A Black Lives Movement is now sweeping cities across the country. It is referred to as “defund the police” and is not what it sounds like. The movement has emerged in the wake of the killing of African American George Floyd, 46, who was killed by Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to subdue him. “Defund the Police” can be defined in simple terms as meaning taking funding away from police forces and invest or reallocate those funds into social programs to address the real causes of crime.
Advocates of “Defund the Police” insist that it is not about eliminating police departments or stripping police agencies of all of their money. What they do say is that it is time for the country to address systemic problems in policing in America and spend more on what communities across the United States need such as housing, education and economic development and job growth.
PAT DAVIS:”THE MAN WITH THE PANDERING PLAN”
Enter Albuquerque City Councilor President Pat Davis. He is calling for APD reforms and to an extent to “defund the police” department.
Pat Davis is the current Albuquerque City Council President. On Friday, June 13, Davis announced that he and the city council have come up with their own plan to overall the Albuquerque Police Department. Davis does not think the council’s reform plan will mean fewer police officers for the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Davis said police officers should not be responding to many calls involving a mental health crisis, homelessness and other behavioral health-related issues. Davis explained his plan this way:
“What you’re probably going to see out of this is we’re not abolishing APD, we’re not going to stop hiring cops, but … there seems to be more of an interest now in aligning other city resources we have toward that public safety … So people feel safe and welcome, and included in our community; that’s not always what we’ve done with all of our money. I think we’re going to try to push that forward a little bit. … We totally divest the idea of behavioral health and law enforcement unless there’s a critical incident, that’s a real thing we can do.”
Davis is suggesting the police chief and higher-ups respond to calls for service in order to free up field officers to engage with the community. Davis explained the idea this way:
“You might get the police chief coming to your burglary call, but that means your neighborhood officer is … playing basketball with kids down the street. … That’s a strategy that police departments all over the country use.”
The Davis proposal would change multiple levels of the department, from reorganizing the police budget and officers’ jobs on the street to emphasizing behavioral health assistance and studies to determine the best route for community engagement.
Davis said he believes the city can rededicate $1 million of APD’s $207 million budget to community organizations and social services. Davis is also suggesting a 24/7 dispatch line for calls regarding the homeless that would be answered by those in a public health role and not by the APD reducing APD’s volume of 911 emergency calls.
Davis also announced that the council will meet with the community in July to gain input into possible changes to APD’s budget, police operations and other avenues where funds could be placed to better the community. Davis had this to say:
“I think the mayor and I both share an appreciation that we don’t think politicians should just be deciding where dollars come out and where they go. … We don’t want to get into this knee-jerk reaction that we can solve this by just writing a check, so we’re trying to figure out how we can create a process.”
POLICE UNION LABELS DAVIS PLAN PANDERING
Shaun Willoughby, president of the Police Officers’ Association, labeled City Councilor President’s “defund the police reforms as Davis’ “political pandering”. He added saying the possible cuts to funding were “ignorant, idiotic and ludicrous” saying the department is already understaffed. He said, if Davis wants better community policing, the city needs to invest in more officers and not undermine the reform efforts under the Department of Justice Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA).
In forceful and bitter attacks against City Councilor Pat Davis, Willouby had this to say:
“”It infuriates me. … Defund the police should not be part of the conversation. If they want reform, if they want additional training, that’s increased funding. We have invested literally millions of dollars in reform, the last thing Albuquerque needs is for Pat Davis to re-reform the reform process. … Being six years into a reform effort, with the Department of Justice and a monitoring team, and the literal millions, upon millions of dollars that this communities tax base has invested into reform, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. We’ve been understaffed here for the last 10 years, we’re fighting to get to a level just to respond to the needs of the community. … Police are a conduit to everything, and they’re a conduit to a lot of things that society hasn’t really done very good management of in general, it always comes back to the police. … Any politician whether they’re local or national that is on board with defunding the police is ignorant pandering, and not talking about the conversation. ”
MAYOR TIM KELLER ANNOUNCES CREATION OF “NEW” PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT
On June 14, in an exclusive interview with the Albuquerque Journal, Mayor Tim Keller announced plans to create a new Public Safety Department that would send trained professionals to respond to certain calls for help in place of armed officers. The Albuquerque Community Safety Department would have social workers, housing and homelessness specialists and violence prevention and diversion program experts who would be dispatched to homelessness and “down-and-out” calls as well as behavioral health crises. The new department would connect people in need with services to help address any underlying issues. The department personnel would be dispatched through the city’s 911 emergency call system. The intent is to free up the first responders who typically have to deal with down-and-out and behavioral health calls.
In a Sunday phone interview with the Albuquerque Journal, Keller said “down and out” calls usually end with someone going to jail or to a hospital. According to Keller:
“And the determiner of [whether a person goes to jail or a hospital] is either firefighter or police [officer]. … Neither of them should be making that initial call, unless it’s a situation of violence. … We’re just expecting them to solve every individual’s problem, and I think that’s totally unfair to them and their training. … We should have trained professionals do this, instead of folks with a gun and a badge. But in general, that’s what we have to fix.”
The link to the full front-page journal article quoted is here:
Mayor Tim Keller, despite the change in the national conversation and calls for police departments to be defunded, said his goal is still adding 100 police officers every four years to the point APD is fully funded with 1,200 sworn police. It is projected APD will have 985 sworn police officers after the graduation of the July APD Academy class. In a Channel 4 interview, Keller had this to say:
“We have to adequately fund violent crime law enforcement, and that means we got to get those other officers, but here in Albuquerque, we can do things– like, we’re trying to shift towards diversion programs, towards violence intervention programs. … All of these are essentially, many ways, decriminalizing sort of the interaction between the police and individuals. And so trying to have more civilian interactions and trying to invest in communities, trying to invest in upstream issues like education and poverty, we absolutely have to do a better job at that.”
Notwithstanding the Mayor’s decision to continue with his hiring of more police, Mayor Keller, apparently not to be outdone by Pat Davis, announce his own plan at a news conference on June 15.
PAT DAVIS SURVEY ON CHANGES TO APD
Pat Davis was employed as a police officer in Washington, D.C. before coming to New Mexico. When he came to Albuquerque he went to work as a Police Officer for the University of New Mexico. He became a spokesman for Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg after he left the University of New Mexico Police Office. When he left the District Attorney Office, he became a well-known advocate for progressive policies as Director of Progress Now. Pat Davis was a candidate for Bernalillo County sheriff in the 2009 election.
Pat Davis constantly reminds people whenever he can that he is a former police officer, even when he was arrested for DWI, no doubt thinking that somehow it gives him a degree of credibility with the media and public.
On June 13, KRQE reported that Pat Davis published a survey online, asking people to weigh in on how they’d like to restructure APD’s budget. The full KRQE report is here:
In the introduction to his survey, Davis proclaims he has heard the following suggestions from those who responded to his survey:
1. Demilitarize policing by ending our participation in federal programs giving military surplus to police for local law enforcement use. (EDITORS NOTE :For at least the past 5 years, APD has not applied for any military surplus, but that did not stop Davis from introducing a resolution to do so when the Mayor could have easily issued an executive order.)
2. Civilianize non-emergency police department positions to bring in new ideas and talent for specialized jobs where an immediate intervention or arrest isn’t required.
3. Require every police officer to serve in a non-profit capacity such as volunteering in an after-school program, a community kitchen, or a homeless shelter at least 8 hours per quarter.
4. Restructure the way the City allocates grants to community organizations to prioritize those empowering Black/African American, Native, Hispanic and Asian communities where historical underinvestment perpetuates poverty and disenfranchisement.
5. Create permanent, recurring funding sources for reinvestments in housing and job creation focused on disenfranchised communities.
6. Create community justice workers to help those with a criminal record access expungement, removing them from the criminal justice system and giving them a fresh start.
7. Hold public hearings on APD’s budget to take public input on priorities.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Public hearings on APD’s budget should have been conducted before the City Council enacted the City’s operating budget on April 13, but City Council President Pat Davis found an excuse not to hold hearing as reported further below under the topic “CITY FINANCING UPENDED”.)
In the introduction to his constituent survey on reforming APD, Pat Davis admits to having a nefarious past as a UNM police officer by saying:
“As former police officer myself, I acknowledge that among the many good things I did for those I served, I also made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today.”
Further, the Davis survey ask no questions regarding if DWI prosecutions should be a priority of the APD and what resources should be dedicated to DWI by APD.
EDITORS NOTE: The below POSTSCRIPT to this blog article contains information on two civil complaints filed against Pat Davis for civil rights violations, false arrest and imprisonment, and negligence while he was a UNM Police Officer. The postscript also contains information on the arrest of Pat Davis for Aggravated DWI.
CITY FINANCING UPENDED
City finances have been totally upended as a result of the corona virus pandemic and its impact on the city economy and in turn city gross receipts tax returns have dramatically declined. On March 16, 2020, the New Mexico Department of Finance, Local Government Division, issued Memorandum authorizing the New Mexico municipalities to submit their last year’s fiscal budget for 2019-2020 budget as their fiscal budget for year 2020-2021 until reliable tax revenue projections can be determined.
What Pat Davis ostensibly forgot, which is not likely, when announcing his APD “defund and reform APD” legislation was that April 13, on a unanimous vote of 9-0, the Albuquerque City Council enacted R-20-31 which is the city’s operating budget for fiscal year 2020-2021. The City Council’s operating budget, R-20-31, enacted is a “bare bones budget” resolution consisting of only 7 pages of line item appropriations for each of the city departments. There is no explanation or elaboration on the actual use of the millions appropriated in the budget. At the time of enacting the budget, Davis failed to call public hearings that would have allowed comment and input from the public. The 2020-2021 APD operating budget goes into effect on July 1, 2020 and ends June 31, 2021.
The City Council has now enacted a $207,877,000 million-dollar APD operating budget without any questions asked or budget hearings. Following is the line item budget for APD already approved by the City Council:
Administrative Support: $18,835,000 (This funding is for case management and reports, clerical staff and the forensic lab.)
Investigative Services: $45,622,000 (This funding is for the various detective units)
Neighborhood Policing: $104,730,000
Off-Duty Police Overtime: $2,225,000 (The funding is to pay for police overtime and for years the actual funding has approached $10 to $14 Million a year.)
Prisoner Transport: $2,423,000 (The funding is used to transport all arrestees to the Westside Jail.)
Professional Accountability: $34,042,000 (This is funding associated with the Department of Justice Consent Decree)
THE DOJ COURT APPROVED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT(CASA)
On April 10, 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued its report of an 18-month civil rights investigation of APD. The DOJ reviewed excessive use of force and deadly force cases and found APD had engaged in a “pattern and practice” of unconstitutional “use of force” and “deadly force” and found a “culture of aggression” within APD. The result was in November 2014 Albuquerque and APD entered into a federal court-approved settlement agreement mandating 276 reforms. Under the Court approved settlement, the city must reach a 95% compliance rate in three major areas and sustain compliance in all 3 areas for 2 consecutive years before the case can be dismissed.
In the 11th audit report that covered the time period of August 1, 2019 and ended in January 31, 2020, the federal monitor found APD was 100% in primary compliance, no change from 10th report, a 93% in secondary compliance, a change of 14.8% from the 10th report, and 66% in operational compliance, a change of 3%.
Primary Compliance relates mostly to development and implementation of acceptable policies and conforming to national practices.
