ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque police revealed new particulars Tuesday about not one, however two current shootings by officers.
Now, APD Chief Harold Medina says his officers are getting pointless warmth in a few of these shootings, particularly earlier than all of the information are on the market.
In one in every of two shootings mentioned Tuesday, APD officers shot and killed a person at a northwest gasoline station in late August.
Keshawn Thomas had no felony historical past however police revealed he tried to tug a gun on officers proper earlier than the capturing.
“There are issues that have been achieved effectively right here and there – issues that I feel we may do higher as a division and as an company,” stated Medina.
It began with a 911 name again in late August on a Sunday evening.
“There was like this inexperienced Camaro sitting, he’s been sitting there for some time.”
Physique digital camera video reveals what occurred as two APD officers arrived on the Valero gasoline station on Coors — simply north of I-40 – and located Thomas asleep inside that automobile.
“You’re not in bother, simply get up and get out.”
Officers say they discovered an open container of alcohol within the automobile and claimed Thomas admitted to being drunk earlier than arguing with officers. A 3rd officer was referred to as in for help and decided Thomas didn’t have any energetic warrants.
“Because the automobile was not on, they decided they can’t conduct a DWI investigation, however would wake the driving force and had her or him name a experience house,” stated APD Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock.
Thomas requested officers if he may seize his cellphone from the automobile.
“Is that okay?”
Officers requested if he had any weapons and Thomas stated there was one within the trunk. He handed officers a loaded journal and walked to the automobile.
“Thomas enters the driving force’s seat of the automobile and seems to start to go looking the middle console space,” stated Hartsock.
There’s an extended pause however then:
“Gun gun gun”
The three officers fired 16 photographs whole at Thomas and physique digital camera video reveals them recovering a handgun from the automobile.
APD additionally revealed there was no mobile phone.
However the ACLU launched a press release simply days after the incident- earlier than any of this info was public – saying “the capturing is additional proof the present use-of-force legal guidelines have failed to guard our communities.” They prompt APD nonetheless wants federal oversight.
Medina says these feedback — with out correct proof — are unacceptable.
“These statements resembling this, resembling these, that drive a wedge between the Albuquerque Police Division and communities which have by no means had robust relationships with the police division are extraordinarily unprofessional, uncalled for, and irresponsible,” stated Medina.
Whereas Medina defended his officers, he admits there are nonetheless issues he would have achieved in another way on this case – however he understands why his rank and file could have doubts within the subject.
“5,10 years in the past as a patrol officer, I’d by no means permit a person to right into a automobile,” Medina stated. “As a police division, we actually must look into consider these conditions to see, are our officers petrified of doing sure actions due to the truth that it may result in additional legal responsibility or complaints.”
Medina additionally says this case is simply one other instance of what occurs when there’s a mix of medicine or alcohol and weapons.