SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police never provided a reason to a Santa Fe police dispatcher for a high-speed pursuit the night one of its officers shot and killed a 39-year-old woman, a newly released dispatch recording reveals.
As a result, Santa Fe police never came for backup, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported (http://bit.ly/1iPbrnG).
The shooting early Nov. 7 is one of four cases in the past month in which State Police used deadly force. Two are still being investigated, including an Oct. 28 case in which a State Police officer shot at a minivan loaded with five children near Taos.
According to the Nov. 7 audio, city dispatcher Amanda Macias tells State Police dispatcher Roberto Lujan, “They are going to need a reason for pursuit, or they are not going to continue.”
In the background a male voice says, “Did you get a reason for the pursuit?”
“OK, I’m trying to get it,” Lujan replies to Macias. “What’s the reason for the pursuit?” he asks.
Oliver Wilson, the officer chasing the Santa Fe woman, doesn’t respond. Lujan waits, then states: “Shots fired, shots fired.” That announcement comes about 4 minutes after the State Police request for backup and 21 seconds after the crash, the recording shows.
According to the New Mexico State Police high-speed pursuit policy, the officer leading the pursuit must give a reason for the chase to the dispatcher.
State Police spokesman Emmanuel T. Gutierrez did not immediately return an email and phone call Tuesday from The Associated Press.
The pursuit came to an end on Camino Carlos Rey near Las Casitas. State Police said Wilson had gotten out of his car, and the driver was backing toward him when Wilson began firing. He shot and killed the motorist, Jeanette Anaya.
Tom Clark, the lawyer for Anaya’s family, said the dispatch logs and audio help prove his point that Wilson was unjustified in initiating the pursuit and firing his gun.
“What this dispatch log does is gives us real, solid evidence of what actually transpired on this evening,” Clark said.
State police have said Wilson attempted to pull over Anaya at 1:14 a.m. because she was driving erratically. According to the city police dispatch logs, the pursuit started at 1:13 a.m. and lasted until 1:17 a.m., when shots were fired.
Wilson remains on leave while the shooting is investigated.