A Santa Fe police officer has resigned after being accused of using excessive force against a taxi driver who was arrested during a traffic stop.
Santa Fe Police Department spokeswoman Celina Westervelt said that Gutierrez, who had been with the department since May 11, 2013, resigned April 11.
A lawyer for 40-year-old Dawn Bourgeois last week filed a claim that is a precursor to a possible lawsuit in connection with the March 30 traffic stop.
Gutierrez’s dash-cam video shows him taking down Bourgeois because she got out of her cab. Bourgeois screams wildly as the two end up on the ground.
Westervelt said there is an internal affairs investigation into whether any of the officers that responded to the call illegally used excessive force. She said that if the investigation determined that actions taken by officers were malicious, State Police would be called in to conduct its own investigation. The incident resulted in Bourgeois getting a black eye.
Westervelt added that anytime an officer uses a level of force that goes beyond the use of handcuffs — such as using a baton, Taser or pepper spray — those actions are always reviewed internally.
If the internal investigation found that an officer violated policy or was guilty of other types of wrongdoing, that information is passed on the Department of Public Safety and the law enforcement board could revoke that officer’s license.