Judgment brings APD lawsuit total costs to at least $20 million

Created: 06/10/2014 10:07 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Tuesday a judge awarded six million dollars to the family of 27-year-old Christopher Torres. He was shot and killed by an Albuquerque Police Department detective in 2011, with another detective involved as well. Including this latest ruling, the city of Albuquerque has spent at least 25 million dollars on APD lawsuits from 2010-2014.

The data comes from spreadsheets from the city attorney’s office. The city says the numbers encompass excessive force and wrongful death lawsuits. Albuquerque is self-insured, meaning the city keeps a pot of money to pay for the settlements and judgments.

“For us as a family, Christopher's story, the true story of what happened on April 12th, has been known, and his name has been vindicated and justice, thank God, prevailed,” Renetta Torres said Tuesday.

A ruling went in the Torres family’s favor, but it was a lawsuit they never wanted to file.

“I did not want to put my family through this, that's the last thing I wanted. Three years ago I reached out to the mayor, I sent him a letter I said let's sit down, let's see what we can do about this, let’s see if we can’t work together to try to deal with this problem… I got no answer,” Steve Torres said.

They felt the only way to get the city’s attention and make changes within APD was to sue the department, so they did.

From 2012 to 2014, the city spent $11.4 million on APD excessive force and wrongful death lawsuits. Since 2010, the number goes to $20 million.

For the Torres family, they hope the lawsuit leads to more than just money.

“This didn't have to happen. He didn't have to die on that day. If it hadn't been for two officers who believed they were Wild West scenario, our son would still be alive,” Renetta Torres said.

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