Taos, NM – When a girl posted video of her father’s arrest on Facebook, she intended to generate outrage over the way that the police treated her father. Now, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas has responded with facts of the situation, which make it clear as day that the officers were in the right.
The incident began on Thursday, July 13, when state police were called to the home of Manuel Cordova for a report of a stolen trailer.
Upon arrival, the two officers, who were not identified, saw the stolen trailer, and confirmed through a national database that it was stolen. They also saw another vehicle which had drugs and paraphernalia in plain view, according to KRQE.
The officers arrested Ronald Cordova on scene.
Ronald’s father, Manuel Cordova, arrived at his residence shortly after his son had been arrested. He parked his truck where it was blocking the stolen trailer, and asked the state police officers why they were in his yard. They explained that they were there for a stolen trailer, and Cordova aggressively asked how they knew it was “f***ing stolen.”
The officers responded and told Cordova to move his truck or it would be towed. Cordova then told one of the officers to get out of his face, and said, “that’s why you guys get popped,” while making a hand gesture of shooting a gun.
The confrontation turned physical, and out of sight of the video, Cordova kneed one officer in the groin. He was then taken to the ground, and while being taken into custody, family members surrounded both officers.
Being confronted by a hostile family, while fighting with one of them, one of the officers drew his weapon to keep the family from attacking them, while his partner was still fighting to take Manuel Cordova into custody.
On video, the view is limited and the family members are not visible. It does show the officer drawing his weapon, but it’s clear from his actions that the officers were surrounded by other people who were moving in on them. One female family member who cannot be seen, can be heard saying “f*** you pigs.”
Chief Kassetas said, “Reality is, my officers were verbally attacked, physically attacked, and there was no reason for it.”
Cordova’s family members said that they posted the video because their father is injured and had to go to the hospital, and because they think the officers should have handled it differently. In response, Chief Kassetas said that his officers did exactly what they should have, and his officers were also injured and went to a hospital for treatment.
The two officers were not identified, and their conditions are not known, although it is believed their injuries are minor.
Manuel Cordova was charged with assault on a police officer. Ronald Cordova was charged with resisting arrest. Family members admitted to KRQE News 13 that they could have behaved better.
Manuel Cordova’s daughter uploaded the video to Facebook, but has since removed it after the backlash of her family’s actions. KRQE saved a copy of the highlight reel, which you can see below: