Man gets payout after sheriff harasses him for flying Mexican flag

New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A New Mexico Sheriff’s bizarre behavior is costing the county thousands of dollars It’s all centered around a Mexican flag at a parade.

Rio Arriba County has agreed to pay a Chama man $55,000 after he was threatened by Sheriff James Lujan. “There’s a long history of Rio Arriba County having to pay out lots of money for the sheriff misconduct,” says Attorney John Day.

The incident happened after the 4th of July parade last year. Joshua Talamante was flying both the American flag and Mexican flag on his truck.

Talamante says right after the parade, the sheriff pulled him over, then went on a profanity-laced tirade about how he should be ashamed of himself for flying a Mexican flag. “He’s hoping that it will teach the sheriff a lesson and that’s the bottom line. He wants the sheriff to not do this to someone else. Just because the sheriff doesn’t like the Mexican flag, or whatever his racial animosity is, he can’t act that way as a public official,” Day says.

But the sheriff isn’t out of trouble just yet. Lujan is being investigated by the state attorney general for another incident.

Back in March, the sheriff showed up to a crime scene where officers were trying to get a suspect out of his home. According to Española Police, Lujan was drunk.

In the lapel video, Lujan makes it clear he knows the suspect Phil Chacon, even waving around what he says is the man’s front door key. Sheriff James Lujan is now facing a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer and he has a pre-trial hearing in the case at the end of this month.

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