Albuquerque, NM – A video of a New Mexico State Police officer breaking a car window during a traffic stop for a seat belt violation has gone viral (video below).
Police said the video released on social media does not accurately reflect what happened during a Taos County traffic stop, when 41-year-old Phillip Page refused to roll down his window or give his driver’s license to the officers, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Elizabeth Armijo said the 45-second video of the February traffic stop was the last bit what happened during an incident that had gone on for almost 30 minutes when police took action.
Police initially pulled Page over for failure to wear a seat belt, but when the officer approached the car, the man was argumentative, the police report said, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
Page refused to roll his window down more than a few inches because he said he “did not have a legal reason to do so.”
Both Page and his passenger, 29-year-old Angela Fisher-Herrera, refused to provide identification to the officer, police said.
At that point, Fisher-Herrera called 911 and reported she “felt threatened” by the officer, so two more officers and a police sergeant responded to the scene, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
When those officers arrived, Page was given the option to “exit the vehicle willingly or he would be extracted” for resisting, according to the police report.
“I’m recording,” Page told the officers in the video.
“That’s fine. We’re recording also,” the sergeant told Page. “I need you to open the window or we’re gonna have to…”
The rest of what the officer said can’t be heard in the video because Page was arguing with the officer and Fisher-Herrera was talking over both of them.
“They pulled us over for not wearing a seatbelt. We’re wearing a seatbelt and they’re threatening to break our window,” Fisher-Herrera narrated for the audience who would see the video.
“You haven’t even asked me for my license and registration,” Page complained as an officer used his baton to do a perfect job breaking the window so it would safely collapse, the video showed.
But police said that in the 30 prior minutes, Page refused to give officers his identification 14 times.
He was asked and refused to unlock the door or roll down his window 20 times, police said.
And police said Page was warned officers would break the window and arrest him if he failed to comply at least eight times, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
As the officer cracked the window, the sergeant peeled it smoothly away and reached through the window to take Page’s arm.
Another officer reached into the car and unlocked the door, the video showed.
“Calm down,” Page told the officer in a patronizing tone. “This is completely unnecessary.”
The officer pulled Page from his vehicle and put him face down on the ground to subdue him while they handcuffed him.
The video showed his passenger tried to crawl across the front seat to continue filming and an officer ordered her to get out of the car as the video ended.
New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said the agency had investigated the incident and determined Page could have avoided the incident entirely by “following the rules,” the Albuquerque Journal reported.
“I’m standing by my officers,” Chief Kassetas said. “At some point after a certain amount of time of noncompliance, something has to happen.”
The chief said New Mexico isn’t a “do whatever you want” state when it comes to the commands of a police officer, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
He said Page should have argued “whether or not it’s a righteous violation” later in court.
“We didn’t break the window and drag him out of the car because he didn’t have a seat belt on,” Chief Kassetas said. “He got removed from the vehicle forcefully because he didn’t comply.”
Page told the Albuquerque Journal that he and his passenger had been polite to the officers and said “no thank you” when they were asked to roll down the window and identify themselves.
He said the officer then tried to open the car doors and complained the officer was not “acting like a cop.”
Page and Fisher-Herrera were both arrested for resisting, evading, or obstructing an officer, concealing identity, dialing 911 to report a false alarm or complaint, and a seat belt violation, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
However, both failed to make their scheduled court appearances and both have warrants out for their arrest at this time, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
Page told the Albuquerque Journal that he had relocated to Oregon and was going to drive back and hoped his case would be dismissed.
You can watch the video of the end of the incident below: