Oversight Board: Suspend 2 APD officers - Albuquerque Journal

Oversight Board: Suspend 2 APD officers

Copyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Danan Gabaldon

The city’s Police Oversight Board recommended that two officers receive lengthy suspensions after reviewing an internal affairs investigation into an officer-involved shooting that took place in June 2015.

The Albuquerque Police Department’s internal affairs unit last month had exonerated the officers involved.

But the board Thursday night found that the officers violated numerous policies and used questionable tactics during the arrest of Danan Gabaldon. One detective drove a truck into the suspect as he fled on foot.

“The key ingredient here is that once he got out of his car he was weaponless and deadly force was used against him,” said Joanne Fine, the chairwoman of the POB.

Referring to the internal affairs conclusion, Ed Harness, the executive director of the Civilian Police Oversight Agency, said at the POB meeting that the case was another example of the police not holding themselves accountable.

Board members voted unanimously, recommending 512 hours of suspension for one detective and 240 hours of suspension for another detective. The officers were not identified by name.

The day of his arrest, Gabaldon was wanted on aggravated assault on a police officer and other charges. He was suspected of driving a car at a police officer days earlier.

Gabaldon has since pleaded guilty to that and several other charges against him and is serving time in prison.

Undercover officers tried to stop Gabaldon when he was driving near the 8400 block of Camino San Martin SW. Harness said one detective accidentally backed into a fellow officer’s vehicle, setting off the airbag.

The detective then got out of his vehicle, placing himself directly in Gabaldon’s path, and fired two shots at him. Other officers shot at Gabaldon with beanbag shotguns and electronic control weapons, Harness said.

Gabaldon was able to exit his vehicle and run from officers. A detective then got in a truck and drove onto the sidewalk and into Gabaldon, who smacked into the hood of the truck.

Gabaldon then fell to the ground and officers pounced on him and used a Taser on him multiple times as he was taken into custody, according to video of the incident, which police released in October 2015.

Accountability has been an ongoing concern cited by the independent monitor overseeing a years-long U.S. Department of Justice reform effort that aims to improve the police department.

“The exonerations of these officers in this case further illustrates the monitor’s opinion that the department lacks the ability to hold its officers accountable,” Harness said.

Harness said the department should do a more thorough administrative investigation into the officers, including the supervisor.

The CPOA’s findings will be sent in a letter to Chief Gorden Eden, who is to respond in writing if he is in disagreement, according to city policy.

Albuquerque police officer Tanner Tixier, an APD spokesman, said Friday that the chief hadn’t received Harness’s letter. “As such, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time,” he said.

Gabaldon has sued the city in federal court, seeking damages for alleged excessive force and civil rights violations.

The District Attorney’s Office hasn’t announced whether it will bring charges against the officers involved in the incident.

Harness was critical of several tactics police used in making the arrest, including using unmarked police vehicles instead of marked patrol units to stop him.

He said striking Gabaldon with a vehicle violated several policies, and was unjustified because Gabaldon wasn’t an immediate threat to police or the public at the time. The detective who shot at him also violated policies, Harness said.

The oversight agency is recommending that the officer who shot at Gabaldon be suspended for 512 hours and the officer who struck him with a vehicle get a 240-hour suspension.

The chief has the final say over what discipline to hand down.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Oversight Board: Suspend 2 APD officers

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Suspect in food delivery driver killing arrested in California
ABQnews Seeker
Brandon Chatmon, 20, is charged in ... Brandon Chatmon, 20, is charged in the Oct. 27 death of 54-year-old Vincent Lopez
2
Interior: $580M headed to 15 tribes to fulfill water ...
ABQnews Seeker
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fifteen Native American ... WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fifteen Native American tribes will get a total of $580 million in federal money this year for water rights settlements, the ...
3
Albuquerque police tweets slammed by some as intimidation
ABQnews Seeker
Mayor says he supports department’s efforts ... Mayor says he supports department’s efforts against misinformation
4
Three charged in large-scale drug operation on West Side
ABQnews Seeker
his older brother and the brother’s ... his older brother and the brother’s girlfriend reportedly took the helm. The new management was short-lived. On Thursday agents raided several homes and a ...
5
Electric Playhouse places bet for second location on the ...
ABQnews Seeker
  Electric Playhouse is placing a ...   Electric Playhouse is placing a bet on Vegas. The Albuquerque-based company that focuses on interactive and immersive play experiences is set to open ...
6
Lawmakers look at ways to stanch the rise of ...
ABQnews Seeker
Lawmakers showed a bipartisan appetite Friday ... Lawmakers showed a bipartisan appetite Friday to tackle retail theft in New Mexico, which has emerged as a costly problem to businesses — and ...
7
Lujan Grisham adds to Cabinet as NM celebrates American ...
ABQnews Seeker
James R. Mountain of the Pueblo ... James R. Mountain of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso was appointed Friday to lead the Indian Affairs Department under Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. The ...
8
ABQ woman sentenced to 12 years in wife’s 2019 ...
ABQnews Seeker
An Albuquerque woman who fatally stabbed ... An Albuquerque woman who fatally stabbed her wife was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison after pleading no contest to second-degree murder in ...
9
The nitty gritty of Roth IRA conversions
ABQnews Seeker
Roth IRAs offer many benefits over ... Roth IRAs offer many benefits over traditional IRAs. I have written previous articles, encouraging readers to build their Roth IRAs through contributions or conversions. ...