“Where was the backup?”
Nearly two months after New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott was gunned down during a traffic stop, his widow is demanding answers.
Gabriella Jarrott and her attorney Sam Bregman took the first steps in filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the State of New Mexico by sending a tort notice in March and plan to do the same against the Department of Homeland Security by the end of this week.
“They knew how dangerous this individual was, they knew he had semi-automatic weapons…why not do a felony stop?” Bregman told Fox News.
Officer Jarrott initiated the February traffic stop on Omar Felix Cueva, who police say was on his way to Las Cruces for a drug deal.
Police said Cueva had a “violent criminal history,” including drug charges involving cocaine and meth. When Officer Jarrott, who was speaking to Cueva through the passenger window, asked him to step out of the vehicle, Cueva got out of the pickup truck with an AR-15-style rifle and opened fire on Jarrott. Less than a minute after Cueva fled the scene, a Homeland Security Investigations agent arrived on the scene and notified dispatch that Jarrott was down.
“Homeland Security just completely botched this entire operation,” said Bregman.
Bregman called this operation a “whisper stop” where federal agents will ask local cops to pull someone over to make an ID and possibly get them out of the vehicle. However, knowing how dangerous Cueva’s was, Bregman claimed that this should have been treated as a felony stop. Law enforcement eventually stopped Cueva by blowing out his tires with tire deflation devices.
Before Cueva’s pickup truck even came to a stop, bystander video shows him exit his vehicle with a pistol and open fire on officers, who returned fire and killed Cueva.
“People understand the dangers of being a law enforcement officer. When other law enforcement agencies act, or omit information, or fail to warn an officer of the extreme danger that he’s walking into, and have him walk into that danger, knowing clearly that this guy is a monster inside that vehicle, that’s something they don’t bargain for,” said Bregman.
Officer Darian Jarrott, who had three small children and was expecting a fourth one this year, was sworn in as a New Mexico State Police officer in July 2015. He worked as a Transportation Inspector for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety before that.
The Department of Homeland Security and New Mexico State Police did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
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