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No charges for officer who shot colleague eight times

An Albuquerque police lieutenant who repeatedly shot a fellow officer during a January 2015 undercover drug bust will not be criminally charged, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.

Greg Brachle

But in a letter to interim Police Chief Mike Geier, Attorney General Hector Balderas expressed “serious concern” that the department had not reported Lt. Greg Brachle’s “negligent conduct” to the state Law Enforcement Academy Board for review.

Balderas wrote that his office took over the case in August 2016, at which point the statute of limitations for negligent use of a firearm had already expired. And further review showed that evidence in the case “would not permit our office to charge Lieutenant Brachle with criminal conduct surviving the statute of limitations.”

Detective Jacob Grant was shot eight times during the $60 drug bust. Most of his vital organs were damaged, and he has gone through more than a dozen surgeries. The city agreed to pay the wounded detective $6.5 million to settle a lawsuit by Grant. He will also receive lifetime medical coverage and disability retirement.

Brachle retired from the department days before the Police Oversight Board announced its recommendation that he be fired for violating numerous policies.

Balderas wrote in the letter sent Monday that he planned to “strongly” encourage the Law Enforcement Academy director to take Brachle’s conduct under consideration for possible action. He said that although Brachle gave the AG’s Office a sworn affidavit saying his law enforcement certification expired and he does not plan to apply for recertification, “There is nothing that will bar him from doing so should he change his mind at some point in the future.”

“Regardless of the fact that the statute of limitations has lapsed on the incident in question, it is paramount that the underlying conduct be reviewed by the LEAB,” Balderas wrote.

Balderas also wrote that his office received the case after it was declined by then-District Attorney Kari Brandeburg’s office. At that point, the statute of limitations had lapsed.

Brachle could not be reached for comment.

An APD spokesman reiterated that Brachle no longer works for the department and declined to comment on the letter.

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