Police Abuse

Woman Seriously Injured After Colorado Cops Leave Her Handcuffed in Car Parked on Train Tracks

Plus: The ridiculous panic over "rainbow fentanyl" continues, Arizona can enforce near-total abortion ban, and more...


What do cartoon villains and Colorado cops have in common? Both are prone to leaving women trapped on train tracks, apparently. Newly released video shows a Platteville Police Department officer park his patrol car on train tracks and then exit the car. Still inside was a woman who had been detained as a suspect in a road rage incident.

A little while after the officer exited, a train plowed into the police car.

The woman inside the car—20-year-old Yareni Rios-Gonzalez—survived the crash but was hospitalized with serious injuries including nine broken ribs, according to Denver's 9News. The crash also left Rios-Gonzalez with a broken arm, a fractured sternum, and multiple injuries to her head, back, and legs.

"She doesn't understand why she was left in the car. She was yelling to get their attention and could see the train coming," her attorney, Paul Wilkinson, told 9News.

The officer who parked on the tracks was placed on administrative leave and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Colorado State Patrol are investigating. The department has not released the officer's name, nor any explanation for why he thought it was OK to leave his car parked on train tracks.

According to the CBI, Rios-Gonzalez stopped her vehicle a little past the railroad tracks when she was pulled over. The Platteville cop stopped behind her, on the tracks. He left his car there while detaining Rios-Gonzalez and then continued to leave it parked on the tracks even after she was handcuffed in the back seat, as he and several officers from Fort Lupton searched her car.

Video of the incident first came from Jeremy Jojola, an investigative reporter with 9News. Jojola obtained an edited, 40-second video clip of the crash after filing a records request with the Fort Lupton Police Department.

The department later released longer clips from police body cameras (following a records request from The Denver Post). These videos show police forcing Rios-Gonzalez—who is polite and obedient the whole time—into the patrol car and then going back to search her car. "What's going on? Ma'am, what's going on?" she asks the cops.

None of the officers in the video raise the possibility that leaving the car parked on the train tracks is a bad idea. And it later takes them a while to react after train whistles can be heard.

"Was she in there? Was she in there?" one officer keeps asking after the train hits, which seems odd since they had just put her in there.

Nothing in the videos suggests malice was involved here, but the level of carelessness and stupidity involved is nonetheless stunning.

The Platteville Police Department referred to it as an "unfortunate incident."


The ridiculous panic over "rainbow fentanyl" continues.

See also: "No, China Is Not Targeting Your Kids with 'Rainbow Fentanyl.'"


Arizona can enforce 50-year-old abortion ban. A federal judge has ruled that "Arizona can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years," reports NPR:

The judge lifted a decades-old injunction that has long blocked enforcement of the law on the books since before Arizona became a state that bans nearly all abortions. The only exemption is if the woman's life is in jeopardy….

The decision from Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson came more than a month after she heard arguments on Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich's request to lift the injunction. It had been in place since shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision in the Roe v. Wade case, which held women had a constitutional right to abortion.

Under the now-enforceable law, performing an abortion procedure or providing drugs that induce abortion is a crime punishable by two to five years in prison.


• Democrats don't want President Joe Biden to run in 2024. "With his party struggling in the midterms, his economic stewardship under fire and his overall job approval under 40%, a clear majority of Democrats in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say the party should replace Joe Biden as its nominee for president in 2024," ABC reports

• A federal judge says it's unconstitutional to ban people facing felony indictments from buying guns.

• Abortion is becoming a big topic in governors' races. "And the way candidates are running on the issue could hardly be more polarized: Democrats are going all in. Republicans want to change the topic," notes Politico.

• The new Netflix series Dahmer—Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story "depicts the killer's gruesome crimes but lays some of the blame on the Milwaukee police who failed for so long to catch him," writes Reason's Joe Lancaster.

• "You think Big Brother is watching you on the subway?" New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said last week. "You're absolutely right. That is our intent."

• A South Carolina farmer is fighting back after police destroyed his hemp crop.