Police Complaints: Pc News

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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Albuquerque Cop Caught Undressing in Public

An Albuquerque cop has been caught on video changing his clothes in public, right behind his police car. A citizen took a video of the spectacle and posted it on YouTube.

According to a citizen police complaint, the officer stood behind his marked police car one afternoon last November and stripped down to his boxer shorts in full view of the public, including women and children. The police car, which is identified in the complaint by ID number and license plate, is assigned to Steven Arias of the APD SWAT team. Arias was recently the subject of an internal affairs investigation.

New Claims Against Security Officer Andy Fitzgerald

Police Complaints showed the explosive video of Andy Fitzgerald attacking a man for filming him. Now KOAT News has reported new claims of misconduct by Fitzgerald. An anonymous witness has come forward and says she saw Fitzgerald harassing a bus passenger in November. Watch the KOAT story here.

Local Press Reports on our Story about a City Security Guard

Police Complaints broke the story last week of a city security guard, Andy Fitzgerald, who attacked and choked a man for filming an arrest. Many local media outlets picked up our exclusive report.

See all our coverage of the security guard attack

Albuquerque man choked and handcuffed for filming an arrest

A City of Albuquerque security guard attacked and beat a man for filming him. And it’s all on tape in this exclusive story from Police Complaints.

Andy Fitzgerald works out of the Alvarado Transportation Center, downtown Albuquerque’s main bus and train station. He’s not a police officer, just a city-employed security guard. Last August, he arrested a man who, he says, was intoxicated. When another man began filming the arrest, things got ugly.

Police Complaints interviewed the second man and obtained the video footage he captured with his smart phone. He says he was just a bystander and doesn’t even know the man Fitzgerald had arrested. But when he walked to this bus stop after work, something looked suspicious, so he started filming it.

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