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Officer accused in fatal shooting may sue City of Albuquerque

Jen French
October 06, 2017 06:29 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The former police officer accused of shooting and killing a 19-year-old woman in 2014 may sue the City of Albuquerque. His attorney claims the city put the officer in a bad spot.

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The Albuquerque Police Department admits Jeremy Dear pulled the trigger and killed Mary Hawkes, but lapel video of that moment is missing.

Judge Nan Nash calls the shooting of the 19-year-old Hawkes "unreasonable" and "extremely disturbing and suspicious," as well as the city’s lack of video evidence of the shooting.

Six other officers did not record the shooting immediately after the foot chase with Hawkes in southeast Albuquerque in April 2014. Their reasons ranged from a dead battery to forgetting to activate the camera.

"APD knew they had a general problem with documenting use of force," Nash added. "APD knew they had a specific problem with this case as evidenced by the internal affairs investigations and discipline recommendations."

Nash ruled the city was negligent and reckless for not preserving the cameras as evidence.

Even though Dear was the officer who shot Hawkes, attorney Thomas Grover said it’s not Dear’s fault the lapel video is missing. Groves also said the city’s lax record-keeping has failed Dear, who now doesn’t have the ability to defend himself

"Because of the city's failures, he is incurring an injury that he can't defend himself against. Now, it wasn't his job to preserve and record the cameras,” Grover said.

KOB-TV has requested a response from the City of Albuquerque for a comment in response to Grover’s claims. As of Friday evening, the city has not responded.

Credits

Jen French

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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