Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes
Aug 8, 2012
The Albuquerque Police Department’s standard operating procedures covering officer involved shootings are outlined in Procedural Orders 2-31. 2-31 details the necessary actions investigators MUST do to secure the scene of the shooting, manage the scene, manage witness, manage evidence, and manage the principal actors. Following these procedures is crucial, and mandatory, because the integrity of the investigation is at stake. It’s important to remember that all police shootings are treated as criminal investigations and NOT administrative investigations. Given the microscope APD is under for each incident where an officer shoots a subject, one would think the folks on the 5thfloor would strictly and obediently follow their own SOPs regarding officer involved shootings…
Some the more essential elements of Procedural Orders 2-31 include:
A. Place all witnesses, including principal personnel, in separate locations to ensure witness credibility.
B. Ensure all principal personnel remain in the same attire and do not dispose of any items, which were in his/her possession at the time of the shooting until authorized by Criminalistics personnel.
2-31-3 A. The on-call PST is responsible for all phases of the criminal investigation, with the exception of processing the scene and the collection of evidence
2-31-7 E. Control the release of information relating to the incident. Any information to be released to the media must have prior approval of the Commander of the on-call PST or the Deputy Chief of Police.
2-31-8 G. Ensure the case is completed and submitted to the District Attorney's office.
H. Take responsibility for the principal personnel upon completion of collection
of physical evidence by Criminalistics personnel.
I. Within seven working days, schedule a debriefing with the investigators of
the PST, OMI and the District Attorney's office to discuss the status of the criminal investigation.
2-31-10 C. Principal personnel will remain separated and will be removed from the scene as expeditiously as possible and transported to an appropriate police facility as directed by the on-call PST commander.
Following these procedures is crucial in order to keep evidence and witnesses from cross contamination and thus jeopardizing the investigation. Remember, this is a criminal investigation that ultimately is submitted to the District Attorney’s office for review. Criminal liability is on the table as is civil liability on part of the city, the department, and the parties involved.
Chief Schultz and his minor deputy chief’s seem to think an officer involved shooting is a public relations opportunity. In the hours after the shooting, Deputy Chief Paul Feist stated that the subject shot was waving a gun and threatening undercover officers during an undercover narcotics operation. The following day the department released lapel camera footage showing undercover officers rushing in and the undercover sergeant’s lone shot sounding off in the background. Chief Schultz returned from yet another out of state trip to respond and detail elements of the incident in yet another push to justify the department’s latest officer involved shooting. Within thirty-six hours of the incident, Chief Schultz had an officer’s lapel/body camera video of the event released to the media.
Yet as of Wednesday, August 8, 2012, the sergeant involved in the shooting had yet to be interviewed. As that officer is a principal in this investigation we fail to find any basis for the disclosure of such highly detailed and sensitive information, never mind video evidence, before witness interviews are complete. Feist’s statements are prejudicial and suggest witness intimidation, evidence tampering and jury pool tampering. They defy belief when you consider the investigation is far from complete. Even more staggering is the department’s release of video evidence of the incident. As the above SOP’s indicate, none of these actions are to even be considered before the case is turned in to the district attorney’s office. If an officer obtains evidence of a crime and were to commit these actions I think we all know how quickly they would not only be fired but prosecuted.
Ask former officer Brad Ahrensfield who was tipped off by former detective Ron Olivas concerning an investigation by the FBI whether or not people are prosecuted for tampering with an investigation. With this most recent incident there is a multi-agency “shoot team” whose investigation was just compromised by the direct and intentional actions of Chief Schultz and Deputy Chief Paul Feist. Who will hold them accountable for flagrant violations of the above SOPs? By their actions and statements, Schultz and Feist have failed to ensure witness credibility, tampered with evidence, deviated from guidelines required by the district attorney, identified parties before interviews, and disclosed sensitive elements regarding department undercover tactics. How likely is it, the officer involved in the shooting will provide a statement consistent with the assertions made by Schultz and Feist? And what of the deviations?
Given that the department is under intense scrutiny for its handling of critical incidents and major crime scenes, one would think Chief Schultz would do everything imaginable to support an objective and lawful investigation. Instead, we have this tainted mess. One thing however is completely obvious, when the department wants to spin something in its or Chief Schultz’s favor, it will do anything to get video, reports, or records out before the public. When the information is damaging…they hide and lie.