Woman scolded for using cellphone to catch officers breaking the law

Bosque Farms Police Department
(KRQE)

BOSQUE FARMS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico woman claims she’s so tired of watching police officers from her small town speeding outside of their jurisdiction, she decided to play cop herself. When she used her cell phone to capture the problem, she ended up getting an earful from police.

At highway speeds, a wrong move can be devastating.

“It scares you,” said Diane Martinez, referring to reckless drivers on the freeway.

Martinez has lived in the quiet Village of Bosque Farms for 40 years.

She frequently makes the drive back and forth to Santa Fe to sell pottery, and on that drive, Martinez said she frequently sees officers from her own hometown ignoring the law in Albuquerque.

“If you’re not responding to a call in your area, you should be doing the speed limit,” Martinez said.

She said she’s complained to the Bosque Farms Police Department in the past about its officers driving more than 20 miles-per-hour over the speed limit, without lights or sirens, and outside of their jurisdiction.

“It was just my word against theirs,” said Martinez. This time, however, she said she has proof.

The last few weeks on I-25 southbound in Albuquerque, Martinez claims she spotted two Bosque Farms Police officers on two separate occasions, driving at excessive speeds without lights or sirens running.

“There’s your Bosque Farms officer again,” Martinez narrates in her video, as she pans from her speedometer displaying 90 mph, with the officer’s car ahead of her.

Martinez took her video to the Bosque Farms Police Department.

Bosque Farms Police Chief Greg Jones initially told KRQE News 13 he’d meet for an interview the day before the story aired, on Tuesday. Then, he ignored phone calls from KRQE News 13.

Chief Jones then sent a text message declining an on-camera interview. He said via text, “I take these complaints seriously and I have disciplined officers in the past for validated complaints of speeding. This matter is being investigated.”

Chief Jones also pointed out Martinez is breaking the law herself by using her cell phone and speeding.

“You realize recording with your cell phone while you’re also speeding makes you guilty too right?” KRQE News 13 reporter Gabrielle Burkhart asked Martinez. “Yeah, I do…but I was gathering information,” Martinez replied.

She said she recorded the problem as a last resort.

“The pattern never gets broken,” Martinez said. “They endanger people on a daily basis.”

Martinez told KRQE News 13 she was the one who got reprimanded after filing the complaint.

After showing the videos, Martinez said she received the following message from a Bosque Farms Police Sergeant:

“Diane Martinez, I am asking you to please stop speeding up, to catch up with our officers. You are putting yourself and the public around you at risk. you have filmed yourself speeding and operating your cell phone several times now. Please stop.
I have received your accusations,Thank you.
I have taken steps to insure my officers are not speeding while in a marked police unit and do not become a target of your anger and dislike of the police in Bosque Farms. I will be reporting this behavior to the Albuquerque Police so they are aware of your continuous careless driving as you speed up to our officers while your cell phone.”

{reprinted without edits or corrections}

Martinez said she took the message as a veiled threat.

“I will be targeted because I dare to open up my mouth,” she said. “Double standard.”

Martinez said the bottom line is she wants officers to follow the same rules they enforce.

Chief Jones said officers face a letter of reprimand after the first sustained complaint the department may receive about an officer speeding illegally.