Albuquerque police on Wednesday confirmed that lapel camera technicians were unable to retrieve video from the officer who shot 19-year-old Mary Hawkes last month after a foot chase, but they did release new videos taken after her shooting death.
Police still would not say whether the lapel camera of officer Jeremy Dear, who shot Hawkes three times, malfunctioned or if he failed to turn it on.
The officer, who has a history of not capturing encounters on video in which he used force, is on desk duty while an Internal Affairs investigation is underway.
The other lapel videos Albuquerque police did release do not show the actual shooting, but instead show officers stringing police tape, setting up a perimeter and investigating the scene of Hawkes’ death. They also provided a still image that shows what they said was a gun near her body and a still from a carwash surveillance video that shows her running near the scene, and police said there was an object in her hand.
However, in some lapel camera videos APD released that depict the same spot, which is a few feet southwest of her head, the gun cannot be seen. An APD spokeswoman said officers moved the gun into the dirt nearby “for officer safety” after the still was captured. One video shows an object near her head as an officer arrives.
Dear shot and killed Hawkes in what police described as an auto theft followed by a foot chase in the early morning hours of April 21 near Zuni and Wyoming SE. Police said Hawkes pointed a gun at the pursuing officer, and APD Chief Gorden Eden said a .32 caliber semiautomatic pistol was found near Hawkes’ body.
Last week, the state Office of the Medical Investigator released its autopsy report, which found Hawkes suffered three gunshot wounds, all fired from a downward trajectory, which entered her left ear, left upper arm and right shoulder. The OMI also found Hawkes had a high concentration of methamphetamine in her system at the time of her death.
In a news conference after the shooting, Eden said Dear’s lapel camera was sent to the manufacturer, TASER International, to determine if any of the video could be retrieved. He declined to say then, and the department has yet to say, whether the camera malfunctioned or if Dear simply failed to turn it on. Failure to record citizen contacts on video can result in discipline at APD.
The videos released Wednesday show Hawkes, who is dressed in black, slumped over the sidewalk along Zuni. Police obscured her face on the video before releasing the videos to news media.
There were at least two other instances in early 2013 when Dear didn’t record his full encounters with the public, according to Dear’s personnel file.
In January 2013, Dear helped break up a Downtown brawl and, in the process, he “did strike (the 22-year-old suspect) several times in his facial area with a closed fist,” according to his description of the incident. Dear wrote that the man had struck him in the jaw and was resisting arrest, according to the personnel file. His lapel video was not on, but his partner’s was on for the beginning and aftermath, according to the file.
A month later, in February 2013, Dear pulled a man over for speeding. The man later filed a citizen complaint, alleging Dear used excessive force by pulling him out of his car, kicking him in the genitals and setting the handcuffs too tight.
Dear denied the excessive force allegations and said his lapel camera died soon after he approached the man. It’s unclear from the file whether he was disciplined.
Hawkes’ shooting death came within two weeks after the Department of Justice released its findings on APD’s policies and found deficiencies regarding deadly force, training and accountability for officers.
APD officers have shot and killed 25 people since 2010.