On Friday, October 30, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) announced it has fired Academy Commander Angela Byrd after an “outside investigation” found that she retaliated against APD Academy staff and she threatened to retaliate against cadets who reported harassment and discrimination. According to APD, both Byrd and Geier attempted to cover up reported misconduct.
APD Spokesman Gilbert Gallegos had this to say in addition to the APD news release:
“The investigation sustained, or substantiated several complaints against Commander Byrd, including allegations that she retaliated against an instructor and a sergeant. … The investigation also determined Byrd spoke to cadets after learning of an anonymous email … sent to HR about discrimination. Several cadets confirmed to investigators that Byrd threatened to prevent them from graduating if the person who sent the anonymous email to HR was not identified.”
APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos also said the investigative report has not yet been finalized and that City legal will have to determine what, if anything, will be released.
Interim APD Chief Medina was quick to go out of his way and announce himself that Commander Byrd’s actions showed she lacked the integrity to move the department forward. Medina also said in the news release that former APD Chief Michael Geier reorganized the department to require Byrd to report directly to Geier, rather than a deputy chief and that Geier transferred officers out of the Academy. Medina had this to say:
“The former chief made things worse by removing accountability over the Academy, and attempting to micromanage a personnel investigation. … Geier’s decision to transfer staff who tried to do the right thing goes against the culture change we are trying to promote at APD. We’re cleaning up this mess by changing the leadership at the critical place where cadets learn to be good officers.”
BYRD LAWYERS UP
Academy Commander Angela Byrd has hired private attorney Christopher Saucedo to represent her. Saucedo for his part stated:
“[My client is] extremely disappointed and offended … At best I can say that the allegations against Cmdr. Byrd were made by extreme negligence on their part. As of now this will result in litigation.”
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Interim Chief Harold Medina is ostensibly dumb enough to think the general public is going to somehow buy into his bullshit and forget that for the past 3 years he was an APD Deputy Chief who was appointed by Mayor Tim Keller and solicited by APD Chief Geier to return to APD. The truth is Harold , Medina “wallowed” in the muck of APD and was a very big part of creating the mess he now proclaims he is trying to clean up.
With the very abrupt and un-ceremonial termination of Academy Commander Angela Byrd, by a press release no less, the ongoing saga of an APD meltdown continues at a critical time for APD. What is most disturbing is that APD saw fit to terminate someone who was being investigated with the investigation not completed and where the APD Spokesman says “City legal will have to determine what, if anything, is releasable.”
It’s very pathetic and obvious what Medina is trying to do when he says:
“Geier’s decision to transfer staff who tried to do the right thing goes against the culture change we are trying to promote at APD. We’re cleaning up this mess by changing the leadership at the critical place where cadets learn to be good officers.”
Medina knows full well that former Commander Byrd brought derogatory comments and mistreatment toward women and minorities to light and told Chief Michael Geier at the time. Medina also knows that it was Chief Geier who had to step in because of concerns that it was Deputy Chief Harold Medina and another Deputy Chief who were not doing enough. Now that Medina has pushed Geier out he is hell bent on doing whatever it takes, including re write history, to be appointed permanent Chief by Mayor Tim Keller.
Mayor Tim Keller is looking more and more inept as APD management continues to crumble around him.