Police Complaints: Pc News

Police Complaints Sues City for Withholding Public Records

Police Complaints has filed a civil complaint against the City of Albuquerque for illegally suppressing information about police misconduct.

We reported last month how the city has begun censoring citizen complaints against police officers. Citizen police complaints are public records in New Mexico and the public has the right to inspect them. The city continues to provide the records on request, but removes virtually all the specific information. The nearly blank pages are completely useless to anyone investigating police misconduct.

Now Police Complaints brought suit against the city to force them to provide proper records. From the KOAT News story by Anna Velasquez, City faces suit over document redacting:

The city is the subject of a lawsuit that claims officials are withholding information the public has the right to see.

Online watchdog group Policecomplaints.info, which investigates law enforcement departments and officers across the country, said that despite repeated complaints, the city continues to improperly withhold public information.

Anna Martinez has filed a lawsuit against the city on behalf of the watchdog group.

“Everything is redacted other than the officer’s name, and it’s not even a full name there that you can see,” she said, looking at one of the documents in question. “There is no other information within this citizen’s complaint.”

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

Press Coverage on Investigator Trey Flynt's Website

We exposed the hateful, sexist website of a city employee who investigates citizen complaints against police officers. Here’s some of the media coverage our story received.

The screenshots shown in both newscasts were captured exclusively by Police Complaints before the website was taken offline.

Police Complaints on the nightly news again

Royale Da at KOAT did a great story about Police Complaints. From the story, Website seeks to monitor Albuquerque police:

A website calls for citizens to document police activity in order to hold the Albuquerque Police Department accountable.

Policecomplaints.info offers information gathered from public records, with things like formal complaints filed against officers and lapel camera video of arrests.

The web site even asks citizens to “adopt” a police officer.

Remember, we are always looking for people to adopt a cop and help us hold them accountable. And please like our Facebook page and share our stories with your Facebook friends.

IRO investigator subject of federal criminal investigation

More bad press for the Police Oversight Commission. Last month, we reported that POC chairperson Linda Martinez is also actively involved in the Fraternal Order of Police. Now KOAT News and KRQE News are reporting that one of the POC investigators is the subject of a criminal investigation.

KOAT didn’t identify the man, but a source informs us that he is Trey Flynt, who has worked for the Independent Review Office since 2000. His job is investigating citizen complaints against Albuquerque police officers.

From the story by Lauren Zakalik, City investigator target of city, federal investigation:

A city employee who investigates allegations against police officers is under investigation himself at the federal level.

Selling fake or unlicensed merchandise is a federal crime. Federal authorities would not confirm that’s the reason they’re looking into the city of Albuquerque investigator, but the city did.

Target 7 went to the home of the city employee in question in hopes of shedding some light on the very strange and secretive investigation surrounding him.

The employee works for the city’s Independent Review Office. The office is responsible for investigating complaints against the Albuquerque Police Department.

Target 7 is not naming the employee because he has not been charged. The city of Albuquerque said the employee is under administrative review after learning he might have been selling unlicensed jerseys.

Homeland Security investigators said they too have an open investigation on the employee, but won’t reveal why.

See all our coverage of the Trey Flynt counterfeit scandal

3 SWAT officers the target of internal affairs investigation

From the KOAT News story, 3 SWAT officers the target of internal affairs investigation:

Albuquerque police launched an internal affairs investigation into three SWAT team members.

Criminal allegations have not been made against any of the SWAT officers.

Lt. Tim Lopez has been temporarily moved off the SWAT team. Lopez oversees a number of units, including the mounted horse unit that patrols the Bosque looking for fires.

The other two officers involved, Steve Arias and Jeff McFarlane, have been transferred back into the field pending the outcome of the investigation.

Pete Dwyer Fired

From KOAT News

Former City Official: Police Department In Total Turmoil

Seems every week someone new steps up and says APD has serious problems. And every time, the mayor and the chief say the same thing. No problems. None at all. Absolutely nothing to worry about. Do they imagine that this kind of flat denial makes us feel better?

From KOAT News:

The city’s former public safety director told Target 7 that the Albuquerque Police Department is in turmoil, but the police chief and mayor deny that claim.

“Instead of serve and protect, the general public has a definite feeling the department is out of control,” [Pete] Dinelli said. “There are too many police-involved shootings, and there’s a lot of concern about the direction it’s going in.”

“I don’t see any evidence the department is out of control,” Berry said.

I wonder what an out-of-control police department would look like to the mayor? Maybe one that shoots someone he loves?

Deceased Lawyer’s Estate To Sue Police

From KOAT News:

The estate of prominent lawyer Mary Han plans to sue over her death, according to [KOAT’s] media partners at the Albuquerque Journal.