‘Injustice at its best’: Mother writes about encounter with police

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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 7:34 pm | Updated: 10:35 am, Thu Nov 21, 2013.

Editor’s note: Oriana Farrell of Tennessee submitted a handwritten op-ed piece shortly after her Oct. 28 arrest via an acquaintance. The Taos News does not publish op-ed pieces on open legal cases. But given the national attention focused on her case, in which a state police officer shot at her vehicle as she fled a traffic stop, we have decide to publish it unedited.

After witnessing uniformed police officers fire shots at a van carrying my five children, I have learned that the value of their lives only matters so much as criminal charges against me are concerned.  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.

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  • tre sines posted at 1:24 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    trevzero Posts: 1

    SORRY I AM LATE COMMENTING. ANALYZING many of these incidents currently.

    "The officer clearly/repeatedly explained the two options. You could have..."
    1) Constitutional Law does not imply that Pat Shackleford gets to decide what everyone else understands, sees, and feels.
    2) Please inform us of the knowledge you have of ALL of the incidents and issues leading up to, during, and after this absolutely conclusive 18-min video. This letter if it is in its entirety does NOT explain any specifics prior to the second pull-over.
    3) She CLEARLY kept saying, "I dont know what to do" "I dont know" Officer apparently put undue stress on her to come to this and insisted, demanded that she decide "NOW". like many know, he had her info and could have dropped the ticket. NO SIG REQUIRED? She was and is not a criminal for speeding nor for not signing a promise to appear. A criminal needs another PERSON to file a charge do they not? is she not a sovereign citizen from her state?
    4) "...was no "terrifying individual" for you to run from, until your actions..." yes 86 pound woman causes 180 man to beat window 14 times, other to shoot 5 times, for a ticket? speeding? or was it for out of state plates? would officer give his wife, mom a ticket?
    5) are traffic tickets are unlawful taxes? are they criminal offenses? should sovereigns have right to refuse to sign or appear? no victim, no CRIME.

  • Pat Shackleford posted at 9:55 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 1046

    And for those hoping to "succeed from the human race", I suggest you seize advantage in that race by dressing for success, while dressing-down the competition/your associates as opportunity permits.

  • marie yolette posted at 6:56 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    The real psychopaths here were the thugs who were bashing the van's window like savages and terrified the children. I have seen wild animals act in manners more civilized. There is no doubt that some of the most visceral comments here in response the mom's letter are being made the police themselves, their friends, family, cronies, and people withe their last remaining neurons dying fast with atrophy for lack of intellectual stimulant.That's what happens when you don't believe in facts, science, reality, arithmetic, and live in an echo chamber. Get it together people or do everyone a favor and just succeed from the human race, already.

  • marie yolette posted at 5:37 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    i am truly disgusted by the comments here. You people do no know the meaning of logic or common sense. And I can see that any more time spent on this forum is absolutely wasted time. I know exactly the type of individuals who are writing here. Unfortunately, that is almost one half of America. Thank God, it's still one half.

  • marie yolette posted at 5:32 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    You have the audacity to talk!

  • marie yolette posted at 5:31 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    When the police order you to jump off a cliff, just obey the order. In the meantime, spend some time learning about social justice. Just a friendly suggestion.

  • marie yolette posted at 5:30 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    Stop bashing this mother. You don't her and have absolutely no compassion. But worst of all, you show no judgement. You seem obsessed with racism. What's with that? Think about it! Are your hands really that clean? How many skeletons are there in your closet? You see, some day any one of thousands of horrible incidents and injustices can happen to you. Of course, there is no racism in America; it has been abolished, remember? The same way greed and all other intangible vices people carry with them but act upon have been wiped out. Your effort to own any discussion about racism will not work. Racism is a pernicious condition that plagues the American psyche. If you have anything intelligent and constructive to contribute to the public debate, do speak up. Otherwise, spend some time working on your ability to analysis situations and arrive at a logical conclusion. Please pass this around your friends, for they all seem to be carrying on about nothing, just trying to unleash as much hurt and pain on the woman as possible. What a shame!

  • marie yolette posted at 5:21 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    Are you a racist?

  • marie yolette posted at 5:20 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    Don't scream in your post. Just write. Not cool! The police endangered the lives of the children. This was a simple [routine] traffic stop - a civil violation, not a most wanted incident. The police conducted themselves in manners unbecoming. Use some common sense.

  • marie yolette posted at 5:18 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    Use your head. Review the video and see exactly who escalated the traffic stop.

  • marie yolette posted at 5:09 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    createlinkusa Posts: 9

    I am please to see that the editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican published Ms. Farrell's letter. I am a world away from New Mexico, but from the way police in general have acted around the country can bring only on thought to the mind of any thinking and fair-minded human being: Enough! I am living this link to a blog article regarding the video that has been broadcast worldwide and request that readers of this site visit the link and read the related post, "In the Cased of the Mother of 5 - New Mexico Police Acted Like Thugs." We must all do our share and take responsibility to bring accountability to our government and demand zero tolerance for police misconduct and abuse and an end to the criminalizing of certain segments of the population. Follow this link: http://writerspostswordpress.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/in-the-case-of-mother-of-5-oriana-farrell-new-mexico-police
    similar at http://www.createlinkusa.com/blog

  • Kerry Cook posted at 9:02 pm on Sat, Nov 23, 2013.

    KayCee71 Posts: 2

    BRAVO! Of course you realize that we will both be branded as "racist" for not agreeing with her & her methods of child "education." *eyeroll*

  • Kerry Cook posted at 8:59 pm on Sat, Nov 23, 2013.

