He asked the first man how Fitzgerald could have arrested him, since Fitzgerald is only a security guard, not a police officer. Andy Fitzgerald didn’t like being called “just a security guard”, so he went after the man with the camera. Then, with no provocation whatsoever, Fitzgerald and his partner Akeem Powdrell attack the man and throw him to the ground.
The entire attack was captured on the man’s smart phone camera. The video footage quickly becomes noisy and shaky but a disturbing picture emerges of city employee Andy Fitzgerald completely losing control.
Employee has history of excessive force
It’s not the first time Andy Fitzgerald has gotten violent on the job. According to public records obtained by Police Complaints, the city transit department has disciplined Fitzgerald twice before for excessive force, far exceeding his authority as a security guard. In fact, we found seven disciplinary actions in Fitzgerald’s personnel file, for everything from filing false patrol logs, to thieving from the snack bar at a local laundromat. All these files are published on our Web site at www.policecomplaints.info.
Also on the scene was transit security officer Akeem Powdrell. He didn’t intervene the first time his partner attacked, but he did start sounding a little scared when Fitzgerald put his hands around the man’s throat and began choking him.
A witness at the scene was so shaken by Fitzgerald’s actions that he called the police from his own cell phone to report the attack, even though officer Akeem Powdrell tried to stop him.
Police investigation—or cover-up?
By the time police arrived on the scene, Andy Fitzgerald had cooled down and the man he had beaten and choked was seated on a bench, handcuffed. But APD officers Daniel Galvan and Amy Markwick didn’t do much of an investigation.
Police interviewed a city bus driver, Nathaniel Krantz, who claims he saw the whole thing. Krantz told officers that Fitzgerald had acted in self-defense, but the video evidence shows a different story. On the video seen above, the man is seated and peaceable when Andy Fitzgerald attacks him.
Another witness came forward and tried to tell the truth, but Officer Galvan wasn’t listening. Officer Daniel Galvan can be heard on his own lapel camera screaming “Shut up!”, violently and emotionally. Then Galvan placed his hands on the witness and forced him to leave the scene. Galvan never interviewed the witness about what actually happened.
- See citizen police complaint, Daniel Galvan Refuses to Investigate an Assault and Battery
Galvan even threatened to arrest Andy Fitzgerald’s victim when the man refused to sign an “Order Not to Return” being issued to him. Galvan had already arrested another witness who refused to sign the same document, but when the man with the camera told Galvan that he was not legally obliged to sign anything, Galvan backed down and the beating victim was allowed to leave the scene.
Andy Fitzgerald and Akeem Powdrell are public employees. When they are in public, performing their public duties, they should expect to be photographed or filmed. Especially when they attack and arrest a law-abiding citizen.
This exclusive story was uncovered and reported by Police Complaints of Albuquerque, promoting direct and local police oversight, by citizens, for citizens. Visit our Web site or find us on Facebook for more exclusive stories about police misconduct. Please comment, please share, and please subscribe.