Updated: January 17, 2020 10:44 AM
Created: January 16, 2020 07:43 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The family of a 15-year-old boy who was hit and killed in the midst of a stolen truck pursuit is suing the City of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Police Department.
Manny Tapia was crossing Coors at Ellison, with the right of way, when a stolen truck, that officer were pursuing, hit and killed the teenager.
“We noticed the truck went through a red light and police lights followed,” said a witness.
Surveillance video appears to back up the witness’s account.
“The lawsuit is important because APD, along with other police forces nationwide have implemented important policies regarding pursuing vehicles in a chase and those policies are implemented to protect the innocent public from getting injured in one of these police chases,” said Corrine Holt, the attorney representing Tapia’s family.
The two officers' reports about the pursuit differed on whether they stopped or slowed down at the light.
They followed the truck to Rio Rancho, then came back to find Tapia.
“Because the officers in this case failed to follow those policies, Manuel was killed,” Holt said. “And until we start to hold the officers accountable to following those policies, this could happen to anyone that innocently gets in the way of a police chase."
At one point, APD was investigating whether the two officers followed protocol in pursuing the suspect.
Along with APD, Mayor Tim Keller is also named in the lawsuit.
An APD spokesperson said they have not been served.
“The family is hoping this litigation will solve some of the mysteries that are revolving around their son's death,” Holt said.
The driver of the truck, Juan Carlos Ramirez, agreed to a plea deal, but only for the stolen truck.
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