WARNING: The video below of police confronting a family in a minivan is shocking and violent, and is not recommended for young or sensitive viewers.
A routine police stop for a speeding minivan turned ugly in a hurry. It starts out normal enough:
A police car pulls over a minivan for speeding. Oriana Ferrel was doing 71 in a 55 zone, according to the officer who pulled her over. Things started to go awry when the officer asked Ferrel to “go head and turn the vehicle off for me.”
Instead of obeying, Ferrel drives off. She didn’t get far. The police chased her down after half a mile, and that’s when things really got ugly. Video from the police dash cam shows a quickly escalating confrontation:
“Get out of the vehicle! Get out of the vehicle right now!” The officer shouts. It’s unclear from the dash cam video provided how much of a chance he gave Ferrel to obey that order and leave the minivan before he turned the confrontation into a physical one, but it doesn’t look like much.
Eventually Ferrel leaves the minivan, and the officer asks her to turn around so he can put handcuffs on her. Instead, Ferrel tries to run back into her minivan. The officer grabs her before she can get in, and Ferrel’s 14 year-old son gets out and tussles with the officer. Backup police arrive, and that’s when things turn horrific.
The video shows officers yelling “Open the door! Open the door!” and then immediately afterward, smashing the side window of the minivan with his baton, with five children, one as young as six, on the inside. Ferrel drives off in her minivan again, and another officer shoots at her tires.
I don’t know the correct police protocol in that situation, but breaking the window and shooting at a car with young children is over the line, and could have ended in tragedy. Yes, the situation was getting out of hand, but it’s the police’s job to control the situation, not escalate it.
Ferrel faces charges related to child abuse (?), fleeing from authorities and possession of drug paraphernalia. The officers involved are also under investigation.