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Albuquerque Police employee target of another suit

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Copyright © 2013 Albuquerque Journal

Three women are suing an APD vehicle maintenance supervisor for alleged civil rights violations, accusing David C. Young in federal court filings of unlawful seizure, excessive force, malicious prosecution and other claims stemming from his detainment of the women in 2007 and 2008 while he also was an APD reserve officer.

The plaintiffs are listed in the lawsuit, filed on their behalf by Albuquerque attorney Thomas Mucci, by their initials only.

They allege, essentially, that Young “seized and detained” them and charged them with criminal solicitation even though each of the three, on separate dates, “made no offer to perform a sex act for hire.”

The three women claim Young used excessive force, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in January. Two of them allege that Young touched their bare breasts and caused the women to touch his genitals.

In a response to the lawsuit filed by his attorney, Luis Robles of Albuquerque, Young denied all wrongdoing.

The lawsuit points out that Young “has never been certified as a police officer in accordance with the requirements of New Mexico’s Law Enforcement Training Act.”

The suit claims he falsely stated his title as “detective” on criminal complaints and other documents so other parties would “mistakenly believe that he was a duly sworn certified and salaried police officer who was authorized to arrest and detain individuals and to subject them to criminal prosecution.”

Young acknowledged in his response that he has never been a certified police officer. However, the response also states that Young “affirmatively state(s) that Defendant Young’s actions have at all times comported with state and municipal laws for reserve officers.”

In an affidavit filed in connection with the litigation, Young wrote that he graduated from the Central New Mexico Joint Reserve Training Academy in 2005. Attached to the affidavit was a copy of his graduation certificate and photographs of Young and then-APD Chief Ray Schultz shaking hands at the graduation ceremony.

Also attached to the affidavit is a photocopy of Young’s reserve officer badge and his law enforcement commission card, which was signed by Schultz.

“The commission card authorizes me to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer for the City of Albuquerque in the name of the Chief of Police,” the affidavit states.

Robles said in an interview that Young is no longer a reserve officer.

The affidavit also states that each of the women had agreed to perform sex acts for money before they were arrested.

Albuquerque Police Department supervisors oversaw each of his encounters with the women, Young wrote in the affidavit dated June 19, and those supervisors made the actual arrests and handcuffed the women.

One of the women, according to Young’s affidavit, was concerned that he was a police officer, so she “grabbed his crotch” and raised her shirt and told him to touch her breasts, which he did.

“APD Vice Unit members routinely briefly touched prostitutes in order to ‘prove’ that they are not police officers,” the affidavit states. “This is a commonly accepted practice in undercover prostitution investigations.”

Young’s name has appeared at the top of several other lawsuits in recent years, as both a defendant and as a plaintiff.

The city of Albuquerque settled two cases, one in federal court and the other in state District Court, with similar allegations to those leveled against Young in the case filed in January.

Three other women were paid a total of about $170,000 in those settlements, according to records provided by the city.

Also, Young is suing the Albuquerque Journal and former reporter T.J. Wilham for alleged defamation related to a series of stories written in 2009 by Wilham, who now works for APD. The court has dismissed Young’s claims except for allegations related to the newspaper’s statements regarding Young’s collection of overtime pay.

The lawsuit filed in January by Mucci and his three clients also names the city of Albuquerque and the members of the APD chain of command who oversaw Young. They include Robert T. Smith, who at the time was a sergeant and then a lieutenant for the APD Special Investigations Division, known as the SID; Joseph R. Hudson, who was the SID commander; Michael Callaway, who was the APD deputy chief who oversaw the SID at the time; and Schultz.

Smith, Hudson, Callaway and Schultz all have since retired from APD.

Robles is representing Young, Smith and Hudson. Deputy City Attorney Kathy Levy is representing Schultz, Callaway and the city.

According to the lawsuit, Young went to work for the city of Albuquerque in 1998 as a fleet manager for the SID.

“Since on or before 2005, Defendant Young also was, or claimed to be, a member of APD’s Reserve Officer Corps from time to time,” the lawsuit states. “Defendant Young’s membership or participation in the Reserve Officer Corps did not change the other defendants’ official policy, custom, and practice of treating him as a salaried detective and police officer. Instead, the Reserve Officer Corps merely provided a pretext to cover up the fact that defendant Young was acting and being treated as a salaried detective police officer despite his lack of qualifications to act in that capacity.”

In their responses, Young and the others denied that allegation.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages against all the defendants as well as attorney fees and costs.

It also seeks injunctive relief.

“There remains an actual, justiciable case or controversy between plaintiffs and defendants because of the underlying criminal proceedings instituted by defendant Young,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants have not yet fulfilled their legal and equitable duties with regard to expunging the records of plaintiffs’ arrest, prosecution and detention.”

Young and the others denied that allegation in their responses.

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