Lawsuit filed in police shooting of Hobbs woman

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Associated Press

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 6:32 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The family of a woman fatally shot by a Texas police officer during a high-speed chase into New Mexico filed a federal lawsuit last week saying agencies violated her constitutional rights.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court in New Mexico, a family lawyer said the Denver City Police Department and the Yoakum County Sheriff's Office in Texas failed to properly train officers and deputies and violated Amy Reyna's rights when she was shot after a 20-mile, two-state chase in October.

Reyna, 35, of Hobbs, New Mexico, drove into a southeastern New Mexico pasture and stopped before Denver City officer Ryan Taylor fired seven shots at her car, authorities said

A dash-cam video of the shooting shows Reyna's car slowly backing away when Taylor fired three times at the car's engine and four times toward the driver's seat.

Reyna was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Taylor's conduct and the other deputies in this matter are shocking to the conscience and committed with deliberate indifference," the lawsuit said.

No criminal charges have been filed against any officers or deputies in the shooting.

An autopsy later revealed that the mother of three had methamphetamine in her system.

The chase began shortly after Taylor spotted Reyna as a passenger in a car in Denver City. Reyna had felony arrest warrants in Texas and New Mexico, authorities said.

Once spotted, the driver jumped out of the car, and Reyna took over the wheel, police said.

According to investigators, the high-speed pursuit reached around 100 mph and ended when Reyna crossed into New Mexico and drove off road into a pasture.

The Lea County Sheriff's Department, who participated in the chase, also was named in the lawsuit.

Tray Payne, attorney for Taylor, said in a statement that his client was protecting himself and the other officers and is not responsible for the events that occurred.

"It is clear that this is a tragic event, and many things don't make sense as to why Amy would take this path," Payne said. "Then again, nothing really makes sense when you are using meth."

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

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