City Councilor Pat Davis is supposed to be an ex cop and at one time was the spokesperson for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office. Maybe he knows criminal law, but it is downright embarrassing that he does not know or understand the meaning of “Federal Court Jurisdiction” and “Federal Court Order”. At the very least, he knows better and wants the headlines.
Davis for a second time wants the City to dodge the review and enforcement process and requirements of the Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). In essence, Davis wants to dodge the authority of the Federal Judge and the Court appointed monitor.
Davis is the City Councilor, along with the City Attorney, who called for the hiring of someone outside of City Hall, and not APD, to investigate the allegations made by a former APD records custodian that there was erasing, altering, corrupting or tampering and withholding of evidence of police officer lapel camera video in police officer involved shooting cases. The allegations included that high ranking APD command staff and the City Attorneys office ordered the altering or withholding of lapel camera video.
Davis went so far as to say appointing and hiring of an “outside investigator” or counsel would “avoid potential conflicts of interest” and boost public confidence in the review process.
Davis does not understand that the allegations are criminal in nature and need to be investigated by a law enforcement agency.
Davis apparently does not understand that when the City selects and hires and outside investigator, an inherent conflict of interest is created.
City Councilor Pat Davis is now calling for an outside law enforcement agency, and not APD, to investigate when Albuquerque Police shoot someone. Davis for a second time just ignores the fact that APD is operating under a Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) and that the Federal Court and the Federal Court Monitor have jurisdiction over APD. You need to wonder if he has even bothered to read the settlement agreement or knows what is required of APD under it.
There is no doubt that the changes proposed by Councilor Davis will in all likely result in placing the City in violation of the Department of Justice Court Approved Settlement Agreement, and the City Attorney has basically said that to him, exposing the City to being held in contempt of court for violating the terms and conditions of the settlement.
The Court Approved Settlement Agreement is over 106 pages long and it is extremely detailed. It cost about $1.5 million dollars in taxpayer money to negotiate the settlement.
The settlement agreement covers precisely how APD is to report and investigate “use of force” and “lethal force that cause serious bodily injury or death” cases.
The CASA defines “lethal force” and “serious use of force” and mandates that APD develop a constitutional “use of force policy” and then implement that policy.
There are at least four levels of review of use of force and lethal use of force cases under the settlement agreement:
1. A supervisory investigation
2. A use of force investigation by APD Internal Affairs
3. An investigation by the Use of Force Review Board set up under CASA
4. An investigation by the Multi Jurisdictional Task Force
Included in the settlement agreement is the exact process and the requirements of how APD is to conduct the Supervisory Investigation, the Internal Affairs Investigation, and the requirements of the Use of Force Review Board.
The settlement goes even further and is very specific and mandates and requires that APD participate, cooperate and be involved with the Multi Agency Task Force that is called in after a police officer involved shooting resulting in death.
The Multi Agency Task Force has personnel from at least four law enforcement agencies involved with the final investigation that is eventually turned over to a prosecuting agency.
There is no doubt that the changes proposed by Councilor Davis will in all likely result in placing the City in violation of the Department of Justice Court Approved settlement agreement.
Maybe Councilor Davis will learn and understand the meaning of Federal Court Order and get the message when the City and APD are found in contempt of a Federal Court Order, and that is something he will not be able to dodge.