Albuquerque Police News

Albuquerque cop resigns after DWI

From KOAT News

Albuquerque police confirm that Patrick Hernandez stepped down on Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, Hernandez got into a crash involving two other vehicles, while getting on the San Antonio exit from Interstate 25 northbound last week. He then failed sobriety tests.

Brand New App: Monitor Albuquerque Police with Your Smart Phone!

We’re working on a new phone app that will help Albuquerque citizens track and identify local police. The app is still in the earliest stages and we are seeking beta testers. If you are a gadget lover and want to try our new phone app, please contact us.

Details:

  • Current version is Android only. An iPhone version is in the works, but for now, please only contact us if you are using an Android phone.
  • You need to be tech-savvy, know how to use your phone and how to install software. Make sure you know what version of Android your phone is running.
  • To test the app, you need to see APD police cars on a regular basis. This app won’t be of any use if you’re not in Albuquerque and regularly spotting APD police cars.

We only have room for a few people in our beta tester program, so tell us a little about yourself and why you would be a good app tester. Email now!.

Volunteer Opportunity: Redacting Citizen Complaint Files

We are building a Registry of all citizen complaints against the Albuquerque police department. Now we need your help so we can publish more info about more bad cops.

Police Complaints has a backlog of about 80 citizen complaint files. These files document numerous cases of misconduct by Albuquerque Police Officers. Before we can publish them on our website, we need to redact them, blocking out the personal information of the citizens who filed the complaints in order to protect their privacy.

Can you volunteer to redact just five or ten citizen police complaints? It is easy work, but very detail-oriented. You need to be computer- and internet-literate and you need a passion for exposing police misconduct. We will email you the files in PDF format. You can upload each file to a website we give you. There you can use simple point-and-click tools to cover up all the personal info you find in the document. Then you just email the document back to us for publishing in the Complaints Registry.

Please email if you can help. Thank you!

Officers Kat Wright and Jeff Bludworth identified in fatal shooting

From an Albuquerque Journal story by Jeff Proctor, APD officer fired gun as fellow cop attacked

Albuquerque police officers fired nine shots from close range at a knife-wielding Vietnam veteran who had been living for years with mental illness during a rapidly unfolding incident outside a convenience store in the heart of the city, officials said.

At a news conference on Monday, Police Chief Ray Schultz identified the two officers who shot and killed 66-year-old Vincent Wood on Friday as rookie Jeff Bludworth and Katherine Wright, who has been with APD since 2009.

Cop in deadly collision has history covering up fellow cop's car wreck

Sergeant Adam Casaus of the Albuquerque Police Department is being investigated for his role in a fatal car accident. He’s probably hoping for a quick and casual investigation. Something like the quick and casual investigation he made two years ago when he responded to a five-car accident caused by another Albuquerque Police Officer.

According to public records obtained by Police Complaints, Officer Spencer Guillory was speeding recklessly through a residential Albuquerque neighborhood in November 2011. Guillory tore through an intersection, without emergency lights or sirens, at speeds as high as 80 MPH. He collided with a citizen’s car, lost control of his vehicle, then smashed into three more cars, cutting a swath of destruction 300 feet long. Miraculously, there were no serious injuries.

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Volunteer Opportunity: Investigate Public Records on Excessive Force

Police Complaints is seeking a volunteer to sort through public records and videos documenting use-of-force incidents by the Albuquerque Police Department.

We have received public records that cover just a two-month period in a single command area of the APD. So far, we have about 120 pages and several dozen video and audio recordings taken from officer belt tapes and lapel cameras. The reported incidents include taser discharges, blunt-force applications, take-downs and other uses of lethal and less-than-lethal force.

We are looking for a volunteer investigator to sort through the records, summarize them and help us prioritize them for second-level investigation. We’re looking for someone with the following skills:

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Shooting Of Mentally Disabled Man Spurs Lawsuit

From the Journal story by Jeff Proctor, Shooting Of Mentally Disabled Man Spurs Lawsuit

Hilda Valdez called 911 in November 2010, hoping Albuquerque police officers could help calm down her mentally disabled brother-in-law, who had been drinking and was threatening to harm himself with a knife.

It’s a decision she says she regrets.

Within a few minutes of officers arriving, Russell Tenorio had been shot in his home by APD officer Brian Pitzer, who had announced before entering the residence that he was “going lethal.” Immediately after the bullet struck Tenorio, he was Tasered by officer Doug Moore.

Read the entire article

City withholding locations of surveillance cameras

The Albuquerque Police are bragging about a new tool that lets them spy on law-abiding citizens through a city-wide network of more than 100 video cameras. But they refuse to tell us where all these cameras are located.

From the Albuquerque Journal story by Jeff Proctor, APD video crime center debuts:

For nearly two years, the Albuquerque Police Department has quietly been at work on a controversial law enforcement strategy in which live camera feeds are piped from more than 100 cameras around the city into a video command center at police headquarters to provide officers in the field with real-time information…. Each of the cameras, which have been in place to aid city traffic engineers for years, records on a 24-hour loop.

APD’s shiny new panopticon incorporates facial recognition software and real-time integration with numerous public and private databases. Concerns for privacy and civil rights are obvious to everyone except, of course, the police.

But there’s one kind of privacy, the police are always willing to protect: their own. We’ve been trying to learn the locations of all the spy cameras that the police can tap into, but so far, they’ve refused to disclose this information in full.

We submitted the following request for this data more than four months ago:

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February meeting of the Police Oversight Commission

Attorney Kari Morrissey gives a civil rights presentation to the Albuquerque Police Oversight Commission, then is censored by city attorneys when she starts saying things they don’t like. A long 4 hour meeting with numerous public comments and review of citizen police complaints.

From the Albuquerque Journal story by Jeff Proctor, Lawyer: I was censored at POC meeting:

A local lawyer says she was “censored” by city attorneys and the independent review officer who cut short her civil rights law presentation to the Police Oversight Commission on Thursday evening.

The reason?

Kari Morrissey, who frequently handles civil rights cases against APD, was describing for commissioners what she said were contradictions between the department’s policies and federal case law regarding witness detention.

For example, she said, federal case law states that witnesses may only be detained for 90 minutes. Anything beyond that requires an arrest and probable cause. APD policies have no time limits, and she said officers frequently hold witnesses for hours at a time, take away their cellphones and lock them in the backs of police cars.

About halfway through a scheduled hour-long presentation, Morrissey said Deputy City Attorney Kathy Levy stopped the talk and asked her to step into the hallway. They were joined by City Attorney David Tourek and Robin Hammer, the city’s independent review officer.

Read the full story

NM Legislature Seeks to Criminalize Audio Recording

  • Update: The bill was defeated due to intense opposition from numerous citizens and groups, including New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, Society of Professional Journalists, New Mexico Press Association, and Police Complaints of Albuquerque.

State Senator Bill O’Neill has introduced SB 127, Recording of Confidential Communications, which makes it illegal to audio-record conversations without the consent of all parties involved. Laws of this sort have been used in other jurisdictions to stop people from recording interactions with police and other public officials.

Senator O’Neill is completely up-front about his intentions: this bill is to shield politicians from accountability. In a statement to the Santa Fe New Mexican, O’Neill said, “In a political context, how can [we] work in a bi-partisan way if we are worried about being secretly taped? How can we be effective as elected officials?”

A better question is how citizens can trust public officials who are afraid of being held accountable for their words and actions?

Below is an email we have sent to the members of the Senate Public Affairs Committee, which will be hearing this bill today.

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