Here is the million dollar question. Why was a high ranking police lieutenant an active participant in a low-level drug bust? This debacle may cost one of APD’s finest his life.
An APD undercover officer was shot multiple times by an APD Lieutenant who was an active participant in the drug bust. The officer is now struggling to hold onto life.
The Eye On Albuquerque has made it very clear; we support our officers, however, we are still bound by the truth. Here is what our research has shown.
The undercover unit was conducting a buy-bust operation. The purpose is to remove another drug dealer off of our streets. This makes our community safer. The undercover offer completed the transaction and the arrest team started to move in, to arrest the drug dealer. As undercover officers approached the drug dealer (seated on the passenger side of the car) realized they were cops and drew a gun. We are told the lieutenant was approaching from the driver’s side of the car where the undercover officer was sitting. It was not clear what the actual or perceived threat was discovered by the approaching lieutenant. The lieutenant started firing his weapon striking the undercover officer multiple times. To dissect this case would take a week and several pages to include everything from use of force to target identification to bullet placement to who was in charge of this incident?
The bottom line is this lieutenant has absolutely no business being an active participant in an incident he was supposed to be in-charge of. If he would have maintained his position of authority as the Incident Commander the rest of the issues would be null.
Then there is any type of police situation the highest ranking officer is automatically in-charge of the incident according to APD’s Standard Operational Manual. It talks about “Unity of Command” and IC System (Incident Command). The definition of Unity of Command provides that an employee is responsible to only one supervisor, who in turn is responsible to only one supervisor, and so on up the organizational police structure. “The Incident Command System (ICS) is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. ICS is normally structured to facilitate activities in five major functional areas: command, operations, planning, logistics, intelligence & investigations, finance and administration. It is a fundamental form of management, with the purpose of enabling incident managers to identify the key concerns associated with the incident—often under urgent conditions—without sacrificing attention to any component of the command system.” (READ FEMA SOURCE HERE) Since this police lieutenant decided to be an active participant who was in charge? Was there a captain, major, or perhaps a deputy chief out at this police situation? The answer is no. This lieutenant made a series of bad decisions with catastrophic results.
When a police officer starts to promote up the ranks they are removed that much more from the “action.” This lieutenant wanted to play and be a patrol level officer and he acted as such. This debacle ranks with the catastrophe involving Mr. Boyd. In order for Mr. Berry and Mr. Eden to prove they are in control of the APD, accountable and responsible to the Citizens of Albuquerque; heads MUST ROLL. This action should be swift, direct and decisive. This case may actually warrant criminal charges.
The police administration must act immediately to ensure the continuum of public trust. This was not an oversight type issue or situation; this was a calculated and malice act by a high ranking APD lieutenant who violated every single fundamental and basic principal of management which resulted in an innocent officer being gravely injured. This incident may still result in criminal charges as well against this lieutenant.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured officer and his family.