Police Complaints: Pc News

New Cover-Up: Albuquerque Police Illegally Suppressing Public Complaints

Complaints against police officers are public records in New Mexico. At PoliceComplaints.info, we have published hundreds of pages of citizen police complaints. We have never had any difficulty obtaining these public records.

Until now.

The Albuquerque Police Department is the records custodian of citizen police complaints. They recently instituted a new policy of censoring these public records. They still send them out on demand, but not before redacting them, blocking out virtually all the relevant information. This new APD policy makes a complete mockery of the citizens’ right to inspect records and hold police officers accountable for misconduct.

Last year, Police Complaints requested and received citizen complaints against APD officer Steve Hindi, one of Albuquerque’s most complained-about cops. And last month, a journalist from KUNM radio requested the same documents.

The sample documents below illustrate APD’s new public records policy.

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APD claims to have lost every single video from the Prisoner Transport Center

A local police oversight activist was recently researching a citizen’s claim of excessive force. The activist made an IPRA demand to inspect the surveillance video taken on a particular day at the Prisoner Transport Unit, where arrestees are processed before being transported to the jail. He had hoped to see video evidence supporting or disproving the citizen’s claims.

The police department claims to have lost that video. Incredibly, they claim to have lost every single video taken at the PTU before August 8, 2012. Here is their response:

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