Lawsuit: New Mexico city made officers target minorities | KOB 4

Lawsuit: New Mexico city made officers target minorities

Leonard Tapia
October 12, 2017 07:21 PM

HOBBS, N.M. -- A federal lawsuit filed last week outlines multiple allegations against the Hobbs Police Department by three former Hobbs police officers – two who are African American and another who is Caucasian.


The former officers accuse several coworkers, including the Hobbs chief of police, of racial discrimination or retaliation while they were employed with the department. According to the lawsuit, "Officers were directed to make their quota by stopping citizens of color and African American officers, such as plaintiffs, were mocked and degraded while on the job for failing to do so."

The lawsuit claims one of the former African American officers was "not allowed" to sit with Caucasian trainees during lunch. Instead, he was "the only one who had to stand in the corner." There are also allegations of the frequent use of the "n-word" among officers.

The former officers are seeking actual and special damages, including punitive damages against the defendants.

n a statement posted on social media, the department said they haven't been served with the lawsuit, but it takes the allegations very seriously. The statement goes on to say "the organization is not perfect, but works hard to be responsive to our community."

KOB did reach out to the City of Hobbs for further comment, but they weren't able to since they still haven't received the lawsuit. Here is a full statement from the City of Hobbs and the police department on the lawsuit:

Yesterday the City of Hobbs and the Hobbs Police Department were made aware through media inquiries of a recently filed Federal Lawsuit related to accusations of what the Hobbs Police Department would deem unethical policing practices. The City of Hobbs, the Hobbs Police Department, nor the individual officers named in this lawsuit have been served and have no specific knowledge of the accusations contained in the suit. Once the parties have been served, the specific allegations will be appropriately reviewed and a response will occur. We take any allegation of policy or procedure violations against the Hobbs Police Department or our officers very seriously, and we will respond in a timely and appropriate manner.

Having not been provided with a copy of this lawsuit, the mere basis that was played out in a media report last night goes against all values and the mission of the Hobbs Police Department. The Hobbs Police Department has worked hard through numerous community partnerships and programs to grow relationships in our community between the department and our citizens. It is unfortunate that these individuals, along with this law firm have chosen this path to paint the Hobbs Police Department in such a negative light.

The Hobbs Police Department is made up of men and women who are dedicated to the community they serve. The organization is not perfect, but works hard to be responsive to our community and the standards that would be expected of a professional law enforcement organization. The individual human factor is always present and when issues arise, the department works to hold those employees accountable who make mistakes or bad decisions.

The Hobbs Police Department is committed to providing quality and professional service to all citizens and we will continue to serve our community in a professional and unbiased manner.


Leonard Tapia

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