VIDEO: Officer questions couple’s political beliefs during traffic stop

Coronavirus New Mexico

BOSQUE FARMS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico couple says they were harassed by a Bosque Farms Police officer during a routine traffic stop. A newly-released police video shows the moments leading up to the tense encounter.

The couple says the officer was not wearing a mask when he approached them. They say once they asked him to put it on, that’s when he started to harass them.

It was the night of December 23 when Bosque Farms Police Officer Ricky Dominguez noticed a yellow Hummer did not have its turning signals on. In the driver seat, Danny Martinez.

Officer Ricky Dominguez: Bosque Farms Police Department, you didn’t signal your turn, sir.
Martinez: Yeah I did.
Officer Ricky Dominguez: You weren’t signaling, that’s why I pulled you over, sir.

It didn’t take long before Officer Dominguez, Martinez, and his wife started to get agitated.

Officer Ricky Dominguez: Your insurance and registration, please.
Mrs. Martinez: Is this harassment?
Officer Ricky Dominguez: Harassment?
Mrs. Martinez: Yeah.
Officer Ricky Dominguez: I pulled you over for a legit reason, ma’am. I’ve never seen you before, why would it be harassment?

After checking to make sure Martinez’s blinkers weren’t broken, Officer Dominguez continues with his investigation. It’s clear, though, both parties are frustrated.

Officer Ricky Dominguez: Any firearms in the vehicle, Mr. Martinez?
Martinez: Firearms?
Officer Ricky Dominguez: Sir, these are questions I ask everybody. You don’t have to give me attitude. I was just going to check to make sure you guys were okay and cut you a break, but you just talked yourself into a citation.

The couple eventually agree to a citation and Officer Dominguez makes his way to his car to write it up. He, once again, tries to approach Martinez.

Martinez: He’s not wearing a mask.
Officer Ricky Dominguez: Okay, I need you to…
Martinez: Hang on one second.
Officer Ricky Dominguez: Sir, you’re on my time right now.

Martinez and his wife tell the officer they have called 911 to complain. The couple even takes a cell phone picture of Officer Dominguez not wearing a mask.

Eventually, Officer Dominguez puts his mask on and tries once again, to hand Martinez his citations. While Martinez tries to explain to Dominguez the severity of the global pandemic, he gets an unexpected response.

Martinez: Come on, dude. It’s COVID around here. You know?
Officer Ricky Dominguez: Oh my gosh. You must be a Democrat.

Bosque Farms Police Chief Andrew Owen said that the statements made by the officer were not professional and not suitable for the department. KRQE News 13 asked if the officer faced any consequences, but the chief would not say. Chief Owen did say, however, the officer is attending training for de-escalation techniques, along with other training for professional communication.

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