4 Investigates: Rio Arriba deputies were not trained to use tasers | KOB 4

4 Investigates: Rio Arriba deputies were not trained to use tasers

Chris Ramirez
June 18, 2019 06:08 PM

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. — On Tuesday, Rio Arriba County deputies received a taser training – months after the deputies were issued new tasers. 


For the first time, Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan spoke publicly about the controversial tasing incidents. 

"I believe this community does have faith in our deputies," Lujan said. "I believe it's been tarnished a little bit, but I believe we'll come through this. 

In recent months, the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office purchased new tasers, upgrading to the new Taser X2 model.

The new model is what deputy Jeremy Barnes used on a 15-year-old boy at Española Valley High School, and what deputy Leon Gallegos used when he tased a jail guard in the groin

The sheriff said he issued the new Taser X2 before training the deputies on them. 

"There may have been a couple who had been trained on the X2s, but not all of the deputies were issued the X2s," Lujan said. "I would say that in every agency, in every business, there are points where you need to learn and improve. You can't think that you know it all always. There is always room for improvement and there is always room for training." 

Then the deputies received a Taser X2 training Tuesday. Part of the training included deputies getting tazed.

KOB 4 asked the sheriff what he would have done differently. Lujan said that in the future, he will ensure his deputies have proper training before rolling out a new weapon. 


Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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