Albuquerque police officer charged with battery

AP News
|
Posted: Aug 17, 2012 7:01 PM
Albuquerque police officer charged with battery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque police officer has been charged with battery after video showed him using a stun gun on one suspect and punching another after he had surrendered, Albuquerque police said.

Police Chief Ray Schultz said at a news conference Thursday that the charges were filed after investigators reviewed video from the lapel cameras of officers involved in a May 31 drug bust. Schultz publicly released the video, which shows two officers entering an apartment without a warrant and officer Connor Rice using his Taser on one suspect.

The video shows another suspect tried to run from the apartment but surrendered after a foot chase. The second officer put his foot on the suspect's face while Rice punched the man three times in face.

Rice is charged with misdemeanor battery and aggravated battery.

Schultz, who saw the video after a public records requests from a local television station, said he was disappointed in the actions of the officer said it appeared to be a case of "inappropriate use of force."

"We do not train in this manner," Schultz said. "Acts of violation of the law and (standard operating procedure) will be dealt with."

It was unclear if Rice, who has been placed on paid administrative leave, had an attorney.

Two other officers involved in the case have been reassigned, police officials said.

The charges come as the department is under fire from civil rights activists over allegations of patterns of excessive force. Albuquerque officers have shot 25 people — 17 fatally — since 2010.

Schultz said the lapel cameras and the release of the video showed that his department was being transparent and responding to community concerns about Albuquerque police. He also announced Thursday that all cases where officers use force will be required to fill out reports by the end of a shift and the packet will be sent to a deputy chief.

Schultz said the information has been handed over to the Bernalillo County district attorney's office, and an internal affairs investigation is ongoing.

___

Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras .