Tag Archives: police force

APD Investigation Continues After Officer Who Shot 19-Year-Old Claimed Third Body Camera Error

Albuquerque, NM- The Albuquerque Police Department is under scrutiny again after an investigation of APD officer Jeremy Dear revealed that his body camera malfunctioned for a third time while on duty. During his camera’s latest malfunction in April 2014, Dear shot a 19-year-old woman who was on the run after being suspected of driving a stolen truck.

Dear shot and killed Mary Hawkes on April 21st of this year after pursuing her her on foot. Hawkes had allegedly abandoned the stolen truck and was fleeing from police when she was confronted by Dear before he shot her three times.

In Hawkes’ autopsy report it was found that all three shots were fired from a downward trajectory. The Office of the Medical Examiner’s report also stated that Hawkes suffered “seven blunt-force injuries” on her body “including on each knee, the top of her forehead, each forearm, her chest and back of her right hand.”

Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said that there was “preliminary evidence” that suggested she may have pulled a out a handgun and pointed it at Dear. Eden said that a .32 caliber semiautomatic handgun was found near Hawkes’ body.

Hawkes had a troubled history, including previous run-ins with police dating back to when she was 15. A toxicology report released in May showed she was under the influence of meth before the shooting and there were multiple drugs found in her system.

It was soon discovered that Dear’s body camera had not captured the incident. Technicians were unable to retrieve any footage of the shooting. Cameras worn on other officers contained footage of the wake of the incident.

Taser International Inc., the company that makes the cameras, stated in its report of Dear’s camera that it had turned off and on several times on the evening of April 20th through the early hours of April 21st: “Before the incident, the camera was powered on around 11:15 p.m. on April 20, then went off around 11:30 p.m., recording once. It was turned on again shortly after midnight, and went off again around 4 a.m., recording three times. It was turned on again around 4:15 a.m. and turned off a minute later without recording anything.”

The report also stated that Dear’s camera had a damaged cable but the camera itself was completely functional. It was missing a clip that helps prevent the camera from disconnecting from the battery.

The April shooting was not the first time that Dear’s body camera failed to capture an incident.

In January 2013, Dear had responded to a brawl occurring in town and had struck “(a 22-year-old suspect) several times in his facial area with a closed fist,” according to his description of the event. His camera was not on at the time, and his partner’s camera had captured the beginning of the fight and its aftermath.

In February 2013, a man was pulled over by Dear for speeding. The man later filed a complaint accusing Dear of using excessive force. The man alleged that Dear had pulled him out of his vehicle and kicked him in the genitals. Dear denied the accusations and claimed that the battery on his body camera died after he pulled the man over.

Dear had also been caught giving conflicting information in a wrongful death suit stemming from an APD-involved shooting in 2011. APD officer Sean Wallace had shot and killed Alan Gomez, a suspect in a hostage situation. Dear had been at the scene of the shooting, and there was audio of Dear telling an investigator that he was unable to see Gomez’s hands before he was shot.

In a deposition months later, Dear said that he’d seen something large, possibly a gun, in Gomez’s hand. As it turned out, Gomez had been unarmed, according to a report from the Department of Justice that stated “Gomez was unarmed and did not pose an immediate risk of death or serious bodily harm to the individuals in the house or officers when he was shot.” It has not been reported that Dear was investigated for giving conflicting information.

APD spokeswoman Janet Blair stated that Dear is on desk duty while a  criminal and internal investigation continues.

The Justice Department criticized APD’s long-term use of excessive violence in an April report that read “based on our investigation, we have reasonable cause to believe that APD engages in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force, including deadly force, in violation of the Fourth  Amendment and Section 14141.”

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Video: ASU Professor Roughed Up And Slammed To Ground By Campus Police

Tempe, AZ- Arizona State University professor Ersula Ore is challenging an aggravated assault charge against her after a stop for jaywalking turned into a violent encounter with campus police.

Last month, Ore was confronted by ASU campus police officer Stewart Ferrin as she was walking across a street near the university on her way home. Ferrin told Ore that she was jaywalking, and asked her to provide identification. Ore attempted to explain to Ferrin that she was walking in the street to avoid nearby road construction.

