“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963.
On August 31, 2004 , Moses M. Bell, age 37 at the time, was a Washington, DC resident. Moses M. Bell is African American and on August 31, 2004, was driving his car and giving his male African American friend a ride to his girlfriend’s house. According to court filings, while sitting in his idling parked vehicle to allow his passenger to exit his vehicle, Moses M. Bell was shot twice in the left shoulder by Washington D.C. Police Officer Pat Davis when Davis approached the driver’s side of the car and opened fire without provocation.
At the time of the shooting, D.C. Police Officer Patrick Davis was allegedly investigating Moses M. Bell, the driver of the vehicle, for failure to make a left turn signal and his passenger’s failure to wear a seat belt. Police officer David Tucker, Davis’ partner, remained in the vehicle when Davis got out of the patrol car to question the driver Moses M Bell. Moses M. Bell was first charged with “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With A Police Officer With A Dangerous Weapon” when a gun was found in the car Bell was driving. Bell’s hand gun was found to have never been discharged and Bell did not threaten or point his gun at Pat Davis.
The original charges were dismissed with new charges filed alleging “Carrying a Pistol Without A License”. Bell plead guilty to the lesser offense, sentenced to 18 months. Moses Bell filed a 1984 Civil Rights Act complaint for damages against Pat Davis. The civil case against Davis was dismissed without prejudice for Bell’s failure to serve Pat Davis with the lawsuit. Pat Davis has never filed an Answer to the 1984 Civil Rights Complaint.
This blog article is an in-depth report on the criminal charges filed against Moses M. Bell and how the charges were disposed. It also reports on the civil rights case Moses Bell filed against Pat Davis and why it was dismissed without prejudice. Until now the only version of what happened on August 31, 2004, is the version Pat Davis has given to the Albuquerque news media. This blog article gives Moses M. Bell’s detail version of his shooting on August 31, 2004 as gleaned and quoted from court documents filed in both the criminal case and the civil case. In a very real sense, this blog article is also a report on the injustice inflicted upon Moses M. Bell by our criminal and civil judicial system.
EXPLANATION OF HOW A PERSON IS CHARGED WITH CRIME
Given the types of pleadings that will be quoted, an explanation as to how a person is charged under federal law is in order. Under federal law there are four ways a person can be charged with a felony:
1. Criminal complaint,
2. “Superseding Information”
3. Criminal arrest warrant, and
4. Indictment by a grand jury.
A criminal complaint must be supported by oath or affirmation of either the victim or the arresting officer. A “superseding information” is virtually identical in form to the complaint, except that it is signed by a United States Attorney, it is required in felony prosecutions, and is used to add to or replace original charges that have or will be dismissed. With an indictment, prosecutors present evidence in secret to a grand jury who then votes to indict or not indict. A “target letter” is sent to a person who is under grand jury investigation and they can appear and testify under oath before a grand jury indicts to give their version of what happened and if they so choose to.
After a defendant is found guilty by trial or pleads guilty to charges, a pre-sentence report is prepared by “probation and parole” providing background of a defendant and making recommendations for sentencing which are submitted to the Court for review. Defense attorneys are allowed to submit a “Memorandum In Aid of Sentencing” allowing them to make recommendations to the sentencing judge and justifying acceptance of the plea.
All attorneys, prosecutors and defense attorneys alike, are “officers of the court”, and are required by law and the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct to make true and accurate representations to a court of law to the best of their knowledge and ability. Misleading a Judge is a very serious ethical offense and failure to disclose to a Court of law by any attorney can result in disciplinary actions, including jail for contempt of court, suspension or disbarment, against the attorney for ethics violations.
FEDERAL CRIMINAL CHARGES FILED AGAINST MOSES M. BELL
On September 1, 2004 Moses M. Bell was charged in a Criminal Complaint for “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With A Police Officer With A Dangerous Weapon, in violation of 22 D.C. Code, Section 405 (b) (2001 ed.)” and filed in DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SUPERIOR COURT, UNITED STATES v. MOSES M. BELL, Case Nos F-5513, Judge John H. Bayly, Jr., Felony Status: October 14, 2004.
The criminal complaint states as follows:
“On or about August 31, 2004, within the District of Columbia, Moses M Bell, without justifiable and excusable cause, and with a deadly and dangerous weapon, that is, a pistol, did assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, and interfere with, Patrick Davis, a member of a police force operating in the District of Columbia, knowing Patrick Davis to be a police officer, while Patrick Davis was engaged in and on account of the performance of official duties. (Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With a Police Officer With a Dangerous Weapon, in violation of 2 D.C. Code, Section 405(b) (2001 ed.))”
