APD officers fired in kicking case sue police union

Updated: 07/14/2014 6:18 PM | Created: 07/14/2014 2:59 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Two former Albuquerque police officers fired for kicking a man during a 2011 arrest are now suing the police union.

The lawsuit filed against the Albuquerque Police Officers' Association includes claims of breach of contract, tortious interference, civil conspiracy and breaches of fiduciary duties.

A surveillance video showed Robert Woolever and his partner, John Doyle, apprehending a car theft suspect in February 2011. The video shows Woolever holding him down while Doyle kicks him. After they handcuff him, the officers do what looks like a chest bump.

Grover Law, LLC, the law firm representing the officers, claims the union failed to protect Doyle and Woolever as former APD Chief Ray Schultz "generated hysteria" with the video and misrepresented Doyle and Woolever's efforts to subdue the suspect.

"I thought the APOA and their lawyer Fred Mowrer were there to defend us and all the other officers. Finding out, and realizing, they were just using Rob and I to help Schultz keep his job and to keep feathering their own nest with union money was one of the most cowardly, disgusting, and dishonorable acts I’ve seen in my twenty plus years as a street cop" Doyle said in a statement. "I truly feel that this lawsuit is only the beginning of what needs to be done to clean up the APOA. This incident needs a full-blown criminal investigation."

The lawsuit claims Schultz used the officers as a scapegoat to avoid a formal Department of Justice investigation into APD's use of force.

The officers also claim the APOA granted preferential treatment to some members while openly discriminating against others in regards to member benefits.

Robert Woolever was fired from APD after video surfaced of him hoding down a suspect while his partner kicked him.

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