    KayCee71 Posts: 2

    I couldn't agree with you more. I read the first paragraph & felt a mixture of mirth & absolute disgust! While I am not "pro-cop," I am "anti-dunderhead" & was appalled at how this lady turned everything around & is ignoring the fact that she broke the law, drove off at high speed & instigated an absolutely unnecessary situation. She has the audacity to think of herself a wonderful mother! She may have borne five children & "home-educated" (somehow I think it's more akin to "indoctrinated") them, but it's apparent that she sees nothing wrong with putting her darlings in danger. Her fictional account is laughable once you see the video. Lock her up & sterilize her!

  • Nick Heyward posted at 11:26 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    Nick Heyward Posts: 5

    Incredible. As I watched this read last night one thing came to my mind, Master Manipulator. This is how psychopaths operate, the revise history to suit them. Not that she started off with mentioning shots fired and her five children, as if that was the beginning of the story. An incident like this sure sounds different when told in reverse order! Next she touts her resume of good deeds as if the officer knew all of this about her before stopping her.

    Then she never ONCE admits to any wrong-doing on her part, anywhere. She never mentions taking off from the officer twice, after being unable to decide which ticketing option to choose. She refers to her speeding as "alleged", no mention of her (tall) 14 year-old physically attacking a police officer. Seems like the "real her" lives in a life of denial and revisionist history. Imagine life before dashcams if we only had her side of the story to listen to!

  • LeeJon Smith posted at 9:22 pm on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Lee2 Posts: 3

    She absolutely did the wrong thing. She put her children's lives in danger. She should have listened to the police.

    The police should not shoot at a van of children over what began as a traffic stop. If I had made the same mistakes as Ms Ferrell and now the police were breaking my windows, I would drive off also to protect my children from them. Then they compound their action by shooting at a car with my children. Yes the police were doing their job, but shooting at a van full of children should not be one of them. They were not in danger, they were the danger.

  • John Hess posted at 9:18 pm on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    John Windust Posts: 1

    "May you never be put in a position to protect your children from your “own kind.”"

    Let a white woman cite her 'own kind' when resenting a police action from a white officer.

    For that matter, let a white woman try starting a home-school group explicitly for 'Euro Americans".

    If the media wants to keep stirring race injustice stories, they need to find 'victims' with cleaner hands than this.

  • Darlene Montoya posted at 5:13 pm on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Darla1960 Posts: 1


  • oscar michael posted at 4:20 pm on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    oscar mike Posts: 267

    Lady, you"re a moron! You escalated a traffic offense into a high speed chase and now blame the police for going after you? If you would have taken the citation and disputed it in court no officer would have had to chase you through traffic, no officer would have had to bust out your window, and last, no officer would have had to try to disable your 1 ton weapon (minivan). You are very lucky your son wasn't shot when he attacked the officers. It would have been your fault if any of them were injured. Maybe you should use this situation to teach your kids the proper way to engage law enforcement so the next time they encounter them in any state they can come home alive to you!

  • mark mocha posted at 1:27 pm on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    brnfre47 Posts: 211

    My goodness. This woman is living in a fantasy world she created. None of this would have happened if she had just followed proper procedure for being pulled over for a traffic infraction like the rest of us. Sit in your car, show your license, registration and insurance card. Accept either ticket or warning. Get on with the day. Why she felt the need to take off is beyond me because from the video there was nothing going on and the officer was not threatening in the least. She created this mess and does not deserve any special consideration except considering if she should be responsible for the well being of young lives!!

  • Michael Grimler posted at 9:45 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    shooter Posts: 306

    Pat, please...stop using logic and common sense -- you know that has no place in a fair and just society...right? [wink]

  • Roberta Duran posted at 8:37 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Birda Posts: 1

    I feel the officer had to try and stop you. He clearly shot at the tires which would have stopped you. Your teenage son and daughter obviously have no respect for the law which comes back to their up bringing. You have shown your children how to act in a situation such as this. You should have just signed the ticket and been on your way.The officer had as much patience as anyone maybe more.

  • Pat Shackleford posted at 1:59 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 1046

    (continuation of my "brief" analysis)
    There was no "terrifying individual" for you to run from, until your actions forced the officer to attempt to arrest/handcuff you. It appears that your strategy in situations like these is to be so immature and unreasonable, that you'll somehow frustrate the other party into giving-up, thinking that you're just too "cuckoo for coco puffs" to reason or deal with. You should have stopped when you were ahead (with only ONE ticket) and dealt with it gracefully, within 30 days. That would have been "positive" learning for your children, not negative, as you've now demonstrated for everyone "across the world".

    I don't agree with the police breaking the window or shooting at the vehicle, and wish they hadn't done either, but that doesn't excuse your poor decisions which created the out-of-control situation. You should apologize.

  • Pat Shackleford posted at 1:34 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 1046

    I hope the writer of the above letter, Oriana Lee Farrell, will consider an analysis from an independent observer of the 18 minute YouTube video of which you are the star, and aggravating protagonist. The officer clearly/repeatedly explained the two options. You could have signed the ticket and still had up to 30 days to either send payment or make a court appearance to protest the "speeding offense". Your inability (and/or refusal) to simply sign the ticket and decide later whether to pay or protest it, prolonged the roadside danger for your family and the officer. Next time you're pulled over, please pull further off the roadway/pavement, even onto the grass is ok.

    The second time he pulled you over (you drove away after he told you to turn off the engine), your vehicle was still partially in the lane. You endangered motorists going both directions on an undivided highway by being stopped partially in the lane of traffic. You had already avoided a ticket for not having valid/current license. After being pulled over the second time, you should understand that the officer would be upset. You seem rather dense or delusional, as you're heard on the video claiming "I pulled back-over, I didn't run away". See what I mean, by delusional? I hope the people you mention who "know" what an intelligent and caring person you can be, will watch the video and see how your obstinance and inconsideration escalated this easily-avoidable drama. There was no "terrifying individual" for


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