Taos Reconciliation Commission: Viral Van, BB, Politics

By: Bill Whaley
14 December, 2013

Viral Van Shooting story

According to a story in the Albuquerque Journal by veteran northern New Mexico reporter, Andy Stiny, “NAACP head hopes for more discipline in Taos traffic stop,” at a meeting yesterday, “The president of the Albuquerque chapter of the NAACP (Harold Bailey) said he is confident Chief Pete Kassetas will do the right thing when it comes to disciplining two officers involved in the incident near Taos in October.”

“We discussed the action of the officer who broke out the window” and the officer who pulled his firearm but did not fire, and “I feel the chief will initiate appropriate action,’” Harold Bailey said.”

“Bailey, Kassetas, other State Police brass and community leaders met in Taos to discuss police accountability for their actions during the Oct. 28 traffic stops of Oriana Farrell.”

“Officer Elias Montoya was terminated last week for firing three shots at the fleeing van loaded with kids, driven by their mother, Farrell. Bailey said he supports the chief’s decision to fire Montoya.”

“One local resident who said he was turned away from the closed meeting was Taos resident and former state legislator C.B. Trujillo, who expressed disappointment that Montoya was fired. `This is a good man. The whole community is behind him … This guy didn’t even get a hearing.’” However, C.B. conceded, “that television video was bad.”

Apparently mistakes were made. Court hearings, investigations, and appeals will continue even as tension has been defused.

Basketball Coach Back

In a story by Elizabeth Cleary in The Taos News, we hear that “Daniel “Doc” Trujillo is once again the head coach of the Taos boys’ basketball team. Rose Martinez, director of instruction and acting superintendent for the Taos Municipal School District confirmed Trujillo’s reinstatement in an interview Friday (Dec. 13) Martinez is filling in for Weston in his absence and said that as acting superintendent she has the power to reinstate the coach.”

Last night Doc coached his team to a win over Monte Vista, Colo. at Otero Gymnasium, where, prior to the game, he received a standing ovation.

Where’s El Weston and his Athletic Director now? Eh? We’re only asking.

The Politics of Poseurs

Apparently, local politicians, like Mayor Darren Cordova and some of his councilors, as well as his DMC broadcast team, have insinuated themselves into the Viral Van episode and basketball controversy.

The mayor got himself into the NAACP meeting in Talpa and appeared on TV last night. Councilor, Andrew Gonzalez, apparently called up the Mayor’s radio station and voiced criticism of Coach Daniel “Doc” Trujillo, who requires all his players to attend practice, regardless of relatives in high places.

Apparently, there’s no end to the desperate megalomania of the Mayor and Council. Whether it ‘s about state police issues, TMS basketball, airport annexation or E911-Dispatch relocation, these guys have taken a page out of Fred Peralta’s notebook i.e. Father Knows Best.

In the past, the Mayor has called for the removal of the school board when it didn’t meet his matchless standards.

Maybe El Weston can appeal his punishment—administrative leave—to the town council.

Or maybe the Mayor can ask the pragmatic and acting Superintendent Rose Martinez what he should do to get re-elected: fire manager Oscar Rodriguez? Fire attorney Brian James?

Maybe the Mayor negotiated the sale of TSV to the billionaire but forgot to tell us. He is, after all, a “legend.”


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