Police are supposed to be neutral and gather the evidence whether incriminating or exculpatory. They are not supposed to side with either the prosecution or the defense. This simply isn’t the case. More often than not, police try to find incriminating evidence, and only incriminating evidence, even when it might not exist…
…except when the suspect is a district attorney.
Earlier this month, a driver called 911 to report a suspected drunk driver in Silver City, New Mexico. Cell phone video confirmed the suspected drunk driver’s poor driving.
When Silver City police arrived, they noticed that the suspect was recently re-elected district attorney of Grant, Luna, and Hidalgo counties, Francesca Estevez.
An officer’s body camera captured the bizarre interaction between police and Estevez.
"I have a flat! And I kept going over, and over!" Estevez said from inside the car. "I was coming in from Deming and the car kept swinging this way!"
Moments later, Estevez said that she was coming from Lordsburg.
In addition to the inconsistent statement, Estevez was slurring her speech, having trouble on her feet, fumbling with her phone, and went on a strange rant.
“We don’t want the U.S. Department of Justice to start looking down here,” she said. “It’s gotten to that point. Most of you are good.”
“What do you think?” asked Officer Leticia Lopez who was wearing the body camera. “She’s loaded, she almost fell down,” responded Officer Kyle Spurgeon.
New Mexico State Police were called in to assist with the stop. However, Officer Alyssa Carasco of the New Mexico State Police Department appeared to be disinterested in initiating a DUI investigation.
“If you have a problem with me not doing anything, then you can go ahead and do something. I’m not,” Carasco told Lopez.
Then the video appears to show Estevez appear to practice a heel-to-toe field sobriety test along a crack in the sidewalk.
What’s more, as Estevez was allowed to drive away, she ran into a curb right in front of the officers.
Had this been anyone else (well except maybe another officer), they would have been investigated and arrested on suspicion of DUI.
And so I ask: Who are the police working for?
New Mexico State Police has launched an internal investigation. It has yet to be determined whether Silver City Police will do the same.