Family files lawsuit after fatal BCSO-involved shooting | KOB 4
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Family files lawsuit after fatal BCSO-involved shooting

Kassi Nelson
December 19, 2017 06:42 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A family is still in mourning after their loved one was killed in a deputy-involved shooting last month. The Bernalillo County sheriff calls the action justified, but the family calls it murder.

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The family of Martin Jim has many questions after BCSO Deputy Joshua Mora shot and killed Jim on Nov. 17. Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales has said the use of force was justified, but Jim’s family said it wants justice.

Lawyer Sam Bregman, who is representing the Jim family, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday. It holds the county and Gonzales responsible stating the department lacks accountability and "the lack of internal oversight and supervision, and lack of lapel cameras has allowed a culture of aggression to develop within the sheriff’s department, promoting an acceptance of unlawful use of deadly force."

Mora, who’s been on the force for a year and a half, shot Jim while pursuing a stolen vehicle through the city. Deputies were able to stop the truck at Coors and Glenrio. According to Gonzales, Mora approached the truck and gave them four men inside verbal commands.

The sheriff said Mora felt his and his sergeant’s safety was threatened, and he fired his service weapon seven times into the vehicle.

"The sergeant could hear the driver of the vehicle revving the engine and crunching, a crunching noise. Obviously, he felt threatened," Gonzales said after the incident.

The driver, Isaac Padilla, was shot dead along with Jim, who was in the back seat. Two other passengers weren’t hurt and were released without charges. Gonzales said no gun was found inside the truck or on either Padilla or Jim.

"We've had a lot of light attention, a great deal of attention paid to APD, but I think the light needs to shine on BCSO as well because we've obviously got some cowboys out there that want to run up to trucks and start shooting," Bergman said.

The lawsuit also states the county and sheriff were negligent in the hiring, training, retention, and supervision of Mora.

"Letting Deputy Mora stay on the streets makes this community more dangerous," Bergman said.

BCSO said they can’t comment on any pending litigation but urges the public to hold off on jumping to conclusions until all the evidence is in. Here is the statement from BCSO released Tuesday afternoon:

A multi-jurisdictional Officer Involved Shooting Investigative Team comprised of the New Mexico State Police, Rio Rancho Police Department, Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, and Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the deputy involved shooting, which took place on November 17, 2017. This comprehensive investigation is underway, but far from complete. Although the investigation is ongoing, Mr. Bregman chose to file a lawsuit and made a number of allegations about the events which occurred during the incident. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office will wait to address the allegations raised by Mr. Bregman during the judicial and/or litigation process.

Mora is back patrolling the streets.

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Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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