APD is now in 93% Secondary Compliance as of the 11th reporting period, which means that effective follow-up mechanisms are beginning to be taken to ensure that APD personnel understand the requirements of promulgated policies in the areas of training, supervising, coaching, and disciplinary processes to ensure APD personnel understand the policies as promulgated and are capable of implementing them in the field.
APD is in 66% Operational Compliance with the requirements of the CASA, which means that 66% of the time, field personnel either perform tasks as required by the CASA, or that, when they fail, supervisory personnel note and correct in-field behavior that is not compliant with the requirements of the CASA.
A link to a blog article summarizing the 11th Federal Monitor’s Report is here:
CULTURE OF AGGRESSION RELATED TO APD’S INTERACTION WITH MENTALLY ILL
DOJ’s finding of a “culture of aggression” within APD dealt with APD’s interactions and responses to suspects that were mentally ill and were having psychotic episodes. The investigation found APD’s policies, training and supervision were insufficient to ensure officers encountering people with mental illness or in distress do so in a manner that respected their rights and in a manner that was safe for all involved. The settlement agreement (CASA) mandates sweeping changes and reforms to APD.
On November 14, 2020, it will be a full 6 years that will have expired since the city entered into the CASA with the DOJ. Specific reforms implemented to address APD’s training and interactions with the mentally ill and others include:
1. After a full year of negotiations, new “use of force” and “use of deadly force” policies have been written, implemented and all APD sworn have received training on the policies.
2. All sworn police officers have received crisis management intervention training to deal with the mentally ill an others.
3. APD has created a “Use of Force Review Board” that oversees all internal affairs investigations of use of force and deadly force.
4. The Internal Affairs Unit has been divided into two sections, one dealing with general complaints and the other dealing with use of force incidents.
5. Sweeping changes ranging from APD’s SWAT team protocols, to banning choke-holds, to auditing the use of every Taser carried by officers and re-writing and implementation of new use of force and deadly force policies have been completed.
6. “Constitutional policing” practices and methods, and mandatory crisis intervention techniques an de-escalation tactics with the mentally ill have been implemented at the APD police academy with all sworn police having received training.
7. APD has adopted a new system to hold officers and supervisors accountable for all use of force incidents with personnel procedures implemented detailing how use of force cases are investigated.
8. APD has revised and updated its policies on the mandatory use of lapel cameras by all sworn police officers.
9. The Repeat Offenders Project, known as ROP, has been abolished.
10. Civilian Police Oversight Agency has been created, funded, fully staffed and a director hired.
11. The Community Policing Counsels (CPCs) have been created in all area commands and the CPCs meet monthly.
12. The Mental Health Advisory Committee has been implemented.
MENTAL HEALTH RESPONSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Mental Health Response Advisory Committee is mandated by the DOJ consent decree. Its purpose is to provide guidance to the City of Albuquerque Police Department on the DOJ reforms. The committee consists of members from all walks of life and are committed to improving the lives of those with mental illness and their interactions with law enforcement in Albuquerque. The committee include providers, the Police, the court system, advocates, family members and consumers. The Mental Health Response Advisory Committee analyzes and recommends appropriate changes to policies, procedures, and training methods regarding police contact with persons who may be mentally ill or experiencing a mental health crisis.
Danny Whatley is on the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee and said he appreciates the conversation happening around reform and the city council’s recent involvement. However, he cautioned against the city council rushing decisions that could prove harmful to the DOJ reforms already undertaken. Whately explained it this way:
“Reform is not cheap and defunding the police is not a rational statement, and certainly not a plan that would make our city safer. I also have concerns about failing to encourage and support law enforcement. If we are not careful, we will lose the brightest and best, and … we will be forced to dumb down the standards and the community will suffer. … It would also be good to know how many of the responsibilities that fall on law enforcement could be handled by non-sworn individuals.”
