white people, you know, the people they actually, “serve and protect”.

    They always talk down to a black person, never with respect or professionalism.

    They make it a point to let black people know, they don’t like black people by the way they talk, treat and under serve our neighborhoods.

    Let me give my black people a nickels worth of advice, if you happen to be in a place, where you’re the only black person in a sea of white people and trouble is a foot, get your black azz outta dodge, before police arrive, because if you don’t….you bet your black azz, you’ll be the 1st one they pull to the side and question, run your criminal background and detain yo azz, until they can rule you out as a suspect.

    Then you better hope to god a blind old white man or woman, doesn’t mistake you for the perp, ( being white people think all black people look alike and are all criminals ) The white cops will believe them and take you into custody.

    Same thing if you’re driving, if there is a road block or anywhere where police are, avoid being around them at all costs. By all means, don’t ask police for help, directions anything, they will probably charge you with something like, interfering with a police investigation or something along those lines.

    This woman didn’t make matters better but worse for herself and her children.

    This woman, DID put her children in danger but not for the reasons you may be thinking. She put her children in danger by not dealing with a white racist white cop in a way that would not make things spiral out of control.

    Being a black women, how could she not see that this cop, had no regard for the lives of her and her children? Me, being a black man, i know not to make things worse, if i see that a white cop is baiting me, so i can say or do something that would give him an excuse to use excessive force or arrest me.

    She allowed for her emotions to take over her, better judgement and as a result, gave the racist cop, all the reason to do what he did, ( which what he was trying to do in the first place ) and it worked!

    This is a tactic that white police officers use on black people all the time and it works, 99.9% of the time. They instigate and provoke black people to say or do something, so they can charge us with a crime, anything to get cuffs on us and in custody.

    Now, that being said, did that warrant these terrorists dressed in uniforms, called police officers to bash the windows out of the mini van and terrorize the little children in the car and shoot 3 times at the van, pulling away? of coarse not.

    I can see that some will say, that at one point, she was trying to protect her children from the terrorists by driving off, after the cop trying to bash into the windows but she didn’t cooperate with the police officer at all.

    Maybe she was high on weed?, maybe that clouded her judgement? who knows… I think that everyone on this blog will agree, that she wasn’t very smart about the whole situation and did put her children in danger but not for the reasons, the Mexico police dept. is giving.

    Cause and effect comes into play here…

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  9. ^ I hear her, but if you want cops to get even more terrifying, just tell them “no” and take off in the middle ot them giving you a ticket!

    Of course the cops were incredibly irresponsible, reckless, and irrational to break out the windows and open fire on her especially with a car full of children!

    But geez what was she thinking? If you want to survive you have to be smarter than that.

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