“I’ve been here for over three years and everybody walks this street… I never once saw a single solitary individual get pulled over by a cop for walking across a street on a campus,” Ore said. She disagreed with Ferrin for being stopped in the first place, explaining “everybody has been doing this because it is all obstructed. That’s the reason why. But you stop me in the middle of the street to pull me over and ask me, ‘Do you know what this is? This is a street.'” Ferrin informed her that she would be arrested if she failed to produce ID.

The video footage above, released last Friday, contains about two minutes of the off-camera audio interaction between Ore and Ferrin before Ferrin began roughly handling Ore and subsequently throwing her onto the pavement.

“Let me see your ID or you will be arrested for failing to provide ID,” Ferrin said.

“Are you serious?” Ore asked.

“Yes, I’m serious. That is the law. If you don’t understand the law, I’m explaining the law to you,” replied Ferrin. “I have no problem abiding by the law, but all I’m asking do you have to speak to me in such a disrespectful manner,” Ore then said to Ferrin.

“OK, put your hands behind your back,” Ferrin ordered Ore. The video shows Ore struggling against the officer before he threw her onto the ground and pinned her. After she was handcuffed by Ferrin and an additional officer, Ore kicked Ferrin in the leg.

Ore’s attorney, Alane Roby, explained that when she was pinned on the ground, “she was exposed, told officer she was exposed. Her dress was up; the officer was reaching toward her anatomy. And after what had already happened, she felt uncomfortable with hands going there.”

911 dispatchers received a call from a witness who described the incident as “a police officer who’s getting way too aggressive with a young lady on the street.”

Ore is arguing self-defense against the stemming aggravated assault charge. “I wasn’t given an opportunity to actually give ID. I mean, I was never asked what my name was. I was never told what I was in violation of. It was immediately ‘Do you know the difference between a street and a sidewalk?’ And then he gets out the car. He throws the car door open actually is what happens. And he’s just towering over me. He’s intimidating. He is…I don’t know why he’s so aggressive,” Ore told CNN.

ASU issued a statement about the incident:

“According to the police report, ASU Police initially spoke to Assistant Professor Ore because officers patrolling the area nearly hit her with their police vehicle as they turned the vehicle onto College Avenue to investigate a disabled vehicle. Officer Stewart Ferrin had no intention of citing or arresting Ore, but for her safety told her to walk on the sidewalk. When Ore refused to comply and refused to provide identification after she was asked for it multiple times, she was subsequently arrested.”

ASU also issued a statement regarding Ferrin’s actions:

“ASU authorities have reviewed the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the arrest of Assistant Professor Ersula Ore and have found that the officer involved did not violate protocol and no evidence was found of racial motivation by the ASU Police Department officers involved. However, the ASU Police Department is enlisting an outside law-enforcement agency to conduct an independent review on whether excessive force was used and if there was any racial motivation by the officers involved.”

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VIDEO: Cops Break Special Needs Teen’s Arm On School Bus – Family Suing For $1 M

A surveillance video shows two cops in Rotterdam, New York breaking the arm of a special needs 16-year-old while trying to remove him from a school bus.

In October 2013, Rotterdam Police were called by Mohonasen transportation because the 16-year-old refused to get off the bus. According to police, the driver would not transport the teen because he threatened her.

Two cops attempted to convince the teen to get off of the vehicle — the entire time, the teen remained on his seat, unresponsive. In the video, one cop can be heard saying, “Either you or one of us might get hurt and we don’t want to do that.”

After 30 minutes of asking the teen to get up, the cops used force to remove him from the bus. The boy’s arm was broken in the process.

Now, the boy’s family is suing the town police for $1 million. A statement from the family’s attorney, Kevin Luibrand, said, “When the boy did not respond quick enough for the police, which is typical for the boy’s type of condition, rather than call mental health professionals or wait for the EMTs, the police told the boy that they were going to ‘hog-tie’ him… With clearly excessive force, exerted enough force to snap one of the strongest bones in his body. That’s not how mentally handicapped people are to be treated.”

The Rotterdam Police maintain that the two officers did nothing wrong and were following protocol.

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