According to Whatley, the Albuquerque Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) needs to take a “greater role” in mental health crisis issues, but is very in saying that removing the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) from APD would not only be a “bad move,” but it is in fact “impossible”. Whatley pointed out that calls for service that initially are believed not appear related to mental health can escalate to such. Police officers must always be always trained in crisis intervention to deal with calls that escalate and there is now a unit to oversee such training.
Whatley advocates having a separate unit of mental health professionals to assist in nonthreatening police calls for service and explained it this way:
“The caseloads that these officers carry, and the amount of time, effort and passion that these women and men pour into these cases will change anyone’s mind who would think about removing this role from APD. … We certainly are not perfect, but we have the right people and pieces in place to continue to improve and to become the police department that the community expects. … It is not helpful to paint this police department with the broad brush that is being used in our nation today because of the horrible actions of other police officers.”
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Councilor Pat Davis has a chronic case of “political opportunism”. Most of the suggestions proposed by Davis are included in Mayor Keller’s proposal for the creation of a Department of Public Safety or are mandated by the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA). This leads one to ask what did Pat Davis know and when did he know it about Keller’s plans before he made his own announcement?
Davis announced that the council will meet with the community in July and hold hearing to gain input into possible changes to APD’s budget, police operations and other avenues where funds could be placed to better the community. At the same time as announcing public hearings, Davis outlined his own plans to reform APD less than two days before the Mayor was to make his announcement.
WHY NOW WHEN BEFORE DAVIS COULD NOT CARE LESS
The most critical functions of the Albuquerque City Council is the oversight authority it has over city finances, all appropriations, the job performance of the various departments and enacting a balanced budget. The oversight authority includes having public hearings on the city’s budget to allow public the opportunity to give input on how the city spends taxpayer money. Further, the budget process is critical to force all city departments to justify their budgets and to adjust department’s budgets as the need mandates it. As City Council President, Davis did not allow that to happen this year. Only now that there is a law enforcement crisis brought on by the protests over the George Floyd killing, Pat Davis decides to call for hearings on APD’s budget after it has already been enacted.
The Albuquerque City Council plays a crucial oversight role of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) including controlling its budget. Pat Davis did absolutely nothing when it comes to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms mandated by the Court Approved Settlement Agreement. He never challenged the APD command staff in any meaningful way demanding compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree reforms. Each time the Federal Monitor has presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Davis was silent and declined to demand accountability from the Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms. Davis has never attended any of the federal court hearings on the consent decree.
EPITOME OF HYPOCRISY
Davis is the epitome of hypocrisy when he says “we don’t think politicians should just be deciding where dollars come out and where they go. We don’t want to get into this knee-jerk reaction that we can solve this by just writing a check … “ All Davis has done for the full 5 years he has been on the city council is to decide “where dollars come out and where they go ” ignoring the public. Cases in point:
1. Davis voted repeatedly to fund the $130 million disastrous ART Bus project that has destroyed the character of Route 66. He refused to advocate to put the ART Bus project on the ballot for public approval. Davis voted to spend federal grant money that had yet to be appropriated by congress.
2. In January, 2017, Pat Davis voted for $65 million in revenue bonds by passing the voters as the financing mechanism to pay for big capital projects such as pickle ball courts, baseball fields and the ART bus project down central.
3. In October 2019, Pat Davis voted to approve $29 million infrastructure bond tax package financed by the City’s Lodger’s Tax. The Keller Administration labeled the lodger tax bond package as a “Sports – Tourism Lodger Tax ” because it was to be used for a number of projects around the city labeled as “sports tourism opportunities. The lodgers tax revenues are required to be used to benefit of the tourist industry and projects will attract tourism. 7 of the 10 projects financed were not tourism related but used overwhelming by the general public and not the tourist industry nor by the hotel or lodger tax industry.
