The news media has pick up the story on ProgressNow New Mexico calling for the resignation of City Council President Pat Davis from the City Council, the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council as well as the Judicial Selection Commission and citing in part the Dinelli June 22, blog article entitled “City Councilor Pat Davis Needs To Step Down To Atone For His Own “Black Lives Matter” Moment And Violations Of Peoples Civil Rights As A Police Officer”.
The link to the Dinelli blog article is in the POSTSCRIPT below.
Links to the ProgessNow news coverage are here:
Following is the ProgressNow press release:
“This week, new details have surfaced regarding former ProgressNow New Mexico Executive Director and Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis’ shooting of a Black man while working as a cop in Washington D.C. [See link #1 below] Davis originally founded ProgressNow New Mexico but left the organization in 2017 and while his name is attached to the organization and its beginnings, we want to state clearly that his past and present actions are not reflective of ProgressNow New Mexico values.
ProgressNow New Mexico is dedicated to dismantling racism in all forms, to listening to Black and Indigenous voices calling for the dismantling of systems that hold up racism including defunding the police, and the prospect that centering Black lives should drive every aspect of progressive political policy.
ProgressNow New Mexico finds it imperative to continue calling out racism when we see it and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions,” said Alissa Barnes, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico. “No matter who that person is.”
Part of our accountability work as an organization is to investigate bad behavior by bad actors. Unfortunately, Davis’ shooting of a Black man isn’t the only example of his troubling actions. A pattern has unearthed that continues into the present. After Davis moved to Albuquerque he had multiple civil rights complaints [See link #2 below] lodged against him while serving as a cop at the University of New Mexico.
Later, as he ran for elected office, Davis reflected on his experience as a cop, utilizing a “tough on crime” narrative, referencing his time as “zero-tolerance cop– the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over”. [See link #3 below]. As he ran for Bernalillo County Sheriff, his website highlighted his targeting of community members for low-level offenses, like marijuana possession. [See link #4 below.]
Throughout the course of his campaign for Sheriff, Davis touted his leadership on the UNM police’s “eyes and ears” program in which he would train UNM staff, like custodians, to seek out people who look like they “don’t belong”- a thinly veiled version of racial profiling. In his run for City Council, his UNM off-campus raids [See link #5] led to settled federal lawsuits, calling Davis’ practices into question once again. [See link #5 below.]
This pattern of racist behavior targeting Black and Brown communities should be concerning to everyone.
We want to make it clear: Davis’ case is not an issue of a “reformed cop”. In fact, Davis has continued to uphold racist institutions- most recently contracting with Adrian Carver’s June 2020 campaign for Bernalillo County Commission in which Davis supported (and at worst crafted) a racist, sexist mailer targeting Carver’s opponent, County Commissioner-elect Adriann Barboa, for the possession of medical marijuana.[See link #6.] While the community and many elected officials denounced the mailer, Davis doubled down on his endorsement of Carver and once again upheld racist systems that hurt our families.
“You can’t lead a task force for the legalization of marijuana and simultaneously weaponize the substance to criminalize people who use it so that you can gain personal, political power,” said Barnes.
As a self-proclaimed “progressive” Davis is not exempt from accountability. Davis’ sustained pattern of racist actions over a long period of years has led us to call for Davis to step down from his positions of authority, including the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Judicial Selection Committee, Governor Lujan Grisham’s Marijuana Legalization Task Force, and his seat on City Council.
Surely, our community does not need someone who routinely targets and criminalizes Black and Brown people to be serving on committees that select judges, decide the future of marijuana legalization in our state, or pass policies and make financial decisions for the City of Albuquerque.
There are calls for justice across the nation- some are met with hostility, and others with grace. We hope Davis chooses the later, steps down from his positions and reflects on how his actions are contributing to a larger system of institutional racism. ProgressNow New Mexico will continue our work, the work of dismantling racist systems, holding bad actors accountable, and being a leading voice in New Mexico for real and tangible change.”
