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Independent monitor slams police in special report

The independent monitor appointed to oversee reforms within Albuquerque police slammed the department in a special report released Friday.

It centered around a use of force incident from October 2015.

Police lapel video shows officers kneeing a suspected car thief in the head, causing him to stop moving.

The report criticized officers for not flagging this use of force incident to their supervisors despite the suspect’s injuries. It also questions why the officer wrote in his report that he hit the man in the torso despite what you see in the video. Lastly, the monitor said there was “no meaningful follow-up” by supervisors to address these problems, writing APD “has no appetite for correcting behavior that violates existing policy.”

The monitor said this and other similar incidents “raise serious questions about the department’s capability to transform itself.”

But the city and police union said a lot has changed since last year.

“It happened before we had a new use of force policy, it happened before we implemented any new training, it happened before we taught our sergeants how we wanted them to document the new use of force policy,” said Albuquerque Police Union President Shaun Willoughby.

The report did acknowledge the new changes, but said those too could be undermined if the department’s “low culture of accountability” continues.

APD declined an on-camera interview but instead released a statement. It said while it did disagree with the report and actually asked for changes before it was released, they are working to implement many of the monitor’s recommendations.

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