Flipping Off Officer D.

From the overlooked, unexplored and unreported archives of the Albuquerque Police Oversight Agency, this remarkable case appears.

This complaint and report, in which a driver finds fault with the driving of an APD officer and shows his displeasure, not once but multiple times with his middle finger, is astonishing first just because it happened, but then because no one seems to have noticed or recognized the significance of what had happened or reported it to the public.

Here then — almost too strange to be true — is the story of the April 23, 2012, encounter between an Albuquerque driver and Officer D. first as described in the complaint to Albuquerque’s police oversight agency:

CPOA-Dear-Related-Driver-Complaint

According to the investigation report, Mr. Driver lives in Portland, Oregon, and Albuquerque. His name, Will B. Driver, appears especially designed to advance complaints of poor driving.

The agency’s April, 2013, report charged and investigated Officer D. for not driving in a careful and prudent manner, making an improper stop and arrest, acting officiously or permitting personal feelings to influence decisions, being antagonistic and unprofessional and not recording the incident.

Only the charges of reckless driving and failing to record were sustained.

CPC-072-12-Driver-Findings-Letter

According to the Police Oversight Agency’s letter to Driver,

“A belt tape or video from a lapel camera would have been extremely helpful in proving or disproving the allegations made by the complainant.  Officer D. did not ensure that the his (sic) belt tape or video tape recorder was working before the beginning of his shift. . . Chief Schultz agrees with these findings. The Complaint and these findings are made part of the officer’s permanent record. The Police Oversight Commission agrees with this finding.”

The incident happened on April 23, 2012, just five years ago.

Of course, Officer D. is Jeremy Dear, who shot and killed Mary Hawkes and was fired from his City of Albuquerque employment for repeatedly not turning on his recording equipment. The City appealed that ruling and the appeal was remanded back to the City Personnel Board.

Although the Personnel Board decided that termination was too severe for the failures to record and ordered Dear returned to work, the City has refused to return Dear to work pending the outcome of its appeal. The case against Dear for shooting Mary Hawkes is also reportedly under investigation by federal authorities.

Albuquerque’s Civilian Police Oversight Board has repeatedly scheduled, re-scheduled, and then delayed or cancelled its mandatory review of the officer-involved shooting case against Dear.

It does not appear that this complaint — or most of the other citizen complaints against Jeremy Dear that were brought before Albuquerque’s civilian oversight boards in the years prior to his shooting of Mary Hawkes — have ever been publicly disclosed, discussed, or reported.

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