Before deciding if the Albuquerque Police Officers Association held out two then-officers as sacrificial lambs to defuse criticism of the Albuquerque Police Department, watch the 2011 video that got them fired.
Because it’s important to see now ex-cop Robert Woolever tackle Nicholas Blume to the concrete in the Barcelona Hotel parking garage and then punch him in the head.
And see Woolever hold Blume down while now ex-cop John Doyle kicks him one, two, 13 times.
And see Doyle handcuff Blume, then chest-bump Woolever, before buying into their claims they just wanted to get their suspect in a position to be handcuffed and were fired to stave off an imminent Department of Justice investigation.
Their attorney, Thomas Grover, says the firings amount to then-APD chief Ray “Schultz saying ‘Look, we’re tough against cops.’ ”
But the video amounts to two armed officers going “Fight Club” on an unarmed man, then performing a male-bonding victory ritual.
The pair is suing the police union and its officials past and present and seeking compensation for lost wages, job benefits, promotional, training and employment opportunities and emotional distress.
Doyle has filed a complaint against the city to get his job back, and Woolever has filed a complaint against the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board. Blume has filed a federal lawsuit against both men.
Doyle says “I thought the APOA and their lawyer Fred Mowrer were there to defend us and all the other officers. Finding out, and realizing, they were just using Rob and I to help Schultz keep his job and to keep feathering their own nest with union money was one of the most cowardly, disgusting, and dishonorable acts I’ve seen in my 20-plus years as a street cop.”
It sounds convincing. Until you see the video.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.