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.
A district attorney received responses after writing a letter to the Albuquerque Police Department and the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy (NMLEA) about concerns with police training. The overall message: Everything is fine here. Second Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg received responses in return to her letter regarding concerns about police training deficiencies, ultimately linked to a current whistleblower lawsuit. The first letter came from APD Chief Gorden Eden. Eden wrote that any allegations of improper police training are unfounded.
A special prosecutor charged two Albuquerque Police Department officers who shot and killed a homeless man with second degree murder. The special prosecutor, Randi McGinn, filed the charges on Monday. Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez will also face voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges in the death of James Boyd. The charges allege that Sandy and Perez “did kill James Boyd without lawful justification or excuse and without acting upon sufficient provocation while knowing that his acts created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to James Boyd.” The shooting happened last year after Boyd was illegally camping in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.
In a press conference on Thursday, Second Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg addressed the findings from a report by the New Mexico Attorney General’s office regarding actions she took after her son was accused of theft. Brandenburg told reporters she plans to move along with business as usual after the Attorney General found no criminal act by Brandenburg. “I’m please this is behind us and I think it’s really important that we move forward,” Brandenburg told reporters. Still, Brandenburg referred the APD investigation into her alleged wrongdoings to the Department of Justice. The report from Balderas said that Brandenburg should have referred criminal cases involving her son, Justin Koch, to a different jurisdiction.
State Auditor Tim Keller forwarded his office’s findings of Albuquerque Police Department’s potentially illegal relationship with an Arizona stun gun company to two legal offices for investigation. Keller’s office released a report, which New Mexico Political Report outlined early Thursday, finding probable violations of city and state law from the department’s nearly $2 million contract with TASER International for lapel cameras. His office also asked state Attorney General Hector Balderas and District Attorney Kari Brandenberg to conduct investigations into the matter. Specifically, Keller’s risk review found former Albuquerque Police Chief Raymond Schultz’ actions in “probable” violation of the state Governmental Conduct Act, city procurement rules and city conflict of interest rules. “We believe these are very substantial violations,” Keller told a crowd of reporters Thursday morning.