Widow sues State Police over officer's slaying on I-10 - Albuquerque Journal

Widow sues State Police over officer’s slaying on I-10

Officer Darian Jarrott

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The widow of a New Mexico State Police officer fatally shot during a traffic stop in February has filed a wrongful death lawsuit contending that her husband died because of the agency’s negligence.

Gabriella Jarrott filed the lawsuit Friday in 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe on behalf of her minor children and as personal representative of the estate of Darian Jarrott. The lawsuit names the state Department of Public Safety as a defendant and alleges negligence.

State Police declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, including “costs of this action and any other relief the Court deems just and proper.” Gabriella Jarrott is represented by attorney Sam Bregman.

Omar Cueva fatally shot the 28-year-old on Feb. 4 after Jarrott pulled him over along Interstate 10 east of Deming. Cueva, 39, then got into a chase and gunfight with authorities that ended with his death in Las Cruces.

State Police documents previously released to the Journal reveal that Cueva had been targeted in a federal drug sting involving a confidential informant and undercover agent.

Officials with Homeland Security Investigations were hoping that State Police could take Cueva into custody during a traffic stop so that he wouldn’t suspect that he had been set up by the undercover agent and confidential informant.

Bregman said Jarrott was “slaughtered in an ambush that never had to happen.”

“The reason he was killed was because Homeland Security Investigations valued the identity of a confidential informant more than the life of a State Police officer,” Bregman told the Journal. “This all could have been avoided.”

He said he will also be filing a lawsuit against HSI, which tasked State Police with Cueva’s capture along I-10 as an alternative to arresting him during an undercover drug buy in Las Cruces.

The lawsuit alleges that State Police and HSI had Jarrott make the traffic stop without any backup or protective gear and without informing him of “how dangerous Cueva was known to be.”

To protect its confidential informer, HSI chose “not to simply arrest” Cueva, who was “heavily armed” and had a large amount of drugs, at the drug buy but have State Police arrest him during a traffic stop between Deming and Las Cruces, the lawsuit states.

Another pair of State Police officers and Jarrott’s sergeant were aware of the operation and Cueva’s history but Jarrott, the lawsuit alleges, was not informed or invited to the HSI briefing beforehand.

Most of the allegations made in the lawsuit were detailed in State Police records previously made public. But the suit also alleges that Jarrott – who enforced commercial vehicle regulations with DPS before coming to State Police – was not provided the full training and law enforcement academy curriculum given to other State Police officers.

“Jarrott had no substantial training in special tactics or the kind of high-risk operation that was being carried out with respect to Cueva,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit contends Jarrott’s superiors were aware of Jarrott’s background and “knew he did not have the proper training or experience to apprehend Cueva.”

Home » News » New Mexico News » Widow sues State Police over officer’s slaying on I-10


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
NMSP investigates fatal crash in Roosevelt County
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico State Police are investigating ... New Mexico State Police are investigating a fatal crash that occurred Wednesday afternoon on State Road 88, near Portales. An initial investigation indicated that ...
2
'Cleaning Lady' set to return on Sept. 19; filming ...
ABQnews Seeker
On Sept. 19, 'The Cleaning Lady' ... On Sept. 19, 'The Cleaning Lady' returns to TV for its second season. For nearly two months, crews have been on the ground in ...
3
New colonel takes command of 58th Special Operations Wing
ABQnews Seeker
Commander is a helicopter and drone ... Commander is a helicopter and drone pilot
4
Lights, camera, Rio Rancho! Production company opens film ...
ABQnews Seeker
Studio space is in demand in ... Studio space is in demand in New Mexico. That's exactly the reason Edit House Productions decided to expand to its own film studio. It ...
5
You can’t sell what you don’t own, in life ...
ABQnews Seeker
When I was 4 years old, ... When I was 4 years old, I loved stuffed animals. I had spent three or four weeks in a hospital and what helped me ...
6
Company brings fast internet to reservation
ABQnews Seeker
Tribal and school officials are working ... Tribal and school officials are working with a local company to provide internet to everyone
7
New colonel takes command of 58th Special Operations Wing
ABQnews Seeker
Commander is a helicopter and drone ... Commander is a helicopter and drone pilot
8
Report: Ruidoso fire caused by power lines
ABQnews Seeker
McBride Fire has spawned lawsuits McBride Fire has spawned lawsuits
9
Cyclists ask for more cleanups, pedestrians request a heads-up
ABQnews Seeker
Readers who get around on two ... Readers who get around on two wheels are asking for help with glass, mud and more