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Albuquerque riots?

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by mandn323, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trigger-Happy Cop Shot One of His Own and Kept Blasting Away

    By Justin Glawe, The Daily Beast, September 2, 2015

    A detective who worked narcotics with an undercover officer walked up to a car, shot his fellow officer twice, and then seven more times against the victim’s pleas.

    The number of signs that Albuquerque Police Lt. Greg Brachle ignored or didn’t see before putting nine .45-caliber bullets into his fellow officer’s body are simply staggering.

    There was the fact that Brachle knew Det. Jacob Grant was involved in a drug buy last January, a sting the superior officer walked up on while Grant sat in an undercover police car. There were Grant’s clothes, an outfit specially worn according to a safety protocol to prevent friendly fire incidents. Even Grant’s position in the car — behind another undercover narcotics agent in the driver’s seat — was to signal to other officers that the two men were cops.

    But most damning — and the most confusing part of it all — is that Brachle and Grant were well-known to each other. For nearly two years, they worked in the narcotics division of the department.

    The lieutenant and the detective had “substantial, frequent, and almost daily interactions with each other,” said the civil lawsuit filed last week against the city of Albuquerque and the police department.

    According to Bernalillo County court documents filed by Grant’s lawyer, Grant was taking part in a drug buy with another undercover officer while the sting was being monitored by Brachle and others. A briefing was held prior to the bust and officers in attendance learned not only of Grant and his fellow undercover cop’s presence in the car, but also of descriptions of their clothing and seating positions. Brachle didn’t attend the briefing, Grant’s lawyer says, but nonetheless took an “active and aggressive role in the operation.”

    Brachle went against protocol by approaching the driver’s side of the car Grant was sitting in. The lieutenant again broke the rules when he ripped open the door and started firing into Grant, alleging without offering a single “hands up,” or “freeze,” according to the complaint.

    Brachle’s actions were called “overzealous and aggressive,” in Grant’s lawsuit. Another way of saying it might be that Brachle went John Wayne, swooping into a situation he apparently knew little about, guns blazing. Even if Grant wasn’t a cop, Brachle’s alleged zealousness to fire on a suspect presenting no apparent threat would be disturbing.

    Brachle first putting two bullets into Grant’s torso at point-blank range. The detective’s body slumped over in the back seat, Brachle fired seven more times as Grant tried to crawl away.

    “Please stop shooting,” the detective pleaded as the lieutenant kept firing.

    The damage was substantial: Almost all of Grant’s vital organs were struck and he lost 80 percent of his blood that day, nearly dying. After several surgeries, Grant can expect a lifetime of more medical work and costs to recover.

    The lawsuit filed by Grant’s lawyer says not only did Brachle ignore training, protocol, and all manner of common sense while firing on his fellow officer, but he also violated Grant’s constitutional rights by using an excessive amount of lethal force.

    The same charge can be found in just about every lawsuit filed by people shot by police.

    Continued here:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...ot-one-of-his-own-and-kept-blasting-away.html
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Albuquerque PD officers charged with murder in James Boyd case plead not guilty, released

    Two Albuquerque police officers charged with murder in the 2014 shooting death of homeless camper James Boyd pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges and were released on their own recognizance by a District Court judge Friday.

    Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez were arraigned on the second-degree murder and aggravated battery charges. As conditions of their release, neither will be able to consume alcohol, drugs or be in possession of a gun. Perez will only be allowed to travel in-state, while Sandy can only leave the state for work purposes.

    Continued here:
    http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3903822.shtml
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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Shooting of James Boyd | Wikipedia

    Excerpt:

    History of wrongful death litigation

    Civil lawsuits have cost the city 23 million dollars as it has lost wrongful death case after wrongful death case since 2010. This figure includes $7.95 million paid to the family of Kenneth Ellis, who was shot as he held a gun to his own head, and $900,000 to the family of Alan Gomez, an unarmed man shot with a spoon in his hand by Sean Wallace, who had previously shot two other men in the line of duty.[54] Wallace was not disciplined and has since been promoted to sergeant and elected to the police union board.[55] On October 1, 2014 Wallace received an award for outstanding service.[56]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_James_Boyd

    In other Albuquerque police news:

    To Bust People for Buying Crack, Cops Are Now Manufacturing and Selling People Crack

    By Claire Bernish, The Free Thought Project, May 15, 2016

    A reverse buy bust appears to be in the works for the Albuquerque Police Department, but the details of how they plan to go about catching low-level drug users — by becoming crack cocaine manufacturers — signifies everything inherently corrupt about the U.S.’ war on drugs.