Below are the links referred to in content of ProgressiveNow press release:
Link #1: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-dcd-1_05-cv-01372/pdf/USCOURTS-dcd-1_05-cv-01372-0.pdf
Link #2: https://www.petedinelli.com/2020/06/22/city-councilor-pat-davis-needs-to-step-down-to-atone-for-his-own-black-lives-matter-moment-and-violations-of-peoples-civil-rights-as-a-police-officer/
Link #3: https://www.abqjournal.com/943318/davis-has-insiders-perspective-on-reforms.html
Link #4: https://web.archive.org/web/20100408123744/http://site.sheriffpat.org/
Link #5: https://mrycllns.blogspot.com/2010/02/interview-with-bernalillo-county.html
Link #6: https://alibi.com/news/49820/Election-Ahoy.html
OTHER CASES IN NEW MEXICO ESTABLISHING PATTERN OF CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Pat Davis shooting a black man in 2004 as DC cop is only part of the story. As a UNM Campus Cop, Davis engaged in serious pattern of civil rights violations. There are at least two civil lawsuits filed in New Mexico involving 5 people who sued Davis for false arrest and imprisonment, negligence and civil rights violations.
The two cases are civil actions filed in 2007 and 2008. In one case, Davis, along with 20 other police, stormed a home to execute a “sealed search warrant”, broke in and caused $20,000 in property damaged searching the home where they found nothing. In the other case, UNM Police Officer Pat Davis along with two other UNM Police officers essentially coerced two woman to allow searches of their homes, located in Corrales, for marijuana and illicit drugs without court approved search warrants. One woman, who worked for UNM, asked to see a search warrant and was told she would be “ratted out” to UNM officials if she did not cooperate.
The citations to the court cases are 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 and 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. Both cases were settled.
The known cases combined reveal an alarming pattern of violating people’s civil rights and unconstitutional policing practices by Pat Davis as a police officer. As City Council President, Pat Davis is calling for major changes and reforms to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Davis is questioning and challenging police practices, policies, procedures, training and funding of APD.
THE TWO CIVIL LAWSUITS
Following is a summary of 2 civil lawsuits where Pat Davis was sued along with other law enforcement sworn police.
In the first lawsuit is a civil “COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS”.
The second lawsuit is a civil “COMPLAINT FOR FALSE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, NEGLIGENCE AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS”.
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 in taxpayer money to the Plaintiffs for damages. In one case, the amount of taxpayer money paid to settle is disclosed. The specific amounts of the settlement paid in the second case and the terms of any release of claims is not known likely because the release of claims was not filed with the court to keep it confidential from the public.
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.
This lawsuit names 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 in another home they owned. The home searched 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 to execute a “sealed search warrant”. 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. 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.
A neighbor called Arturo Flores about what was happening at the rental 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 known 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 Cecelia 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”. They 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. Bender 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 UNM Police Officers.
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 announced 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. According to the complaint, 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, and it was not. 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.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Given what is known about City Councilor Pat Davis, his actions as a police officer, his litigation history, his credibility is in serious doubt as are his political motives. The real Pat Davis, and his lack of respect for constitutional rights are revealed by his pattern of conduct he engaged if for years and was sued for as a UNM Police Officer and his conduct as a DC Police Officer. Pat Davis has no business making decisions regarding police reforms, law enforcement policy let alone be involved in the process deciding who is fit to be a judge.
If Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is sincere and truly wants to make amends for his past conduct as a police officer, he needs to show some degree of honesty and integrity and step down and remove himself as City Council President, resign from any Judicial Selection Commission he has been appointed to by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as resign as chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. All 3 appointed positions are positions of trust and influence in our criminal justice system. His constituents can decide if they want him to continue as their city councilor.
The very last thing that is needed is for Pat Davis to serve in any one of the 3 appointed positions, and to quote Pat Davis, someone who has “made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today” and who has engaged in “brutalization … of those who [he was] supposed to protect and serve.”
Following is the June 22 blog article entitled “City Councilor Pat Davis Needs To Step Down To Atone For His Own “Black Lives Matter” Moment And Violations Of Peoples Civil Rights As A Police Officer” :
City Councilor Pat Davis Needs To Step Down To Atone For His Own “Black Lives Matter” Moment And Violations Of Peoples Civil Rights As A Police Officer