On September 1, 2004, the following affidavit of facts sworn to by a D.C. Police Officer and signed was part of the criminal complaint filed against Moses Bell:
“On Tuesday, August 31, 2004, at approximately 4:10 pm, Officers Patrick Davis and David Tucker were on routine patrol in … Washington, D.C. Both officers were in full uniform and operating a marked MPD cruiser. While on patrol, the officer observed a red in color 1986 Nissan 300ZX … occupied by two black males. The passenger in the vehicle was observed without his seatbelt on and the vehicle also failed to use a turn signal while making a left turn onto … Ridge Road, Southeast. Officers Davis and Tucker followed the vehicle which turned onto 37th Street, Southeast. Offices observed the vehicle pull over in front of 301 37th Street, Southeast, and at that time, conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.
Upon approaching the vehicle on foot, officers observed a black male subject exit the passenger side of the vehicle and remain on the sidewalk near the vehicle. Officer Patrick Davis approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and observed the driver with a semiautomatic pistol in his hand attempting to conceal the handgun in the middle of the console area of the vehicle. Officer Davis reached inside the vehicle and attempted to grab the handgun from the driver and a struggle ensued.
The driver of the vehicle then sped off at a high rate of speed with Officer Davis partially inside of the driver’s window struggling with the driver and being dragged by the vehicle. The driver said to Officer Davis, “Get off my shit.” Officer Davis, fearing for his life, fired his service weapon into the vehicle. Officer Davis was able to untangle himself from the driver, and he fell backwards onto the street. The vehicle then fled the scene south on 37th Street and made a left turn onto Ely Place, Southeast.
Officers Davis and Tucker radioed for assistance and at 4:31 pm, officers canvassing the area located the Nissan 300ZX parked and unoccupied in the rear parking lot of 3710 Ely Place, Southeast. Further examination of the vehicle revealed apparent blood stains on the driver’s side door of the vehicle and a bloody Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol on the pavement just outside of the driver’s door.
Officers continued to canvass the area and at 4:39 pm, located the defendant, later identified as Moses Bell, hiding under a stairwell in the rear of 405 Ridge Road, Southeast. The defendant was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. Officer Davis responded to the 400 block of Ridge Road, Southeast, and positively identified the defendant as the person with whom he struggled over the gun, and who drove away, dragging Officer Davis along.
The defendant was transported to Howard University Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. … ”
On October 13, 2004, the criminal complaint was dismissed charging Moses Bell with “Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering With a Police Officer With a Dangerous Weapon” relating to the August 31, 2004 shooting incident. Moses M. Bell was then charged by “Superseding Information” with “Carrying a Pistol Without A License” for the August 31, 2004 incident with Pat Davis.
On March 8, 2005, Moses M. Bell entered a guilty plea to the “Superseding Information” charging him with “Carrying a Pistol Without A License”. Under the plea agreement, the United States Attorney agreed to recommend that Moses M. Bell receive a sentence of 18 months in prison in exchange for Bell’s plea of guilty and he was in fact sentenced to the 18 months in prison. It is more likely than not that the Unites States Attorney’s Office sought jail time for a weapons charge because of Mr. Bell’s prior criminal record making him a convicted felon in possession of a firearm at the time of his shooting by Davis.
EDITOR’S NOTES HIGHLIGHTING PAT DAVIS CONTRADICTIONS
The sworn affidavit of facts filed in conjunction with in the criminal complaint states in part:
“Officer Davis reached inside the vehicle and attempted to grab the handgun from the driver and a struggle ensued. The driver of the vehicle then sped off at a high rate of speed with Officer Davis partially inside of the driver’s window struggling with the driver and being dragged by the vehicle”.
These allegations are seriously flawed and undermined by Moses Bell and his defense attorney with representations in court filings that state:
“Witnesses who observed the incident told counsel that the officer who approached the car did so with his gun drawn. … The witnesses further indicated that they observed the officer reach the side of the car and open fire. … [Pat Davis] would later claim that he was dragged down the block at high speed. … The defendant [Moses Bell], fearing that the shooting was not over, put his car in gear and pulled away. The officer fell away as the car pulled off. Suffering only superficial scrapes. … . This allegation, which, spawned a charge of Assaulting a Police Officer against the defendant, was as inaccurate and several other representations made by Davis … Officer Davis … stated that he fired in response to the defendant’s discharge of his own weapon. This version of events, was not only selfserving, but inaccurate. The defendant’s weapon was clearly never fired.”
