Rio Arriba County settles over Mexican flag-flying episode

New Mexico

FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2014, file photo, James Lujan is sworn in by the Rio Arriba County Commissioners as the new Rio Arriba County Sheriff in Espanola, N.M. Espanola Police said Lujan on Saturday, March 21, 2020, showed up drunk to a SWAT standoff, tried to order officers away, then ignored commands to leave the “kill zone.” (Luis Sanchez Saturno/The Santa Fe New Mexican via AP, File)

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico county has settled with a man who said a troubled sheriff pulled him over for flying a Mexican flag on his truck on the Fourth of July.

The attorney for Joshua Talamante said last week that Rio Arriba County has agreed to settle for $55,000 nearly six months after Talamante filed a tort claim notice, a precursor to a lawsuit.

Talamante says Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan pulled him over during Chama, New Mexico’s July Fourth parade, last year and told them he needed to take down the Mexican flag flying from this truck.

Lujan did not return phone messages.

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