    Burque Media exclusively revealed APD’s intentions to become temporary crack manufacturers, after a confidential source shared the affidavit about the impending bust.

    Continued here:
    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/bust-people-buying-crack-cops-manufacturing-selling-people-crack/
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    What does it take to convict a cop who kills?

    By Jaeah Lee, VICE News

    Quote:

    It was April 2015 when Randi McGinn got the call. The district attorney sounded discouraged. Three months earlier, the DA had charged two of the city’s police officers, Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, with murder for the March 2014 shooting of a homeless man named James Boyd, following a three-hour standoff in the foothills of eastern Albuquerque. At the time he was shot, Boyd was surrounded by a total of 19 officers, including several pointing rifles, two with K-9 dogs, two tactical squads, and a sniper. Boyd was holding two knives. An officer’s helmet camera recorded the encounter, and after the police department released it to the public, hundreds of people marched in the streets for hours. It was one of the first videos of a police shooting to go public, still five months before Ferguson would galvanize nationwide calls to hold police accountable for killing civilians.

    Kari Brandenburg, the Bernalillo County DA, thought she had a case. But she faced a dilemma. Albuquerque police had launched their own criminal investigation accusing her of bribing and intimidating a witness involved in a past arrest of her son. Some believed the cops were retaliating against her. But the damage had been done. A judge ordered that Brandenburg remove herself from the Boyd case. She needed to find a replacement quickly, or the case would likely be dismissed, and the officers would walk free.

    Brandenburg contacted the other district attorneys in New Mexico plus the state’s attorney general — 13 in all. No one wanted the case. “It was a political bomb,” she told me.

    Brandenburg continued down her list. She called McGinn, a longtime trial attorney known for winning some of the biggest civil settlements the state had seen, including millions in payouts from insurance giants and police departments. “Randi was aware of the controversies, of the position it could possibly put her in — that she may become the target of what I became the target of,” Brandenburg said. “She always makes doing what she feels is right a top priority, and I thought I could appeal to those qualities.”

    McGinn had, of course, been following the Boyd case. Now she listened at the other end of the line, incredulous. It wasn’t that the other DAs had reviewed the case and determined it wasn’t worth prosecuting. “No one even wanted to look at the file,” she said. McGinn agreed to take the case and to charge a flat fee, $5,400 — the same amount that courts typically paid to contract public defenders in an ordinary murder case.

    No Albuquerque police officer had been charged for a fatal shooting in at least 50 years. Until Boyd’s death, Brandenburg had never sought criminal charges against any of the officers involved in the deadly shootings that took place during her 14-year tenure. But lately, they appeared to be happening at an alarming clip. Between 2010 and 2014, deadly shootings by the city’s police officers had claimed the lives of 28 people, a per capita rate twice that of Chicago and more than eight times that of New York City.

    One month after the Boyd shooting, a Department of Justice report found that a majority of shootings by Albuquerque police between 2009 and 2012 were unreasonable, using “deadly force in circumstances where there is no imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to officers or others.” The DOJ also found that Albuquerque cops used fatal force in situations where “the officers heightened the danger and contributed to the need to use force.”

    “We are in a crisis that I’m not sure we can recover from,” Brandenburg said at a press conference announcing McGinn’s appointment to the Boyd case, citing a lack of faith in law enforcement and government. “There is a feeling of impotence,” she added, “because nobody seems to be getting anything done.”

    To McGinn, it was this sense of intractability that was prompting the protests in Albuquerque and across the country. A 2015 analysis of fatal police shootings by the Washington Post found that out of thousands of shootings since 2005, only 54 officers had been charged, and just 11 of those convicted. Many of those shootings were being justified behind closed doors, whether by the DA, the police chief, or a secret grand jury.

    With an outsider like McGinn stepping in, there was suddenly the possibility, however remote, that two cops might be punished for shooting a man to death. In the past two years since Ferguson, special prosecutors have been appointed to investigate the high-profile police shootings of Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Isaac Holmes in St. Louis, and Philando Castile in Minneapolis, among others. The failure of Baltimore’s state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, to convict six police officers implicated in the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray renewed calls to appoint a special prosecutor in criminal cases involving cops.