FALSE STATEMENTS MADE TO ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL IDENTIFIED
In a February 6, 2017 Albuquerque Journal report entitled “ABQ Councilor Seeking Police Reforms Has An Insider’s Perspective”, it was reported that Pat Davis admitted that he drew his weapon and fired into the car twice, striking the suspect in the shoulder. However Pat Davis told the Journal that he fell to the ground and the “car ran over his leg.” He also told the Journal reporter that the driver crashed the car and was taken into custody.
The Pat Davis statement that the car ran “over his leg” is discredited with the defense assertion that Davis suffered only “superficial scrapes” and the fact Davis showed up within less of a half hour of the shooting where Moses Bell was apprehended and Davis identified Bell as the person he shot.
It was false when Pat Davis told the Albuquerque Journal that the “driver crashed the car and was taken into custody”. The September 1, 2004 Statement of Facts submitted in support of the criminal complaint states “the vehicle then fled the scene” and “officers canvassing the area located the Nissan 300ZX parked and unoccupied in the rear parking lot [of a building and] … located the defendant, later identified as Moses Bell, hiding under a stairwell … .
On June 25, 2020, the Albuquerque Journal in its front-page story entitled “Progressive Group Wants City Councilor Davis To Resign” , the paper for a second time reported Pat Davis’ version of the shooting and reported:
“Davis said he spotted a gun in the driver’s hand and lunged into the car to try to grab it. During the tussle, the driver hit the gas and sped off. Davis fired his weapon, striking the driver in the shoulder, then fell to the ground and the car ran over his leg.”
Not a single court document obtained for review makes any reference or even suggest that Moses M. Bell ran over the leg of Pat Davis when Bell fled after he was shot by Davis.
MOSES M. BELL “MEMORANDUM IN AID OF SENTENCING”
On May 12, 2005, the defense attorney Edward C. Sussman for Moses M. Bell filed the below “DEFENDANT’S MEMORANDUM IN AID OF SENTENCING”. The court document provides for the first time Moses M. Bell’s version of his shooting by Pat Davis. It also exposes major discrepancies in what Pat Davis alleged in the criminal complaint as to what happened. Following is the court document:
“UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
V. CR. NO. 03-388 (JR)
DEFENDANT’S MEMORANDUM IN AID OF SENTENCING
The defendant, having entered a plea of guilty to the D.C. Code offense of carrying a pistol without a license, will appear before this honorable court for sentencing on May 19, 2005. He respectfully requests that this honorable court consider the following memorandum in imposing sentence.
On March 8, 2005, pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant entered a guilty plea to superseding information charging him with Carrying a Pistol Without a License. Under the terms of the agreement, the government would recommend that the defendant receive a sentence of 18 months. While clearly the court is not bound by the agreement, the defendant, for the reasons that follow, would request that the court impose the sentence that the parties have agreed upon.
1.The prosecution arose from a rather unique fact situation that caused problems for both the defense and the prosecution. The defendant had pulled his car over to the curb on 37th Street S.E. to allow a passenger to get out. A marked squad car pulled up behind the stopped car. One of the officers in the squad car, for reasons that still remain unclear, approached the driver’s side of the defendant’s car. (FOOTNOTE 1: One police report indicated that the officer had observed the defendant’s car tum without signaling. However, it would be inconsistent for an officer’s partner to remain in the squad car while a traffic stop was occurring. The officer who remained in the car indicated that his partner wanted to talk to the driver about his hazard lights.)
2.Witnesses who observed the incident told counsel that the officer who approached the car did so with his gun drawn. These witnesses added that – in a rather rough section of the city it was not unusual for officers to “unholster” their weapons in traffic stop situations. The witnesses further indicated that they observed the officer reach the side of the car and open fire. This is corroborated by the fact that the defendant was struck twice in the left shoulder, the shoulder directly in front of the officer.
3.Officer Davis, a relatively inexperienced police officer, stated that he fired in response to the defendant’s discharge of his own weapon. This version of events, was not only selfserving, but inaccurate. The defendant’s weapon was clearly never fired. After firing at the defendant, the officer attempted to reach inside the car, presumably to seize a weapon he had observed. The defendant, fearing that the shooting was not over, put his car in gear and pulled away. The officer fell away as the car pulled off. Suffering only superficial scrapes, Officer Davis would later claim that he was dragged down the block at high speed. This allegation, which, spawned a charge of Assaulting a Police Officer against the defendant, was as inaccurate and several other representations made by Davis. Following being shot, Bell drove a block or two away and got out of his car. Police officers located a blood-soaked gun near the car and arrested the defendant.
4.As the case progressed, and the officer was the subject of the routine police investigation regarding his use of deadly force, it apparently occurred to him that he lacked the necessary skill for his chosen profession. This revelation prompted him to relocate and, counsel believes, leave the police force. Clearly, he was not going to be available for motions hearings or trial of the matter. Although the absence of Davis, clearly weakened the government’s case, the defendant still faced possible conviction on the firearm charge. (FOOTENOTE 2 Counsel believes that the assault on a police officer, in the absence of Davis, and in view of available defense witnesses, was a “dead letter.” After all, driving off immediately after being shot was likely to be more consistent with fear and self-preservation than assaultive intent.)
5.When the parties weighed their respective problems, the 18-month recommendation seemed an appropriate resolution. It was somewhat less than the defendant faced for conviction as a felon in possession of a firearm, but certainly more than he would have faced had the government been unable to make its case. In essence, the parties weighed their respective cases and struck a reasonable compromise. The defendant would ask that the court “honor” their agreement and impose the eighteen (18) month sentence. That sentence, which could be accompanied by a period of supervised release under the D.C. code, would fall within the advisory guidelines utilized by that court.
6.Since the defendant was originally prosecuted in the D.C. Superior Court on the weapons charge (he was detained from August 31, 2004 until the case (F-5513-04) was dismissed in Superior Court on October 13, 2004) and then presented in the federal court on December 8, 2004), he should receive jail credit for the time between his arrest and the dismissal of that case.
7.The defendant believes that imposition of the suggested sentence represents a fair and equitable resolution of this matter.
8.Counsel and the defendant thank the court in advance for its consideration in this matter.”
Edward C. Sussman No. 174623
Counsel for Defendant Bell
Suite 900 – South Building
601 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that on this 12th day of May, 2005, a copy of the foregoing was served by electronic filing on AUSA Lionel Andre, Gang Prosecutions, 555 4th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530 and by facsimile on Kathy McGill, U.S. Probation Officer, U.S. Courthouse, Washington, D.C. 20001.
OUTCOME UNKNOWN OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION AND REASONS WHY PAT DAVIS NOT CHARGED WITH SHOOTING OF MOSES M. BELL
The following Paragraph 4 of the Defendant’s “Memorandum In Aid of Sentencing” confirms that an Internal Affairs Investigation of Officer Pat Davis and his shooting of Moses Bell was conducted:
“As the case progressed, and the officer was the subject of the routine police investigation regarding his use of deadly force, it apparently occurred to him that he lacked the necessary skill for his chosen profession. This revelation prompted him to relocate and, counsel believes, leave the police force.”
Pat Davis also confirmed in a February 26, 2017 Albuquerque Journal article entitled “ABQ Councilor Seeking Police Reforms Has Insiders Perspective” when it was reported in part as follows:
“At the time of Davis’ shooting, the Metropolitan D.C. police were in the middle of a reform effort instigated by a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, which found the department too often used excessive force, including in police shooting cases. The department responded to the shooting in a way that was outlined in the settlement agreement between the DOJ and D.C. police, Davis said.
Albuquerque police are currently involved with a similar reform that also was brought on by a DOJ investigation into Albuquerque police use of force.
Davis said that after his shooting he had to take a mandatory three months of administrative leave and complete therapy sessions. He said it took him about a month to realize the gravity of the situation and to realize that he needed additional time to decompress.
“The stuff hits you about a month out and it takes a little while to work through. I should not have gone and worked in that neighborhood again (shortly after the shooting) because I was a little antsy. … You look at everybody and think, ‘Is this going to lead to another shooting?’
Davis said a group of D.C. officers trained by the DOJ completed the investigation and submitted the case to a federal grand jury, which produced a report on the shooting before Davis returned to work.
“The big questions were answered within 90 days,” Davis said of his shooting. “If there was a problem, they weren’t going to let me go back. And if there wasn’t a problem, they have to let the community know that it’s OK.”
The link to the full Journal article is here:
Pat Davis has never disclosed the results of his Internal Affairs Investigation. Further, Pat Davis has never disclosed if one of his problems was being a “target” of the grand jury and if criminal charges were considered to be brought against him by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for excessive use of force or deadly force or for civil rights violations.
Davis has not disclosed if in fact he returned to work for the Washington D.C. Police Department, why he left the D.C. Police Department and for how long before he came to New Mexico to be employed by the UNM Campus Police.
PAT DAVIS NEVER RESPONDED TO CIVIL COMPLAINT FOR SHOOTING BELL
On July 11, 2005, after pleading guilty of “Carrying a Pistol Without A License” an incarcerated Moses Bell filed a Civil Complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia naming Patrick Davis as a defendant.
The civil complaint is captioned as follows:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
v. Civil Action No. 05-1372 (JR)
City of Washington DC, Anthony Williams, Mayor of the District of Columbia, Charles Ramsey , Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, the Commanding Officer, (hereinafter C.O.), South District Police Precinct (name unknown) PATRICK DAVIS, Police Officer, South District Police Precinct, IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR, (name unknown) of PATRICK DAVIS, DAVID TUCKER, Police Officer, Sixth District Police Precinct,
Moses Bell filed the complaint without the assistance of a licensed attorney, pro se, with the court allowing Mr. Bell to proceed “in forma pauperis” to file his action. The civil complaint is in handwritten print, presumably in Mr. Bell’s own handwriting. Section I of the complaint identifies Moses Bell as the Plaintiff, Section II alleges “Parties, Jurisdiction and Venue”, Section III alleges “Previous Lawsuits by Plaintiff” with none listed. Section III contains a “Statement of Facts” with paragraphs numbered 17 to 35. A caption entitled “Prayer for Relief” follows the Statement of Facts with paragraphs number 36 to 41.
Paragraphs numbered 17 to 35 of Section III captioned “Statement of Facts” ostensibly written in Mr. Bells handwriting is the only version of the August 31, 2004 shooting in his own words that can be located in court documents reviewed.
Pat Davis was never served with the civil complaint and has never filed an Answer to the Complaint even though Davis has publicly acknowledged he is aware it was filed. Pat Davis has never admitted or denied the accuracy of what Moses M. Bell alleges as to what happened on August 31, 2004.
Following are the transcribed numbered paragraphs as they appear with all spelling and grammar mistakes :
“17. On Tuesday, August 31, 2004, at appro. 4:10 pm at 301 37th St. in S.E. Washington, DC
18. While at Greenway Shopping Center, After shopping, I ran into friend (hereinafter, passenger), (police records will reflect his identity)
19. Passenger asked me to give him a ride up the street so he could pick up some money from his girlfriend, and I did so,
20. In the process of giving passenger a ride, all was okay. And I reached his destination (37th place) and pulled over to let passenger out of my car (a 1986 Nissan).
21. Shortly afterwards defendant came up on the drivers side, I didn’t see him approaching . but I felt someone reaching into the car and reach over my lap.
22. I than jumped, and defendant Davis back-up and no reason at all fired shots into my vehicle, striking me twice in the left shoulder.
23. In fear of my life now, thinking the defendant was trying to kill me, for no reason at all. I pulled off and drove around the block to Ely Place (3720 Ely Place, SE), to get away from this defendant.
24. I parked my car, while in great pain and bleeding profusely, I got out of my car and walked up the hill, observed two people walking (names unknown) and asked them for help.
25. They refused to help me (probably because of the blood coming from me) I than sat under the stairs by the hall near 3720 Ely Place
26. I than used my cell phone (which was later confiscated) by police to call my cousin (Alfonso Jennings) to come help me, because I was afraid and I told him the police just shot me and I asked him to hurry up and come to me because were now probably looking for me, and I was afraid that they would find me and kill me (reference is being made to defendant P. Davis). So I wanted my cousin to get to me first.
27. And the reason is unknown why defendant P. Davis fired shots into my car striking me. So I could only think the worse, which was that for some unknown reason, he would find me and kill me.
28. By the time my cousin got there to me. I was apprehended by the police. And while being strapped to a carrying wheelchair and being taken to the ambulance, I spotted my cousin behind the news cameras. I was then transported to Howard University Hospital.
29. While at Howard Univ., the doctor (name unknown), said I had an in an out flesh wound, and a bullet was broken up into fragments. (While at Howard Univ., I was never told bullets were still lodged in my arm – please remember)
30. Several hours later, I was released by the doctors, to the care of the police, who took me to Sixth District Police Station, while enroute to said precinct, the transporting officers were making lud, offensive and threatening remarks, (e.g. it was not use who shot you, because if it was us you would be dead). And their tactics and behavior is well known to be [WRTING IS ILLEGIBLE]. And while being transported the officers, the same (name unknown) caused the car to jerk a lot and such movement, which was intentionally not unnecessarily done, reopen my gunshot wound (done by defendant P. Davis) causing it to bleed again.
31. When I reached the South District Police Precinct , I was bleeding profusely, while being processed and standing at the desk. And a different officer said I had to go back to the hospital because I was bleeding heavily.
32. I was than transported to Greater South East Hospital, where my arm was bandaged and I was given more medication, and once again released to the South District Police Officers, who did not transport me to South district police precinct, but transported me to Central Cell-Block, where I was taken to court, and than transported later to D.C. Jail.
33. During processing, it was determined that I was to be housed over at CTF/CCA (where I now at), because of mu gunshot injuries, which was caused by defendant Patrick Davis.
34. While receiving treatment for my arm, here at CTF/CCA, during my admission, an exray of my arm was taken, and I was shown the exray picture of my arm, which captured a bullet and some fragments, from the second bullet. (Which Howard Univ. neglected to treat, detect or inform me of.)
35. Said fragments and bullet still remains in my left shoulder. ….”
A “Prayer for Relief” follows the Statement of Facts with paragraphs number 36 to 41.
On October 27, 2005, Moses M. Bell filed a document informing the court:
“to my knowledge … Patrick Davis know longer works with the 6th District Police Department and I don’t have his address or anywhere about of this officer, all I have is his previous work address which is the 6th District address. “
MOTION TO DISMISS CIVIL COMPLAINT
On December 7, 2005, Defendants the District of Columbia and David Tucker, filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Moses Bell’s Complaint. The grounds for the Motion was “Failure State Claims of Relief”. The reasons given supporting the motion was that Moses Bell’s claims lacked merit, his injuries were not directly related to an established municipal policy nor custom as required by law and that Police Officer David Tucker did not shoot Moses Bell.
MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING DEFENSE MOTION TO DISMISS
On July 10, 2006 United States District Judge James Robertson filed his Memorandum Opinion and an Order of Dismissal of Claims in Civil Action No. 05-13 72 (JR) captioned Moses Bell, Plaintiff v. City of Washington, D.C.., et al. The Court specifically dismissed Bell’s Civil Complaint against the city and police officer David Tucker.
Judge Robertson noted that “Defendant Davis has been dismissed without prejudice because Mr. Bell has failed to provide an address for purpose of service of process.”
The Court adopted the following findings of fact as Background:
“In the afternoon of August 31, 2004, Mr. Bell was at the Greenway Shopping Center, 301 37th Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. when he saw a friend. … He agreed to give his friend a ride to his girlfriend’s residence. … As he was dropping his friend off, Officer Davis approached Mr. Bell’s vehicle on the driver’s side and began shooting at Mr. Bell, striking him twice on the left shoulder. … Fearing for his life, Mr. Bell fled, eventually parking his car, and calling his cousin to pick him up. … Before his cousin could arrive, Mr. Bell was apprehended by the police and transported by ambulance to Howard University Hospital. …
After receiving medical treatment, Mr. Bell was transported by the police, including officer Davis, to the Sixth District station. … En route to the station, the driver, Officer Davis, caused the car to move erratically, which resulted in the reopening of Mr. Bell’s wound. … The police transported Mr. Bell to Greater Southeast Hospital for further treatment and medication. … He was eventually placed into custody at the District of Columbia Central Detention Facility. …”
ONE DEMAND AND LACK OF DEMANDS FOR PAT DAVIS TO RESIGN
Fast forward in time to June 25, 2020 and Pat Davis is President of the Albuquerque City Council elected by the 9-member City Council after winning a second 4-year term as an Albuquerque City Councilor.
On June 25, 2020, ProgressNow New Mexico called 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.
What is very disappointing is that The Black Lives Matter movement, no other progressive organization other than ProgresNow, and no stake holder involved with the federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement mandating sweeping APD reforms for use of force and deadly for by APD, have made any demands of Pat Davis to resign. The news media apparently has not sought out their positions on the matter. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and virtually the entire 9-member Albuquerque City Council have remained silent refusing to even comment when normally the most dangerous place to be is between them and a TV News camera.
City Council President Pat Davis issued a Statement to KOB Channel 4 in response to the calls of ProgressNow demanding his resignation. Following are the relevant portions to the statement given to KOB Channel 4 news followed by a link to the full statement:
“In two elections, voters have sent me to City Hall because I talked authentically and honestly about the problematic training and culture of policing that I was introduced to. I left that job to fix it, and no one will disagree that I’ve been effective implementing changes to do that. …
My evolution, from an officer trained to fight the war on drugs and criminalize communities of poverty and color, into a policy leader … is exactly the type of culture change we want to see in policing across the country, and especially here in Albuquerque.