NO UNDERSTANDING OF FEDERAL COURT AUTHORITY OVER APD
After almost a full six years of the CASA, Pat Davis and ostensibly the city council appear that they do not understand the authority of the United States Federal Court over the City or APD. The City and APD are still under the thumb of the Federal Court Judge and the watchful eye of the Federal Court Appointed Monitor. Little next to nothing can be done by the city with APD when it relates to policies mandated and resources and funding of the reforms required so long as the federal settlement remains in place. The Federal Court has overwhelming if not absolute authority over APD and there is little that can be done to defund APD. Any plan to defund APD or change training of police officers will no doubt have to be approved by the Federal Court Judge after conferring with the federal monitor.
It would have been a matter of common decency and courtesy for Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis to have conferred with the Keller Administration and perhaps the police union regarding his defunding plans of APD, but that would have meant he would not have secured the Albuquerque Journal front page news coverage or the television news interviews that he has so desperately coveted the entire 5 years he has been on the city council.
Pat Davis needed to seek input from the Federal Court Appointed Monitor, but that would have shown a little respect for the federal court system. Then again, Davis likely has very little use nor respect for the courts, nor any one’s US Constitutional rights given his history of litigation and arrest record and his admission the he “made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today.”
DAVIS ADMITS NEFARIOUS PAST AS UNM POLICE OFFICER
In the introduction to his survey, Pat Davis says:
“As former police officer myself, I acknowledge that among the many good things I did for those I served, I also made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today.”
The link to the full survey is here:
It’s highly likely that two of the things Pat Davis did as a University of New Mexico Police Officer and actions he is not proud of are alleged in two civil lawsuits where he was sued along with other UNM Police. In one lawsuit, a civil “COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS” was filed. In a second lawsuit a civil “COMPLAINT FOR FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, NEGLIGENCE AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS” was filed. In both cases, Davis was sued in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a UNM Police Officer. Both civil cases were settled with thousands paid to the Plaintiffs for damages in one case but the specific amount of the settlement paid in the second case and the terms of any release of claims is not known.
AARON FLORES, ARTURO FLORES AND CECLIA FLORES vs PATRICK DAVIS, ET AL, “COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS”, NEW MEXICO SECOND JUDICIAL COURT, CV-2008-03890
In 2008, CV-2008-03890 was filed in the Second Judicial Court, County of Bernalillo, by Plaintiffs AARON FLORES, ARTURO FLORES AND CECLIA FLORES naming as a defendant PATRICK DAVIS, in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a University of New Mexico Police Officer. The lawsuit also named as defendants 14 Albuquerque Police Officers (APD) and 7 Bernalillo County Sheriff Officers (BCSO) in their individual and personal capacities and official capacities.
The alleged facts of the civil complaint relate to the execution of a court “sealed search warrant” on December 17, 2007 of a private residence owned by Arturo Flores and Celia Flores as husband and wife who resided elsewhere. The home was occupied by their son Plaintiff Aaron Flores along with a recent tenant who was a friend from high school of Aaron Flores and was renting one room of the home. According to the facts alleged in the complaint, a search warrant was secured for the home with the tenant boarder as the “target” of the warrant and who was alleged to be a marijuana drug dealer.
FACTUAL BASIS ALLEGED IN FLORES CIVIL COMPLAINT
On December 17, 2007, at approximately 9:10 pm in the evening when no one was at home at the residence, the 21 named defendant law enforcement officers stormed the residence. According to the complaint, the defendants, which included Davis, broke in two front doors, wrought iron works, broke windows and interior doors, broke a car window, broke a sliding gate to the home and “”trashed” the interior of the home including breaking furniture in a search for evidence of a crime, but no evidence of any crime was found against the plaintiffs nor their renter. Three “flash bang” grenades were hurled into the home causing damages to the walls and which started a fire that required the Albuquerque Fire Department to be dispatched.
A neighbor called Arturo Flores about what was happening at the home and Flores immediately went to the residence. Arturo Flores was told by the defendants “a lot of traffic came to and from this house, and that it was a drug house” an allegation which was false. At least $20,000 in damages to the home were alleged making it un occupiable and needing extensive repairs. The theft of personal items including a laptop belonging to Aaron Flores was reported. It is not know if any inventory of what was seized under the warrant was filed.
