The mother of a slain 17-year-old is putting the city of Albuquerque on notice for a potential lawsuit. Last week, Munah Green filed a tort claims notice accusing the city and the Albuquerque Police Department of taking actions that led to the death of Jaquise Lewis, who was killed following a March 22 shooting at Los Altos Skate Park that left six others wounded. Green’s notice alleges that the city is responsible for a number of wrongdoings, including wrongful death, civil rights violations and due process violations. The notice also compels both the city and the police department to preserve all evidence related to the shooting. City spokeswoman Rhiannon Schroeder would not comment on the tort claims notice, stating that it’s pending litigation.
A district attorney wants to review the police department’s investigation of the Los Altos Skate Park shooting in March that left 17-year-old Jaquise Lewis dead. This is all according to recent email exchanges between DA Kari Brandenburg and Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden obtained by New Mexico Political Report. In an email titled “Jaquise Lewis homicide” sent to Eden last week, Brandenburg wrote that she was “getting calls and inquiries regarding the above case.” Police held a press conference more than a month after the shooting where they said Lewis was killed as a result of self defense. Police have not arrested or named the man who killed Lewis.
The city of Albuquerque’s attorney’s office is claiming it doesn’t have knowledge of how a teen was killed earlier this year in a high-profile shooting at Los Altos Skate Park. That’s despite an autopsy report from the University of New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator that concluded 17-year-old Jaquise Lewis died from two gunshots following the night of March 22. Six others were also wounded that night following an incident involving a borrowed skateboard that led to a brawl between two groups. According to Lewis’ autopsy, one bullet landed in his left mid-back while the other landed “on the left posterior upper arm just above the elbow.”
Munah Green, the mother of Lewis who is suing the city for allegedly withholding public records related to the shooting, said the autopsy explains her son’s cause of death “loud and clear.”
“They know how he died and they know exactly what he died from,” Green told New Mexico Political Report, referring to Albuquerque police. “They don’t want the truth to come out.”
Yet City Attorney Jessica Hernandez said that the city’s response in the lawsuit denying knowledge of how Lewis died is “very common in early pleadings in civil cases.”
Green’s lawsuit, filed in July, contains a sentence that reads, “plaintiff’s son, Jaquise Lewis, died on March 22, 2015, at the Los Altos Skate Park after being shot twice in the back.” In the city’s formal response, Albuquerque Assistant City Attorney Kevin Morrow writes that the city “is without sufficient knowledge to admit or deny” how Lewis died.
A woman who was with Jaquise Lewis on the night he was shot and killed said police recently interviewed her about the incident. Desiree Duran, an eyewitnesses to the Los Altos Skate Park shooting in March that also wounded six others, told New Mexico Political Report that Albuquerque Police Department officer Terra Juarez interviewed her on July 6. Duran’s interview with police came shortly after New Mexico Political Report published a story that quoted from both her and Brianna Keyes, another witness to the incident. Both were with Lewis’ group that night. Previously, APD spokesman Tanner Tixier told New Mexico Political Report that nobody from Lewis’ group that night was cooperating with their investigation into the shootings.
The mother of a teenager who died after a March shooting at Los Altos Skate Park is suing the Albuquerque Police Department for public records violations. In the lawsuit, Munah Green alleges that APD is improperly withholding public records related to the shooting that also saw six people wounded, including a reported paralyzation. Green’s son, 17-year-old Jaquise Lewis, died after being shot in the back twice from a distance. To date, APD hasn’t named or charged Lewis’ shooter with a crime, concluding that he killed Lewis in self-defense. In April, Green and her attorney requested all police reports, video recordings, audio recordings and other information related to the shooting.
A man who claims he killed Jaquise Lewis in the March 22 Los Altos Skate Park shooting spoke anonymously to KOB-TV last week. The TV news segment featured the man’s silhouette and didn’t release his identity “because he has not been charged with a crime, and police have not finished their investigation.” The report described him as a 22-year-old father. In the report, the man said he carries a gun with him everywhere he goes. He used it that night, according to what he told KOB, when he saw an argument over a skateboard escalate into gunfire. The man said he saw 17-year-old Lewis shoot two people.
Three months after a shooting that left 17-year-old Jaquise Lewis dead, the Albuquerque Police Department allowed his family to see a video of the shooting for the first time. But just because APD allowed the family to see the video earlier this week, that doesn’t mean the department will be releasing the video to the public. Nor have they revealed the identity of Lewis’ shooter, whom they say killed Lewis in self-defense. “This case is still an open, active investigation,” APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza told New Mexico Political Report in a statement Wednesday evening. “Video is not being released at this time.”
Lewis was the only person to die after the March 22 shooting at Los Altos Skate Park, which left six others wounded.