Officer disciplined in 6 driving-related cases prior to fatal crash |

Officer disciplined in 6 driving-related cases prior to fatal crash

Jen French
May 12, 2017 07:34 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- An Albuquerque police officer involved in a crash that killed a 6-year-old boy has been in trouble with the department before.


KOB obtained documents from APD Thursday showing officer Johnathan McDonnell has been in at least five preventable crashes and one unauthorized pursuit. He received six disciplinary actions in the span of seven years.

APD said McDonnell headed to a violent felony in progress call when his police unit collided with a civilian vehicle, killing 6-year-old Joel Anthony Suina. The crash injured the boy's mother and sister.

McDonnell started working for APD in 2008, and he was involved in crashes in November 2009, October 2010, August 2014, June 2015, February 2016 and June 2016. The incidents include crashing into a car at a police substation, rear-ending a vehicle during a felony stop, hitting a stop sign, and rear-ending another cruiser. Each crash is nine to 34 months apart.

Click here to read those reports.

According to an APD union agreement, officers have the right to appeal as long as the department's issued suspension is less than 40 hours. According to records, McDonnell did participate in pre-disciplinary hearings and was given suspensions ranging from eight to 28 hours.

An APD spokesperson said they can't comment on McDonnell's on the job driving record because they're still investigating his latest crash that happened last month.

It's not clear who is at fault in the crash, but APD says McDonnell's previous crashes will play a role in what internal affairs rules in his most recent crash.

APD says its officers are involved in about 300 crashes a year, and it has concluded that just about a third of them are preventable.


Jen French

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