Updated: 01/10/2014 8:58 PM |
Created: 01/10/2014 8:52 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A father filed a public records lawsuit against Albuquerque Police late Friday claiming that the department refuses to release records tied to the officer-involved shooting of his son.
Officers shot Shane Sherrill after they responded to a domestic violence call in December, 2013 near Wyoming Boulevard and Indian School Road. They claimed he was holding an object that appeared to be a weapon.
A few days later, officers revealed that Sherrill had been holding a brake pad.
Sherrill survived the shooting, but suffered extensive injuries to his legs, according to his attorney.
David Sherrill and the attorneys have sought lapel camera video, dashcam video, witness statements and other public records, but more than a month later, the department claims the records are tied to an "ongoing investigation."
KOB Eyewitness News 4 has sought the same public records, but has not received them either.
"[Officers are] out there saying that my client pointed something at the police officers, and he adamantly denies it, and we'd like to know the truth. We'd like to see what they have," attorney Joe Kennedy said.
Kennedy argued the legalities of a supposed ongoing investigation. Since officers announced that they'd charge Sherrill almost immediately after the shooting, he said the investigation is over.
Additionally, Kennedy said Interim Chief Allen Banks cannot withhold the records since he, in part, shared a still frame of lapel camera video at a news conference.
"We figured what's good for the goose is good for the gander," Kennedy said. "If the chief of police has it and wants to give to the public, wants to do a dog and pony show where he shows one still photo of our client--which is hard to see--we figured, 'well, we better see this.' We better see what's going on before we file a lawsuit."
Kennedy firmly believes that the department will lose the case.
"That's the incredible thing. This is a department that actually leads the nation in getting officers lapel cameras and they, actually, are very innovative in that way. But if you're going to get them, you got to release [the video]."
If in fact APD chooses to let the case go to court and loses, state law would require the department to pay Kennedy's attorney fees.
"So, the City of Albuquerque is paying me to get public information from the City of Albuquerque," Kennedy said.