TAOS, NM. -- More than a month after a New Mexico state police officer opened fire at a minivan filled with children, he was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, a state police spokesman said Thursday.
Officer Elias Montoya will be paid during the investigation, which will determine whether he violated department policy and should be disciplined, police spokesman Emmanuel Gutierrez told the Los Angeles Times.
The investigation centers on a traffic stop that escalated into a violent clash between several police officers and a woman driving a minivan filled with her five children. The Oct. 28 incident -- which the state police chief called an "intense, 43-minute-long dangerous situation" -- was captured by a dashboard video camera. It was posted online and went viral.
The video shows an unidentified police officer -- not Montoya -- pulling over a blue minivan for speeding in the northern New Mexico town of Taos. The motorist, Oriana Farrell, 39, of Memphis, Tenn., refuses to get out of the vehicle and drives away. After about half a mile, she stops again and the officer approaches her car, but she still doesn't get out.
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