Colorado Public Radio (CPR News) reports that the incident, which occurred in Weld County (north of Denver), involved an individual named Maria Rios-Gonzalez who was arrested, handcuffed and forced into a squad car that cops illegally parked on train tracks.
While officers searched Rios-Gonzalez's car, a freight train came blasting through with its horn blasting, t-boning the squad car where Rios-Gonzalez was placed. She survived but suffered "serious bodily injuries," including multiple broken ribs and a fractured sternum.
The incident occurred near Highway 85 and County Road 38 in a somewhat rural area north of Denver. CPR News says an alleged road rage incident involving a gun prompted the stop, and numerous officers were called to the scene to search Rios-Gonzalez's vehicle. (Related: A few years back, police officers in Deming, N.M., performed eight anal probes on a man who ran a stop sign, prompting a lawsuit.)
You can watch an edited, eight-minute montage containing some of the footage captured by FLPD from 21 hours of bodycam and dashcam footage:
The 8 minute clip was edited by the Ft. Lupton PD. I'm told there are 21 hours of video from 9 different perspectives. We received this edited clip because the cost to get everything was at $700+. We had to reach an agreement for transparency. Police provided clip for free.
— Jeremy Jojola (@jeremyjojola) September 23, 2022
"We received this edited clip because the cost to get everything was at $700+," tweeted Jeremy Jojola, an investigative journalist with 9NEWS.
"We had to reach an agreement for transparency. Police provided clip for free."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly involved in investigating the incident while FLPD is specifically investigating the 911 call that led to the stop. Colorado State Patrol (CSP) is said to be looking into the crash itself.
Rios-Gonzalez is expected to recover from her injuries, which is a miracle in and of itself considering the nature of what she was forced to endure.
To emphasize, the velocity at which the train hit the squad car in which she was sitting easily could have killed her.
The Denver Post filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the departments involved to obtain all angles of footage that were captured that fateful night by both bodycams and dashcams, since only some of it was publicly released.
FLPD only released certain angles of footage captured at certain times, which limits a full and complete analysis of what transpired.
What we already know from the footage that was released is that officers waited at least 15 seconds after hearing the train horn before doing anything about it. And all they did was try to flee the scene themselves, leaving Rios-Gonzalez in harm's way.
One of the officers was heard screaming an expletive upon hearing the train barreling through, ordering his colleague to "stay back."
"The other Fort Lupton officer, who was standing near the Platteville patrol vehicle with Rios-Gonazlez inside, turned back and forth a couple of times as the train approached, police camera footage shows," one report explains.
"He ultimately turned and ran for cover behind a Fort Lupton police car."
The most disturbing part of the footage was when one of the officers who was holding a rifle over the bound woman ran for cover while leaving her helpless.
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Sources for this article include: