Recent officer-involved crashes open emotional wounds for family Web Staff
May 19, 2017 10:22 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Nearly 11 years ago, a local family lost a grandmother when she was hit by an Albuquerque Police Department officer. A pair of fatal crashes over the past month involving authorities are reopening painful wounds for that family and raising questions about police policy.


Denise Baker's grandmother Flora Aragon was hit by APD officer Zachariah Floyd in her own yard in 2006. Floyd was speeding and lost control of his car while responding to a domestic violence call. He got a three-week suspension.

The anniversary of that crash is Sunday.

"To know that a police officer killed her at her home where you would feel the most comfortable, all in the line of a pursuit, it's just hard to believe," Baker said.

This week, a Los Lunas school resource officer got in a crash responding to a call in Peralta. The other driver died.

Last month, APD officer Johnathan McDonnell hit a car while responding to a call. The crash killed a 6-year-old child. That crash is under investigation, but it is concerning to Aragon's family. They question why McDonnell was still allowed to drive after getting disciplined six times for other crashes over a seven-year period.

According to an APD union agreement, officers involved in crashes can appeal their case as long as the suspension is less than 40 hours. Records show McDonnell took part in pre-disciplinary hearings and was given suspensions ranging from eight to 28 hours.

"I think there has to be rules, policies and procedures, and we have to stick to them," Baker said. "If you have a bad driving record, you have no reason to be on the road. None."

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