Jan. 13, 2010
Detective Brett Lampiris-Tremba shot Iraq war veteran Kenneth Ellis III once in the neck, killing him, as Ellis was holding a gun to his own head in the parking lot of a Northeast Heights 7-Eleven.
Ellis’ family filed a lawsuit against the city that alleged negligent hiring and supervision and wrongful death. In March 2013, a jury awarded Ellis’ family $10.3 million, one of the largest judgments ever leveled against the city.
Jurors also ruled that Lampiris-Tremba acted “willfully, wantonly or recklessly.” After filing an appeal, the city agreed in January 2014 to pay Ellis’ family $7.95 million.
Feb. 9, 2011
Detective Byron “Trey” Economidy shot Jacob Mitschelen twice in the back and once in the buttocks after Mitschelen allegedly ran after a traffic stop. Economidy said Mitschelen pointed a gun at him during the foot chase.
In January 2014, the city of Albuquerque agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit brought by Mitschelen’s family.
Feb. 13, 2011
John Doyle and Robert Woolever were captured on surveillance video from a parking garage chasing down and tackling Nicholas Blume, then 32, as he ran from them.
In the video, Woolever is seen holding Blume down as Doyle kicks him more than a dozen times. Both officers were fired for the incident, and both are appealing.
April 12, 2011
Detective Christopher J. Brown shot and killed 27-year-old Christopher Torres with three shots into Torres’ back at close range during a struggle that ensued when officers attempted to serve Torres with a warrant.
Torres was a diagnosed schizophrenic.
Torres’ family members, who include a top county official, filed a civil lawsuit alleging police should have known Torres had mental health problems, on which a judge is deliberating, as well as a federal lawsuit alleging that APD allowed systemic use of excessive force.
May 10, 2011
Officer Sean Wallace shot and killed Alan Gomez, who police said was holding a plastic spoon, after police received calls that Gomez was holding a relative hostage.
The shooting was Wallace’s third in the line of duty. In May 2013, the District Attorney’s Office cleared Wallace of any wrongdoing in the shooting, but in December of the same year, the city agreed to a $900,000 settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Gomez’s family.
June 24, 2011
City officials released a contracted study of APD use-of-force policies by the Police Executive Research Forum, or PERF. The study recommended nearly 40 policy changes, and Chief Ray Schultz added 19 more. Nearly all the changes have since been implemented.
May 25, 2012
District Attorney Kari Brandenburg agreed to suspend the decadeslong practice of presenting police shooting cases to “investigative grand juries,” which didn’t have the power to indict and had never found that a police shooting was “unjustified.” Brandenburg later tried to renew the practice and was stopped by district judges in Bernalillo County.
Aug. 16, 2012
Officer Connor Rice was charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and aggravated battery after he and another officer used a Taser on a man four times, and Rice punched another man in the back while he was being held down after a minor marijuana investigation. In September 2013, he was found not guilty.
Nov. 27, 2012
After more than a year of speculation, federal officials launched an investigation into whether the Albuquerque Police Department has a pattern of violating people’s civil rights, specifically through its officers’ use of force.
Days after a few city councilors said it was time for Albuquerque to find a new chief, Ray Schultz, who had been chief for eight years, announced his plans to retire. He stepped down at the beginning of August.
Oct. 26, 2013
Police shot and killed Christopher Chase after a wild pursuit through Albuquerque and the North Valley that began when Chase ambushed an officer near Iron and Broadway SE. Chase shot and wounded four officers before being killed near Fourth and Montaño NW. Police would be involved in another four shootings in the ensuing six weeks.
Mayor Richard Berry appointed Gorden Eden to be the next chief of APD. Eden, 59, spent eight years in federal law enforcement as the U.S. marshal for New Mexico.
He also worked for Gov. Susana Martinez, heading the state Department of Public Safety, which oversees State Police.
March 16, 2014
Detective Keith Sandy and officer Dominique Perez shot James Boyd, a 38-year-old homeless, mentally ill man, after APD responded to the Copper Trailhead on reports of an illegal camper in the Sandia foothills.
Boyd died in a hospital the next day. Police later released video of the shooting that ignited widespread criticism of the department in Albuquerque and beyond.
March 24, 2014
Mayor Berry said he had asked the Department of Justice to examine the Boyd shooting, independently of the DOJ’s ongoing investigation into APD. Protesters marched down Central Avenue and Third Street to APD headquarters. Later that night, police shot and killed Alfred Redwine, who was armed and had earlier threatened a neighbor.
March 30, 2014
Protesters again march on APD and along Central Avenue. After the demonstration gets unruly, police use tear gas to disperse the crowd.
April 10, 2014
U.S.Department of Justice announces the findings of its civil rights investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department.