On November 14, 2008, the civil lawsuit filed against Pat Davis, in his individual and personal capacity and in his official capacity as a University of New Mexico Police Officer was settled for the sum of $25,000 for a full and final release of any and all claims against him as alleged by Aaron Flores, Arturo Flores and Ceclia Flores. No information is available as to what the claims against the remaining 20 law enforcement officers were settled for nor when.
BROOK BENDER AND JOAN HUGHS vs BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERITY OF NEW MEXICO and PATRICK DAVIS, ET AL, “COMPLAINT FOR FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, NEGLIGENCE AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS” , UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO, CIV No. 08-C433 MV ACT
On April 29, 2008, CIV No. 08-C433 MV ACT was filed in United States District Court for the District of New Mexico by Brooke Bender and Joan Hughes naming the Board of Regents and the University of New Mexico d/b/a as University of New Mexico Police Department and UNM Police Officers Patrick M. Davis, John Doe Pacheco and Jane Does I and II, in their individual capacities and as employees of the University of New Mexico Police Department. The factual background of the case alleged in the complaint relate to a January 8, 2008 law enforcement investigation undertaken by the Defendants against plaintiff Brook Bender at her home in Corrales, Sandoval County, New Mexico and a separate and distinct law enforcement action taken against Plaintiff Joan Bender, also at her home in Corrales.
BENDER’ S FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS IN CIVIL COMPLAINT
The complaint alleges that on January 8, 2008, the Defendant Pat Davis, along with other UNM Police went to the home of Brook Bender looking for a person named Richard Hughes and telling Bender they needed to search her home. According to the complaint, the officers did not identify themselves until Bender noticed a UNM Police Badge. The complaint alleges that Davis and the defendants told Plaintiff Bender that they knew she worked for UNM because they had found her UNM employee identification in her car next to some contraband and told her she needed to “work with them” or they would inform UNM officials about the alleged contraband found.
According to Bender’s allegations, she responded to the threats by allowing Davis and the other defendants into her home and asked to see a “search warrant”. The defendants told Bender they did not have a search warrant, that they could easily obtain one and if she insisted on a search warrant they would “rat her out” to her UNM employer.
Bender told the defendants that Richard Hughes did not live at her home. According to the complaint allegations, Defendants insisted on searching the residents and ordered Bender to stand in her kitchen with her hands behind her back as they “tossed” the entire residents emptying out drawers and cabinets and leaving the residence in disarray. After the unauthorized search without a warrant, Bender alleges that she told Pat Davis and UNM officers she knew where the mother of Richard Hughes lived in Corrales and offered to take them to that residence. Defendants escorted Bender to their police car and assisted her into the police vehicle and she sat between two UNM Police as she showed them the Hughes residence. No one was home and Bender was taken back to her home by the defendants.
HUGHES FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS IN CIVIL COMPLAINT
The Bender-Hughes civil complaint alleges that on the morning of January 9, 2008, at approximately 10:30 am, Davis and the UNM police returned to the home of Plaintiff Joan Hughes, made contact with her and announce that they were looking for her son Richard Hughes with Pat Davis providing Plaintiff Hughes with his business card.
Hughes told the Defendants that her son was in jail in Grants, New Mexico, which the defendants later confirmed, and that her son had not lived with her for several years. Davis none the less told Hughes that they had to “search her house”. Davis and the other defendants had no search warrant for the home and did not ask Hughes for permission to search her home. Davis and the 3 other officers entered the home and ordered Hughes to sit on her couch while two of the defendants watched Hughes and while the others conducted and extensive searched of her home which lasted for about one hour.
