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Manufacturer: Officer's camera turned on and off multiple times before fatal shooting

Created: 06/25/2014 4:20 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

The manufacturer of lapel cameras for the Albuquerque Police Department on Wednesday said an officer's camera was powered on and off multiple times before the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old woman in April.

TASER International officials say they do not know if officer Jeremy Dear failed to record the incident or if a power connector failed.

Dear told police he did activate his camera, but TASER was unable to determine whether his statement was true.

On April 21, Dear shot and killed Mary Hawkes after police said she pointed a gun at him during a foot pursuit. Hawkes was suspected of stealing a vehicle near Wyoming and Zuni earlier that night.

Two days after the shooting, Police Chief Gorden Eden said the department was unable to collect footage from Dear's lapel camera. Eden explained that the technology can sometimes fail, but said APD had not determined if the camera malfunctioned or wasn't turned on.

APD officers could face consequences for not activating their lapel system, including a letter of reprimand or suspension, according to Eden. APD's policy requires officers to activate their cameras when making contact with the public. APD spokeswoman Janet Blair said investigations, both criminal and internal, are continuing on into the  incident. She said Dear is still on administrative assignment.

The officer-involved shooting of Hawkes came at the heels of the Department of Justice's report on APD, which said many officers had engaged in a pattern of excessive force over the past four years.

Tune into KOB Eyewitness News 4 at 5 and 6 for an in-depth report.


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