It is unfortunate that a blogger’s misrepresentation of the facts is gaining attention and being shared, when court records and subsequent legitimate news stories that can be easily factchecked outline a different pattern of facts and conclusion. …
… At a time when we are at the precipice of long overdue changes in policing and racial justice, I regret that we are being distracted by relitigating my past which is not only well documented, but is core to my personal story and the reasons why I have dedicated my life to positive social change.”
— Pat Davis
The link to the full statement is here:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
What is so damn nauseating is when Pat Davis says “It is unfortunate that a blogger’s misrepresentation of the facts is gaining attention and being shared, when court records and subsequent legitimate news stories that can be easily fact checked outline a different pattern of facts and conclusion.” Until now, the only version of the shooting of Moses M. Bell given to the news media is that made by Pat Davis.
This blog article, and quoting Pat Davis, directly quotes “court records … that can be easily factchecked that outline a different pattern of facts and conclusion”. However, those facts and conclusions are totally different to what Pat Davis wants the media and people to know regarding his August 31, 2004 shooting of African American Moses M. Bell when Davis was a Washington, D.C. Police Officer.
One thing is clear: after reading the documents, the shooting of Moses M. Bell by Pat Davis was a “Black Lives Matter” event that Pat Davis has never fully disclosed the detail of and what happened to Mr. Bell after being shot by Davis. What is extremely troubling is the cruel brutality by Pat Davis against Moses M. Bell after he shot Bell and when a Federal Judge included in a court order:
“Mr. Bell was transported by the police, including officer Davis, to the South District station. … En route to the station, the driver, Officer Davis, caused the car to move erratically, which resulted in the reopening of Mr. Bell’s wound. … The police transported Mr. Bell to Greater Southeast Hospital for further treatment and medication.”
COMPARING WORDS TO ACTIONS
Pat Davis issued a statement to the media in June, 2020 after ProgressNow demanded his resignation from the City Council and said:
“The defendant’s civil suit for violations against the police department and officers involved was dismissed by the court. Court records make clear that I was never even served notice of the lawsuit.”
In other words, Pat Davis admitted he knew Moses M. Bell had filed civil lawsuit over his shooting of Bell, but Davis was never served with the civil complaint as he left Washington, D.C. and the complaint was dismissed on a technicality. Most disturbing, it has never been reported if Pat Davis was ever disciplined for his conduct as a D.C. Police Officer for shooting Moses M. Bell and if the shooting was the real reasons he left or if he was asked to leave the D.C. Police Force. Davis has never been held accountable for his excessive use of force and deadly force against Moses M. Bell. Davis has never been held accountable for the brutality he inflicted on Bell after he was arrested and drove a vehicle erratically causing Moses Bell’s gunshot wounds to reopen.
DAVIS CONTINUED WITH PATTERN OF CONDUCT WHEN HE CAME TO NEW MEXICO
Pat Davis in his June, 2020 statement to the media said:
“I talked authentically and honestly about the problematic training and culture of policing that I was introduced to. I left that job to fix it …”
It’s true Pat Davis left his job as a Washington, D.C. Police Officer and that he came to New Mexico. It is not true he left his job as a cop in Washing D.C. to fix the “training and culture of policing that [he was] was introduced to.” The truth is once Pat Davis arrived to New Mexico, his first job was as a UNM Campus Police Officer. Davis was employed as a Lieutenant and he trained UNM Campus Police.
As a UNM Campus Police Officer, Davis engaged in a nefarious 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, one in federal court and the other in state district court.
In one case, Davis, along with 20 other police officers, stormed a home to execute a “sealed search warrant”, broke into the home 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 women 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 Davis to produce a search warrant and she was told she would be “ratted out” to UNM officials if she did not cooperate. Review of the cases can be found at this link:
UNM has never disclosed the reasons why Pat Davis left UNM and ostensibly no one in the media has asked UNM. What is known is that Davis went to work for then District Attorney Kari Brandenburg to be the Bernalillo County District Attorney spokesperson.
Although no other organizations have asked Davis to step down, no progressive organization has come to his defense nor has any other elected official come to his defense. Not a single City Councilor has gone to the defense of Pat Davis nor has Mayor Tim Keller. The fact that Mayor Tim Keller’s and Councilor Pat Davis’ paid political campaign consultant Alan Packman now works for the City’s 911 call center may explain why Mayor Keller has been silent on Pat Davis resigning from the council.