According to the complaint, one defendant UNM Police Officers found pistol cartridges in Hughes bedroom, asked Hughes where the gun was and she notified them it was in her kitchen. Davis or another defendant retrieved the gun and made a call to see if it was stolen. The complaint also alleges that Defendants found marijuana belonging to Hughes’s boyfriend. The defendants confiscated the gun found in the home and the marijuana. On January 11, 2008, Hughes secured the return of the gun from the UNM Police.
Confidential sources have disclosed that the Bender and Hughes case was settled for at least $75,000, but no verifiable court pleading nor “release of claims” in the case to confirm the date and amount of the settlement was provided by the confidential source.
PAT DAVIS DWI ARREST AND LICENSE SUSPENSION
Review of the 2019-2020 approved annual budget for the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reflects that field officers made 1,819 DWI arrests and investigated 446 alcohol related accidents. Notwithstanding the resources and efforts made by APD with DWI, Pat Davis was not at all interested in asking about DWI in his survey. One area the survey inquired about from those taking it, where they were to check off responses, is as follows:
“My most recent personal encounter with an APD officer was…
o In a community meeting
o During a traffic stop
o When I was a victim of a crime
o When I was the witness to the crime
o I don’t remember”
Giving Davis’ own arrest for DWI, it’s not surprising that he did not want to identify DWI arrests protocol as a specific area to ask about APD’s efforts and resources to combat DWI.
FACTUAL BASIS FOR DAVIS DWI ARREST
On July 28, 2013, Pat Davis, then age 35, was the chair of the Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers and the Executive Director of Progressive Now when he was arrested by BCSO Sherriff’s Deputies around 12:30 a.m. on the 1300 block of Broadway under suspicion of drunk driving. Deputies arrived at the minor accident where Davis had ran into another vehicle to find Davis who appeared drunk, had slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes and the smell of alcohol on his breath.
On the police audio tape, Davis was told by the BCSO Deputy he could smell alcohol on Davis and asked Davis if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages that evening. Davis is heard to say “no” on the tape, said he had not been drinking and what the officer was smelling was SCOPE mouthwash. Davis referred the officer to a mouthwash bottle in his car. When asked about his slurred speech, Davis can be heard on the audio tape telling the deputy “My speech is not usually slurred. I have a southern accent and been a cop for 10 years.” Davis was born in Georgia, and was claiming he still had an accent. The investigating deputy found a travel-sized bottle of SCOPE mouthwash in Davis’ vehicle but at the license revocation hearing the sheriff officers could not say if and when Davis may have used it the night of his arrest. Davis was administered a field sobriety tests which he failed. Davis submitted to 2 separate alcohol breath tests that showed his blood-alcohol concentration was .19 and .18 respectively.
Under New Mexico law, DWI is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. Aggravated DWI occurs when .16 BAC or above is found or when there is refusal to take breath or blood test, or being involved in a crash that caused bodily injury while DWI. The mandatory minimum jail time for a first time Aggravated DWI/DUI is 48 hours in jail. The 1st offense carries a basic sentence up upwards of 30 days in jail with an additional mandatory 2 days jail without suspension.
Davis plead guilty in February 2014 to a first-offense driving under the influence of alcohol and fought the Aggravated DWI charges. Davis was given a deferred sentence with no jail time if he completed 6 months’ probation and 6 months of having an ignition interlock system in his car with random breath alcohol tests and random urinalysis and was given no jail time.
The link to the story on fighting the DWI charges by Davis is here:
On November 6, 2013 after an administrative law hearing before a hearing officer with the Department of Taxation and Revenue, which issues drivers’ licenses, the driving privileges of Pat Davis were suspended for 6 months and he was ordered to install an ignition interlock in any vehicle he drove. (See: STATE OF NEW MEXICO TAXATION AND REVENUE DEPARTMENT IMPLIED CONSENT ACT, IN THE MATTER OF THE PROPOSED REVOCATION OF THE NEW MEXICO DRIVING PRIVILEGES OF PATRICK DAVIS NOTICE OF REVOCATION NO. 20677985) Davis completed the 6-month suspension of his license.