    But appointing a special prosecutor does not change the overwhelming odds against winning a conviction, David Sklansky, a Stanford University law professor who writes about police investigations, explained. “It is unusual for there to be a criminal prosecution in these cases, and it’s highly unusual for a private attorney to be brought in to prosecute the case. These are difficult cases to prosecute because they involve tactical and split-second decisions by officers that jurors are very reluctant to second-guess. The critical question in most cases of this kind will be the officer’s state of mind.”

    A few months after McGinn took over the case, Boyd’s family won a $5 million settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Albuquerque. But convincing a jury to convict two police officers would be a long shot. “From early on, this was an unwinnable trial,” Samson Costales, who retired from the Albuquerque PD in 2001, told me. “This is New Mexico. There’s no way there’d be a unanimous decision by all 12 of those jurors.” Still, Costales, who previously hired McGinn and won a $662,000 settlement against the department over alleged defamation and retaliation, felt McGinn was the best person for the job. “If anyone could, in fact, get a conviction, it would be her.”

    McGinn would not get a conviction; the jurors would deadlock on the verdict for both officers. But over the next 18 months, McGinn would try to lay out a blueprint for holding cops publicly accountable for fatal shootings — and she would experience, firsthand, why they were virtually impossible to prosecute.

    Continued here:
    https://news.vice.com/story/police-shootings-new-mexico-james-boyd
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Affidavit: Albuquerque police have illegally deleted, altered videos of shootings | New Mexico In Depth

    Quote:

    Albuquerque Police Department officials have altered and, in some cases, deleted videos that showed several controversial incidents, including at least two police shootings, the department’s former records supervisor has alleged in a sworn affidavit.

    Three officers’ body camera videos that captured events surrounding the fatal shooting of 19-year-old suspected car thief Mary Hawkes in April 2014 were either altered or partially deleted, according to former APD employee Reynaldo Chavez’s nine-page affidavit.

    Also alleged is that surveillance camera video from a salon showing APD officers shooting Jeremy Robertson, a law enforcement informant and suspected probation violator, in June 2014 bore “the tell-tale signs that it has been altered and images that had been captured are now deleted. One of the deleted images captured the officers shooting Jeremy Robertson.”

    Chavez also said that ‘SD cards’ from cameras were easy to make disappear, and that he witnessed Assistant Chief Robert Huntsman say ‘we can make this disappear’ when discussing a particular police camera with an SD card in it, according to the affidavit. SD cards are memory cards used in portable devices, including cameras.

    Chavez goes on in the sworn testimony to say officers in multiple APD divisions, including those involved in police shootings and those assigned to specialized units, were instructed to not write reports until a review of their videos. If the videos had no images considered harmful to the department, the officers were permitted to write in their reports that “they had recorded a given incident.” But if images deemed “problematic” for the department were found, officers were instructed not to mention a recording in the report or to write “the recording equipment had malfunctioned” or the officer had failed to turn it on.

    When officers already had written reports that described recordings, “the video would be altered or corrupted if it was damaging to the police department.”

    In his affidavit, Chavez says he reported to an APD supervisor that altering or deleting video evidence was “illegal and unlawful.” He says he was told by then-deputy city attorney Kathy Levy “she was handling the situation.”

    Continued here:
    http://nmindepth.com/2016/11/18/aff...llegally-deleted-altered-videos-of-shootings/
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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Outgoing DA compares Albuquerque Police Dept. to criminal organization | KRQE News 13

    Quote:

    In a parting shot at the Albuquerque Police Department, the outgoing Bernalillo County District Attorney compares APD to a criminal organization.

    That’s what Kari Brandenburg wrote in a farewell letter to the U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez. She states, “If any other group of individuals were acting the way APD has allegedly been acting, some of us in law enforcement might refer to them as a continuing criminal enterprise.”

    Brandenburg, who served as the county’s head prosecutor for 16 years, accuses APD of widespread corruption, and an unwillingness to reform. She says APD unfairly made her the target of an investigation after she charged two officers for the death of homeless camper James Boyd in March 2014.

    Despite numerous print and broadcast stories critical of APD over the years, Brandenburg also blames the media for the problems at APD. She says local media had an interest in maintaining the status quo.

    In the letter, Brandenburg admits that as District Attorney, she refused to prosecute any officer for an officer-involved shooting until the Boyd case.

    Continued at http://krqe.com/2017/01/10/outgoing-da-compares-apd-to-criminal-organization-in-letter/

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