PAT DAVIS THE NEWLY MINTED APD REFORMER
You can only get nauseous when Davis proclaims in his statement “no one will disagree that I’ve been effective implementing changes” in reference to the Albuquerque Police Department. On November 27, 2014, the City and the Department of Justice entered into the Court Approved Settlement Agreement (CASA) mandating 276 reforms for APD. Pat Davis was first elected to the City Council in October, 2015.
For the last 6 years, APD has been struggling to implement all 276 police reforms. Each time the Federal Court appointed Monitor presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Pat Davis remained silent and was absolutely nowhere to be found. Throughout his years on the City Council, Davis has never said anything remotely critical of APD until the June, 2020 protest involving the Onate statue. He declined to demand accountability from the prior Republican Mayor and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms. Davis failed to attend any one of the federal court hearings on the consent decree.
Only since the May 25, 2020 killing of African American George Floyd, 46, by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to subdue him, has Davis decided to get involved with APD police reform revealing what an opportunistic politician he truly is and demanding hearings on APD. Now that APD is once again embroiled in controversy with the handing of the recent protests, Davis steps in and advocates changes and reforms to APD’s structure and management and is calling for City Council hearings he intends to preside over as City Council President no doubt to garner the publicity as a police reformer and to condemn APD for the very type of conduct he himself has never been held accountable for during his years as a police officer.
PAT DAVIS SHOULD ASK FOR RELEASE OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION ON HIS SHOOTING OF MOSES M. BELL
When Davis says “In two elections, voters have sent me to City Hall because I talked authentically and honestly” the message he is conveying is he has been vetted and forgiven for past mistakes by the voters because he won the two elections. Davis is seriously mistaken and is a fool if he thinks that way, and so are his political allies on the City Council and in Mayor Tim Keller’s office. Many people of nefarious reputation have been elected to positions of authority, even a President of the United States. Election vetting and even a pardon does not absolve any one from serious misconduct,especially conduct they hide and they have never been held accountable for it.
In order for Pat Davis to “talk authentically and honestly” about his shooting of Moses M. Bell, City Councilor Pat Davis needs to execute a release and waiver asking that his Internal Affairs Investigation of his use of deadly force be released and if there was any finding that the use of deadly force was justified. Further, Pat Davis can and should seek the United States Attorney’s Office to release any recommendations it made to a grand jury to charge Pat Davis for the shooting of Moses M. Bell and confirm if Davis was sent a target letter notifying him he was the subject of a grand jury investigation.
Fake news is “no news reporting” and it is happening in Albuquerque when it comes to Pat Davis past conduct as a police officer. Davis’ past conduct is extremely important given what is happening nationally with the Black Live Matter movement and with APD still under a federal court consent decree entered into after a finding of a culture of agression within APD and the excessive use of force and deadly force by APD. It is a reflection of pure laziness by the local news media who seem to have the need to be spoon fed news and who fail to do due diligence in their reporting. The local news media’s refusal to investigate City Council President Pat Davis on their own and ask him the hard questions about what he did to Moses M. Bell amounts to dereliction of duty owed to their viewers and readers.
Pat Davis says in his statement:
“I regret that we are being distracted by relitigating my past which is not only well documented, but is core to my personal story and the reasons why I have dedicated my life to positive social change.”
Davis says he regrets being distracted, but does not apologize for what he did to Mosses M. Bell nor all the others he has brutalized. What is really regrettable and at the core to the personal story of Pat Davis is his shameful refusal to accept and to dodge responsibility and be held accountable for his past conduct and his pattern of violating people’s civil rights as a police officer.
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 in for years, first as a D. C. Police Officer and then as a UNM Police Officer where he was sued for his conduct and cases settled. Pat Davis has no business making decisions regarding police reforms, law enforcement policy let alone be involved in the process deciding how APD should be reformed under the Federal Court consent decree.
Pat Davis has refused to step down as City Council President and is refusing to resign as a city councillor. The City Council needs to replace him, otherwise they look like fools they are in the eyes of the general public if they do not act. They are protecting one of their own. At a bare minimum, Pat Davis or any other City Councilor who voted for him to make him President need to ask for another vote and get on record if he should continue to serve as President now that the truth has come out on his actions as a police officer.
The very last thing that this city and its police department needs is for Pat Davis to serve in any positions of trust, especially as City Council President, as someone who has said in the past that he 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.”
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